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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana Tech Women's Breakdown

Women's schedule

Nov. 1: at Taylor, 7 p.m.

Nov. 4: Marian, 3 p.m.

Nov. 7: Grace, 7 p.m.

Nov. 9: at IU-Kokomo, 5 p.m.

Nov. 11: Wright State-Lake, 1 p.m.

Nov. 12: Carlow, 3 p.m.

Nov. 15: Madonna, 6 p.m.

Nov. 18: Siena Heights, 1 p.m.

Nov. 21: UM-Dearborn, 6 p.m.

Nov. 25: Saint Francis, 3 p.m.

Dec. 2: at Cornerstone, 1 p.m.

Dec. 6: at Aquinas, 6 p.m.

Dec. 9: Lourdes, 1 p.m.

Dec. 15: Concordia, 6 p.m.

Dec. 17: Wright State-Lake, 3 p.m.

Dec. 19: Great Lake Christian, 6 p.m.

Dec. 31: at West Virginia Tech, 3 p.m.

Jan. 3: at Lawrence Tech, 6 p.m.

Jan. 6: at Northwestern Ohio, 1 p.m.

Jan. 10: Rochester, 6 p.m.

Jan. 13: at Siena Heights, 1 p.m.

Jan. 17: at Madonna, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 20: Cornerstone, 1 p.m.

Jan. 24: Aquinas, 6 p.m.

Jan. 27: at Lourdes, 1 p.m.

Jan. 31: at UM-Dearborn, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 3: at Rochester, 1 p.m.

Feb. 10: Northwestern Ohio, 1 p.m.

Feb. 14: Lawrence Tech, 6 p.m.

Feb. 17: at Concordia, 1 p.m.

5 facts

• Coach Jessie Biggs is entering her sixth year at the head of the program. Biggs has an overall record of 90-69 and a 71-39 mark in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. During the summer of 2105 she was named associate director of athletics and senior women's administrator.

• The team is ranked No. 14 in the NAIA Division II Preseason Poll and No. 1 in the WHAC after going 25-8 overall, 18-4 in the WHAC.

• The Warriors fell to Siena Heights in the second round of the conference tournament but received an at-large bid to the national tournament. They fell to No. 5 seed Tabor in the first round.

• The conference's target is now on the Warriors with the departure of Davenport. “I think it opened up the door,” Biggs said. “That's one thing that they were kind of always on top and being picked first this year is a little different than Davenport being picked first because everybody's like, 'We can get that spot, we can get there.' “I definitely think we have a mark on our back as far as that's the game that everybody's going to be coming for. We have to be ready to go every single day.”

• The team finished No. 4 in NAIA Division II standings in 3-point field goal shooting (37.6 percent), sixth in total 3-pointers made (312), sixth in field goal shooting (45.4 percent), seventh in 3-pointers per game (9.5) and No. 10 in scoring margin (18.8).

4 games of interest

Nov. 4 vs. No. 1 Marian: The Knights are two-time defending national champions. For a team that is looking to start winning on the national tournament stage, Marian provides the perfect early-season benchmark.

Nov. 18 vs. No. 22 Siena Heights: The WHAC matchup against the team that knocked them out of the conference tournament last year. The Saints fell to now-departed Davenport in the WHAC championship.

Nov. 25 vs. No. 21 Saint Francis: A crosstown rivalry game is made better when both teams are ranked highly in their respective conferences and nationally.

Dec. 6 at Aquinas: The Saints received a few transfers from Davenport that should strengthen their roster and present with additional challenges.

3 key players

Keanna Gary, Sr., C: The first-team All-American averaged 17.8 points and 11.9 rebounds last season.

Haley Cook, Sr., G: The third-team All-American averaged 17.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season and led the team with 56 steals.

Kendall Knapke, Jr., G: The player the team has dubbed “Steady Eddie” averaged 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds her sophomore season.

2 points of concern

Consistency: The Warriors are obviously on the right path to achieving success, but the focus is on a consistent effort in every practice and playing as they practice. “If you know what you're going to get and you know what you're going to bring every day, it doesn't matter what the other team does, you'll be in the game,” Biggs said. “We've been working on consistency and just progressing and getting a little better every single day.”

Working in the newcomers: “I think our sophomores have had a year in the system, they're starting to learn it and our incoming kids are picking up on it pretty well. It's just matchups, being able to shoot it. Our kids get into the gym a lot, they work hard and they do the extra things. I'm a firm believer in all that stuff pays off.”

1 major issue

Complacency: For a team with four of five starters returning and a team that advanced to the national championship tournament last year, there's the battle of ensuring progress still happens. “I think, for us, it's battling the everyday,” Biggs said. “It's the, 'Can you come focused and bring what you can every day to make us better?'Are you complacent and happy with where you're at? Or do you want to push to continue to make progress?' I think that's something that every team or every person battles in life. Do you want to progress in life or are you content with where you're at? It's just pushing to that next level.”

– Aubree Reichel, The Journal Gazette