Women’s Basketball Team Achieves Individual Career Highs with Teamwork
Tanaya Atkinson and Donnaizha Fountain each reached career highs during the 2016 women’s basketball season. Though they set individual records, both attribute this success to other players of the team.
Atkinson credits the help of her team to her personal success this season. With that mindset, Atkinson has been able to distinguish when she should pass the ball to other members or drive it up herself.
“I’m always running the baseline, so I can find an easy opening and drive right away,” Atkinson said. “However, it’s my teammates who help me out.”
When playing, she said she always selects the option that will result in a basket for the team.
During the Owls’ game against University of Houston, Atkinson managed to score one point per minute she played. She also caught seven rebounds and three steals. Fountain fought to put up 20 points and 15 rebounds that game, leading to her second career double and breaking her personal record. She also led the Owls to another victory.
Fountain said that focus is what “keeps her going.”
“Games are a matter of preparing for what’s up next,” the sophomore guard said.
Alliya Butts, a sophomore guard, contributed to the win over Houston, playing 34 minutes and putting up 11 points.
The team started utilizing more defensive plays on court to maximize their potential.
“[Playing] is a total team effort. We aren’t selfish with the ball,” Head Coach Tonya Cardoza said. “The biggest [difference] between now and before is our communication.”
Most team members agreed that communication is the key to success, and with better communication came growth for this team.
“I feel like now we have grown and defense is what gets us going. Earlier we were focused on the offensive side and scoring,” Cardoza said. “We are always talking about growth, and this game [against Houston] showed our growth. Defensively, we were solid.”
Offense is important in a game like basketball, but Cardoza realized that if the team is not scoring, they can maintain a strong defense and make sure the other team is not scoring too.
Continuous wins have the team ready to see what will happen next in seasons to come.
“We are excited about the wins, where we are, and how we are playing,” Cardoza said.
Written by Courtney Idasetima
Photographed by Jademan Baker