Lady Frogs to focus on rebounds against UTA

The women’s basketball team will continue its run through a gantlet of in-state opponents when it faces off against the University of Texas at Arlington at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Fresh off a big upset over No. 3 Maryland, the Lady Frogs still have plenty of room to improve, especially on the boards, head coach Jeff Mittie said.

“I think our rebounding was awful,” Mittie said. “What we’ve seen on film is that there are some things I think that we can teach better.”

Rebounding aside, the Lady Frogs’ effort against Maryland and the University of Texas at San Antonio this weekend was enough to get them voted into the 24th spot of the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week.

“It’s where you want to be,” Mittie said about the team’s rank. “It doesn’t change anything, though, for game night. We’re still the same team that nobody thought was any good a month ago.”

Although he had concerns about his team’s rebounding effort, Mittie did give credit to its offensive performance.

“I thought we were really strong with the basketball,” Mittie said. “That’s an area we had been sporadic with, but I was pleased with our decision making.”

Junior guard TK LaFleur, who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Nebraska, was key to the Lady Frogs’ upset of Maryland by scoring a game-high 28 points. For her effort, LaFleur was named the Mountain West Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.

“I like the fact that she got to the rim some and got to the free throw line,” Mittie said about LaFleur. “She really mixed up her game well.”

This is the first of five games the Lady Frogs will play in the next nine days. Because so many games are packed in to such a short amount of time, Mittie said that film study will be crucial to the team’s improvement.

“When you don’t have practice time, it’s hard to correct mistakes, and it’s easier to drift into some bad habits or drift back into some habits that you’ve been trying to change,” Mittie said. “That’s why we’re really going to try to use film.”

In addition to LaFleur, sophomore guard Helena Sverrisdottir put up solid numbers in both contests over the weekend. Sverrisdottir scored 18 points against Maryland and followed it up with a 19-point, 10-rebound performance against UT-San Antonio.

UTA beat SMU 85-79 in its only game so far this season, and the Lady Frogs have beaten the Lady Mavericks 12 consecutive times. But Mittie said UTA does provide some challenges.

“They’ll be sound defensively, and they probably have as much team speed as anybody we’ve faced all year,” Mittie said.

After UTA, the Lady Frogs will take on Sam Houston State and the University of Houston at home before heading to the Caribbean Challenge tournament in Cancun, Mexico.