FORT WAYNE – It was late in a mid-week practice within the Gates Center when IPFW women’s basketball coach Chris Paul’s whistle brought everything to a standstill.
An offensive mistake turned into a secondary break at the other end, which led to a three-pointer by the scout team.
They hit a three to make it a one-point game, and now you’ve got 7,000 people going crazy, Paul said.
Actually, there were about seven onlookers, but this was a simulation drill: IPFW leading by four with four minutes left against top-seeded South Dakota State in the first round of the Summit League tournament, which begins today in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Paul’s message was to value possession of the basketball in what he hopes will be a tight game when the eighth-seeded Mastodons (11-18) play South Dakota State (21-8) in front of partisan SDSU crowd.
Even though IPFW lost to South Dakota State twice this season – 81-58 in Brookings, S.D., and 76-66 at the Gates Center – IPFW senior guard Anne Boese says it’s all about confidence and attitude going into the tournament.
Every time you go on a road game, you want to step on their court and act like it’s your court, said Boese, the team’s second-leading scorer with an 11.7 average. The other team can sense that. If you go out there and carry yourself confidently, they’ll know that. We’ll go out there and set the tone from the start and have the attitude that we can win and get the job done.
Added senior Sarah Haluska: Going out there, you know you’ll have to play South Dakota State at some point; play them Saturday or play them Tuesday. I’d rather play them when we’re fresh.