UNO women’s basketball team looking for consistency

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July 23rd, 2014

Omaha, NE – Last year ended like this for the Mavericks women’s basketball team: seven straight losses, then three straight wins, finally finishing it up with back-to-back losses.

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UNO head coach Brittany Lange is frank, she wants more consistency.

Lange may have found a key to the puzzle with new assistant coach Kirk Walker. Walker, a longtime high school girls’ basketball coach in Iowa, compiled a 315-163 career record as head coach before moving to Briar Cliff as an assistant in 2011. Walker began coaching at UNO in May of this year. Lange said Walker’s insight into the game of basketball is worth its weight in gold.

“He is very eager to learn and to jump in and add an element of energy and a perspective from the other side of coaching and recruiting,” Coach Lange said. ”All of our players and staff respond very well to him.”

Coach Lange also remarked this year’s squad should have more depth. She said part of this is attributed to new players, UNO added three freshmen for this year, but the Mavericks also had issues with injury last season. UNO guards Brianna Bogard and Cat Cox missed most of last season due to injury, both suffering knee injuries. UNO also improved their roster by adding two transfers, Bobbi Beckwith a transfer from Indiana State and Marissa Preston from Wichita State.

Beckwith, who hails from Albion, NEB., is eligible to compete for UNO this season, starting in January. Preston will have to sit out the entire 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Coach Lange said Preston has been hands on since her first day on campus.

“You would think she is ready to play her first game today with the amount of intensity and passion she brings to every workout,” Coach Lange said. “She is extremely mature and I think her time at Wichita State definitely seasoned her a little bit as well.”

One of the three incoming freshman, center Vanessa Barajas, is hoping to learn from top-tier post player senior center Taijhe Kelly, how to play the collegiate game, according to Coach Lange.

“Only time will tell, she is only a freshman,” Coach Lange said. “That first year is a tough one. But we have challenged her with the idea that you are going against arguably the best defender in our league every day in practice.”

Coach Lange said this year is important in her building of a strong, competitive Division-I women’s basketball program.

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