Stiff competition for Maverick women’s basketball

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December 5th, 2011

Omaha, NE – In the middle of the transition to Division I, the University of Nebraska-Omaha women’s basketball team is facing stiff competition on the basketball court. KVNO News sat down with Head Coach Chance Lindley to discuss the challenges his team is facing.

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Eight games into his first year as head coach, Chance Lindley has seen a lot of improvement from his team. UNO owns a 5-3 record on the very young season. There have been some ups and downs, but Lindley sees it as a growing process. It’s the first year for UNO in Division I, and the Mavericks are still adapting.

Taijhe Kelly has improved steadily according to Coach Chance Lindley. (Photo courtesy UNO Athletics)

“You know honestly overall, (there have been) a lot of pleasant surprises,” Lindley said. “I think they’ve gelled really well together on and off the court. So far as a staff we are very pleased with what we have right now, and how far we have come.”

Coming up short at the Metro State Classic at Auraria Event Center in Denver November 11th and 12th, with a loss to Metro State 64-61 has kept the Mavs hungry. Following the tourney in Colorado, UNO played the 14th ranked team in the country: SEC powerhouse, the University of Kentucky. The Mavs fell to the Wildcats by a score of 81-48. Lindley said UNO couldn’t match the talent level of Kentucky, but his team came back from a very slow start and fought hard after halftime.

“I think early that first half, they (Kentucky) forced a lot of turnovers,” Lindley said. “Then, the press kind of got to us, and we committed a lot of turnovers in a short amount of time. And that deficit really hurt us.”

“But again, like these kids have done, we made a few adjustments at halftime and they came back out hard.”
The next two games on the schedule were against West Virginia State University and Marshall University.

Facing WVSU following the Kentucky game, the Mavs turned up the heat and closed the game with a 12-0 run to win 68-59. The next day UNO travelled to Huntington, West Virginia to take on Marshall. It was UNO’s third game in six days. Lindley said though the game was a loss, he was proud of how his team fought back from a double digit deficit to keep the game interesting.

Stacia Gebers takes a shot over an opponent. Gebers had 18 points in the win against Briar Cliff. (Photo courtesy UNO Athletics)

“Obviously a loss is never fun,” Lindley said, “but I can handle losing that way. Marshall is clearly a very good team, a Conference USA team, we showed a lot of heart, a lot of guts.”

“They showed a lot to us as a staff,” Lindley said. “So we were pleased with what we got out of them.”

Last Thursday night UNO played York College at the Sapp Fieldhouse to an impressive 80-37 victory. The Mavs dominated the game, holding a 58-24 advantage in rebounding and the upper hand in transition points, 18-0. At one point in the game, the score was 37-5 in favor of the Mavs. Junior guard Paige Frauendorfer added 17 points, 12 rebounds and six steals. Coach Lindley lauded one of his team’s best players.

“Paige is doing really well,” Lindley said. “I think she is definitely having the type of season she deserves… Her work ethic is the best on the team.”

Lindley said Frauendorfer is consistent, coachable and has a great attitude. “She is playing very well for us,” he said. “You can tell she has been rewarded for her hard work.”

UNO is now in the middle of a home stand, with four straight games at home. UNO won the first two of the four: the first against York, and most recently last Saturday against Briar Cliff 63-47. The bright spot in that game was sophomore forward Stacia Gebers team high 18 points on nine of ten shooting. The Mavs will also face the College of St. Mary and Northwest Missouri State University this coming week. Lindley said this will allow UNO to assess where it stands and pinpoint specific areas in which the team can grow.

“First of all we are just glad to be home,” Lindley said. “We hadn’t played but one home game in the first part of six games.”

“We are excited to get back in our gym … and to sleep in our own beds for a couple weeks,” he said. “Hopefully we can put together a few consecutive wins and get back on the road here.”

Looking ahead, Lindley said his team is ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Games against future Summit League opponents Western Illinois University and the University of Missouri Kansas City are scheduled. But Lindley said his team is taking the “game at a time” method in growing his program.
“I feel good about our kids,” he said. “To me, it is not an excuse (first year in DI). It’s a matter of mental preparation and physical preparation.”

“I think we will do that as a staff, and the kids will be ready for us, and then we will see what happens on the court.”

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