Spaulding Gymnasium hasn’t been overly kind to the Keene State College Women’s Basketball team thus far into the 2012-13 campaign. The Owls post a 4-6 record at home this season while only hosting two more contests in the regular season on their home court.
However, KSC’s players feel the struggles on the court aren’t caused by the environment of play, but how they play as a team.
KSC finished 13-3 at home last season to credit their 19-10 overall record, but this season has shown onlookers that there is an ample amount of change that can fluctuate a team from season to season.
The Owls graduated four of their five starters from last season leaving senior Siobhan Carnell as the only main-minute returnee.
As of Jan. 22, Carnell leads the team in scoring by averaging over 16 points per game which lands her second in the Little East Conference in the offensive category.
With the exception of sophomore Christan Wojtas, the Owls have shown minimal support cushioning the offensive side of the ball.
The team also signed a mid-season transfer student Kelsey Cognetta who has helped strengthen the team’s guard play.
KSC finds themselves in the middle of the Little East standings while planted fifth in the conference of eight teams in overall scoring.
The Owls score just under 60 points per game.
Nikki Cote, assistant coach of the Owls and a graduate from last year’s program, said the Owls need some more fire-power to work with Carnell on offense if they want to win games. “Right now what isn’t working is the fact that we aren’t adjusting to the defense when they do stop Siobhan [Carnell],” Cote said.
Carnell is the only senior on the Owls who would classify KSC as a “young” team.
Cote said that along with working on their game outside of practice, focus is the missing link to winning games.
“Focus is a big thing right now, I think it’s what we’re lacking,” Cote said. “We’re not playing people the way we talk about playing them during practice.”
Cote said that studying opponents before games is necessary to coming out and playing well the following day.
Carnell said that scouting the teams is important along with communicating when it matters the most.
“We need to know what defense we’re supposed to be in against the personnel,” Carnell said. “They [coaches] give us a scouting report before every game which tells us who can do what on the other team.”
“Everyone needs to know what possible match ups that can happen on a switch and knowing with their tendencies are as a team,” Carnell said.
Junior Brianna McCain said that focusing on style of play is important right now at this point in the season.
“Coach always tells us to look at each possession as ‘score, stop, score’,” McCain said. “We do this in practice all the time. I think that is what we really need to focus on.”
The KSC Owls hold a 7-11 record as they enter their second wave of contests with fellow Little East Conference opponents.
With a 2-6 conference record currently, the Owls have six games left in the LEC.
Every LEC team is chasing University of Southern Maine, who is undefeated on the season.
“We played pretty well against Southern Maine in the break,” Carnell said. “We can play well against any team in our conference and have a chance to win every game.”
Nikki Cote said she wants the Owls to be able to get past their first round games in the post-season with hopes of the team making a run.
“Hopefully we can get past round one and get into the semis,” Cote said. “But, we’ve got to just take it game by game.”
Keene travels to Gorham, Maine, on Feb. 2 to play the University of Southern Maine Huskies.
The Owls are 2-5 on the road this season and in the past three seasons, KSC has played their better conference basketball at home.
Brian Schnee can be contacted at