Clark v. RiverHawks
RiverHawks rolled past conference rival Clark in their matchup on Saturday, Jan. 19. Umpqua women’s basketball team improved their record to 15-3 with their victory against Clark in Vancouver, Washington, topping Clark by a score of 96-70.
Riverhawk forward Darian Mitchell tallied 18 points to go along with her four rebounds and three steals. Umpqua’s top offensive threat, Taylor Stricklin, continued her solid play against Clark and led all scorers with 30 points, shooting an efficient nine of 17 from the field.
“As the only sophomore on the team, Taylor has become a focal point for opposing defenses which has caused her workload to increase slightly. She’s had to watch more game film to see how other teams may guard her,” head coach Dave Stricklin said.
After a closely contested first quarter, Umpqua controlled the pace of the game by out-rebounding Clark, 41 to 26. Umpqua’s strength on the glass helped UCC score 29 second-chance points.
“After the first quarter, we started to relax,” Stricklin explained
“Last year’s team was different. This year we have people on the team who are playing certain teams for the first time, playing at certain venues for the first time, everything is a first for this group, and I just think that in some of those games we’re a little bit nervous to start with until we get into the flow of the game, and then we realize we’re going to be alright.”
Holding a 12-point lead entering the second half, Umpqua kept their foot on the gas, outscoring Clark 22-10 in the third quarter. With a 73-46 lead, Umpqua held off any late game push from Clark, ultimately winning the game by a final score of 96-70.
“When we recruit players, we try to get the most competitive people here, and when in games we try not to pay too much attention to the score board. There is a right way to do things, and there is a right way to play regardless of the score. We’re trying to develop the habit of playing the right way. There’s no secret to our team’s motivation other than wanting to be the best athletes they can be. The only way you can do that is to stay focused and continue to play as hard as possible, regardless of the score,” Stricklin said.
Riverhawks v. Chemeketa
The RiverHawks looked to ride the momentum from their victory against Clark into their matchup against Chemeketa in Roseburg on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Umpqua toppled Chemeketa on the way to their fifth straight victory with a final score of 70-48 in the RiverHawks favor.
Despite a closely contested first quarter that finished 10-9 in Umpqua’s advantage, the RiverHawks jumped ahead double digits by half time. Chemeketa did not go down easy; the team made some second half adjustments and were able to keep pace with the RiverHawks in the third quarter, outscoring Umpqua 20-19.
Even with Chemeketa increasing their intensity on the defensive side of the ball, they ultimately fell short. UCC would take no chances allowing a comeback, crushing Chemeketa by a fourth quarter score of 20-7. Umpqua ended up beating Chemeketa by a final score of 70-48.
Guard Taylor Stricklin continued to have the hot hand for Umpqua, notching a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“Every team in the NWAC knows who [Taylor] is,” Stricklin said of the Umpqua guard.
Grace Campbell stuffed the stat sheet with her performance, tallying eight points and six rebounds to go along with her four assists.
Umpqua’s record now stands at 16-3 overall and 5-1 in their respective conference. The RiverHawks look to continue their streak on the road where they will match up against Portland, in Portland on Saturday, Jan. 26 where tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.