The Lady Sharks women’s basketball team is 9-1 in the past ten games, including a seven-game winning streak in December.
Undefeated at home (6-0), the reigning Southern Conference Champions are hoping to capitalize on their most recent success to propel them through conference play and repeat as conference champions. The Lady Sharks are 12-7 on the season.
Head coach Susan Summons said several factors have contributed to her team’s recent success.
“Their ability to play together as a team and recognize the impact they can have in the game if they play as a team on the offensive end and defensive end,” Summons said. “Our full-court zone press and trapping defense has been a factor. We’ve been working on it all season and they’re starting to embrace it.”
After starting the season 3-6, the Lady Sharks have used a stifling defense of late to keep opposing offenses at bay. They have solidified their identity as a unit that plays hard-nosed basketball, not allowing second-chance opportunities and turning opponent’s missed shots into easy points in transition. During their most recent 10-game stretch, the Lady Sharks are holding opponents to 71 points per game, outscoring them by 21.2 points per contest.
“Games are won on the defensive ends and on the boards,” Summons said. “It’s a huge factor.”
On the season, the Lady Sharks are seventh in the nation in points per game (88.9), fourth in rebounds per game (50.4) and thirteenth in rebounding margin (15.5). They are also averaging more turnovers than assists (17.8 to 17.2).
“You’re bound to have a bad shooting night,” Summons said. “I’m just glad those nights have happened now and not later when we’re in conference [play] and we’re trying to win a conference championship.”
Summons said the team’s biggest key this season has been their depth.
Four players—Ganette Chism, Michelle Pruitt, Daliyah Brown and Toi Smith—are averaging double digits in scoring with Brown leading the team with 16.8 points per game.
Pruitt is also averaging a double-double this season, averaging 15.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per contest.
“We have players across the team that can step in the game and improve our play when we need them,” said Pruitt, a forward.
The Lady Sharks’ next game is at home at the Theodore R. Gibson Health Center, 11011 S.W.104th St., against Broward College on Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m.