They are currently 5-1 with their most recent win being an 86-59 victory over Paine College in Augusta, Ga. Monday night. Monday’s triumph also stretched DSU’s winning streak to four games with their only loss of the year being a slim 65-63 setback at the hands of Lynn on Nov. 9. The recent winning streak moved DSU up from No. 15 to No. 12 in the USA Today Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll. Delta State will have a long rest as they won’t return to the court until Dec. 14 when the team opens its Gulf South Conference schedule against Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn.
Lady Statesmen head coach David Midlick said the win against Paine University was a good indication on how much progress the team has made thus far.
“I was pleased with our game at Paine University,” Midlick said. “To go on the road against a team that could score a lot and hold them in the 50s, I was proud of our effort. We got a lot more confidence shooting the basketball in that game and we need the momentum to carry over during practice as he prepare for Gulf South Conference play.”
The rest for DSU right now is needed as the team has gone through a rash of injuries.
Sophomore guard Mary Carol Davis tore her ACL before the Paine game and is out for the year. Senior guard Chadisty Hickman and sophomore center Becca Ruckes are both day-to-day as they are nursing leg injuries. Ruckes is currently leading the team in scoring with an average of 13.5 points per game. She is also shooting 75.6 percent (31-of-41) from the floor and 86.4 percent (19-of-22) from the free throw line.
Even with the injuries, DSU’s three freshmen, Carly Keller (guard), Anissa Jackson (guard) and Alexis Ross (guard), have each played in at least five games. Keller and Jackson have seen action in all six games, while Ross has played in five contests. Jackson has made two starts and is averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds a game and is shooting 92.9 percent (13-of-14) from the free throw line.
“I think that in the past few weeks with playing games, I think they’ve realized the pace of the game and they’ve adjusted better,” Midlick said about his young players. “With some of the injuries we’ve had some of the newcomers will have to play.”
Juniors Seneca Walton and Rhandi Ball and sophomore Chelsey Rhodes have recently reached some career milestones. Walton, a center, has recently past the 600-point mark and the 400-rebound plateau in her career as she currently has 614 points and 415 rebounds. Ball, a forward, has also past the 600-point, 400-rebound mark in her career as she has scored 604 points and pulled down 411 rebounds, while Rhodes recently past the 400-point mark as she has scored 407 points in her career.
This season, Walton has scored an average of 13.2 points a game with 9.7 rebounds a contest, Ball has scored 10.8 points with 5.5 rebounds a game and Rhodes has scored 12.8 points with 2.4 rebounds a game.
The Lady Statesmen are currently scoring an average of 71 points per game, while giving up 51 points per contest. Opponents have shot just 29.5 percent against the Lady Statesmen, while the Lady Statesmen have shot 45.3 percent from the floor. Going into the game against Paine on Monday, DSU was fourth in the nation in scoring defense and first in field goal percentage defense.