Jackie Patterson said she didn’t mind running an extra suicide after Tuesday’s practice.
The Lady Raiders’ top scorer off the bench said the bench players almost beat the starters in their drills Tuesday, which showed the 6-foot-1 Patterson that the bench can make an impact in Big 12 Conference play when faced with a tough task of battling seasoned veterans.
In Tech’s first two league games, though, especially in Saturday’s 58-54 loss to Iowa State, the bench didn’t do much of anything.
“It was nonexistent,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said, “and certainly that’s a challenge for them to step up and get the job done.”
Curry said the past two days of practice have been much better for the bench, though, and it was good to see the bench respond from its worst outing of the season.
Tech’s bench can show exactly how much it has responded when it takes on Kansas-State (10-4, 1-1 in Big 12 play) at 7 p.m. today in United Spirit Arena.
The Lady Raiders (11-3, 1-1) reserves scored three points in 30 combined minutes against the Cyclones — both season lows. That came on the heels of a five-point showing in 34 minutes against Oklahoma State last week in a 64-59 win.
“I thought they didn’t play well,” Curry said of her bench, “and it’s hard to put somebody back in the game when you know your starters are playing better.”
The problems for each bench player differs.
Center Shauntal Nobles is still recovering from her battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and her strength will eventually find its way back.
Sophomore guard Amber Battle, who usually is the first guard off the bench for Tech, is still learning and fighting to get better, Curry said. Battle didn’t record any stats in four minutes against the Cyclones and passed up open looks at the basket.
“We just need to play like we do in practice,” Battle said, “and be aggressive and take the shots that we have.”
Curry believes Patterson is thinking too much when she hits the court instead of letting the game come to her and being herself.
Patterson admits her coach may have a point, but she hopes today’s game marks a different output from her.
I think we need to look to attack more, and not just be passive with the ball and trying to be quick to give it up. I think we just need to come in and be in attack mode and go score.
K-State’s tallest rotation player is 5-foot-11, so Tech’s offense should look to attack much more than it did against the large Cyclones.
“The posts should have a field day inside,” Patterson said. “Just go attack”
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