With six games complete, Northwest women’s basketball is beginning to see a shift in culture.
The Bearcats (2-4) have earned wins in two of their past four games. The latest came with a 73-23 victory over the University of St. Mary Nov. 24.
Northwest held the Spires (1-5) to just nine points in the first half. St. Mary hit just 17 percent of its shots.
For coach Austin Meyer, the Bearcats win over the NAIA program brought several positives to the table. At the same time, Northwest will look back on a 43-67 loss to William Jewell Nov. 23 to identify things to improve upon.
“We show a lot of clips of what we did wrong, but we always try to deliver it in a way of this is the issue, let’s fix it and be better because of it,” Meyer said.
Northwest’s analysis of both games began Nov. 27. A day prior, the team took the day off. Though classes were also canceled due to weather conditions, athletes such as junior guard Erika Schlosser took in shots at Bearcat Arena.
This wasn’t the first time athletes have stepped onto the hardwood under their own will this season. Several members of the team did just that following Northwest’s 87-78 loss to Maryville University Nov. 17.
The individual level work isn’t necessarily a suggestion from coaches. In fact, Meyer and his staff have held their athletes accountable.
“The more they do that and take ownership of it, that’s where you want the program to go,” Meyer said. “We’ve talked about building a culture and changing the way things are done. I think we are on the right path.”
Northwest already has one more win under its belt than it did at this point a year ago. In another week, the Bearcats open up MIAA play.
Confidence on the court is on a rise as the team continues to adjust to Meyer’s leadership. Though there has been some change in x’s and o’s, there have also been changes in competitiveness.
“I think the biggest adjustment was just learning the way he wants us to play,” sophomore Mallory McConkey said. “It wasn’t like a big adjustment.”
McConkey has had a personal adjustment of her own this season. As a freshman, she competed as a guard. Now, she holds the role of being a forward.
The biggest change has been learning to adjust to screens while being undersized compared to athletes she is matched up against.
“There was a little more depth at our guard position than there was last year,” Meyer said. “With our ball screen offense, it helps us.”
Northwest’s next focus is a matchup with Nebraska Christian (2-9) at 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at Bearcat Arena.
In the days leading up to the game, the main area of concern is showing improvement.
“There’s a lot of positive we can find right now,” Meyer said. “We just got to take those negatives right now and turn them into positives.”