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Women's basketball team completes "transition year"

By Adam Troxtell
On March 10, 2010

For the Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team, the 2009-10 season was one they would possibly like to forget, as they finished bottom of the LSC North table with a record of 4-22 (1-13).

Despite struggling in her first season, head coach Nicole Anderson admitted this was more of a transition year for her team.

"I would say it is a growth year, one in which we needed to learn a tremendous amount about the game of basketball and, more importantly, how important it was to play as a unit," Anderson said. "I love to watch young people when that light bulb clicks. They really started moving the ball and playing together, and it made it very difficult for our opponents."

Junior Mattilyn McIntyre topped the team in points for the season, averaging 16.5 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. Fellow Junior Genevieve Campbell was also a top contributor, averaging 11.8 points per game. Senior Ashley Murphy was the top in rebounding with 7.8 per game and averaged 10.6 points per game.

Texas A&M-International, Angelo State University, Eastern New Mexico University and Cameron University are the only teams which the Lions topped this season. Their LSC North campaign featured a 12 game losing streak, with a -18.54 average point differential.

The A&M-Commerce women did improve as the season went on, and kept many games close toward the end. Anderson said this is exactly what she hoped to see when she took the job.

"We definitely made progress," she said. "Another thing I stated when I took the job is by the end of January and February we would be playing our best basketball, and I do believe that we were."

Anderson said she believes the team began playing exciting, entertaining basketball as the season progressed. This is something Anderson said she enjoys about the game.

"You never know what's going to happen at the end when there are pressure situations and you have young people," she said. "They sometimes do the right things and sometimes they make mistakes, and that's why it's exciting."

The women's team also had to deal with losing players. By the end of the season, many team members had to play out of position in order to cope with the amount of losses.

"There are a combination of things that affected us," Anderson said. "Losing players to injury and having to replace players or remove players definitely impacts the chemistry of the team, and impacts the performance of the team. The injury bug hit us hard, and it particularly hit us hard in that post position."

Post-season activities began on March 8, and Anderson said they have already worked on recruiting for the coming fall. She is confident the program will improve, and bases that on the attitude shown by her players.

"They don't only want to play in Barltesville, [Okla., where the LSC Tournament is held], but they want to be advancing on after Bartlesville," she said. "That's what the focus is for this post-season."

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