Inside The Huddle With Simone Egwu
Members of the Virginia women’s basketball team have been blogging throughout the season. In this edition of ‘Inside the Huddle’, Simone Egwu checks in after a 54-47 win at Clemson. The Cavaliers’ new website, www.ExperienceUVaWomensBasketball.com was launched on Jan. 2 – check there and VirginiaSports.com for the latest news and notes on UVa.
I can’t believe our third conference game has already come and gone! This was the first away game we had flown to in awhile, so there was our first big change. I forgot how much I disliked flying—the plane is loud, and going through security feels like it takes decades. But it is nice arriving in about an hour. We got off the plane and went right to Littlejohn Coliseum to get some shots up, to get us used to the rim. Good thing we did, we definitely needed to get used to those rims.
We usually do some sort of shooting competition during shootaround. But this time, instead of the players splitting up and going against each other, Coach B threw in a little twist. It was the players against the staff! We were too busy trying to win to witness all the action, but there were some great moments. Not everyone on the staff may have actually stayed upright during the shooting competition, but some of them were shooting the lights out. I hate to admit it, but they beat us on a couple of the contests. Watch out for Coach Cory on the perimeter is all I have to say.
The start of ACC play has been a wild ride for us. We started out 0-2, but we are leaving South Carolina with a victory. We didn’t play our best game in the first half. Our defense wasn’t as active as it could have been, and we didn’t produce the number of steals we are used to. But we brought a much better energy in the second half. We played solid Virginia basketball, working well together as a team. We got the ball inside which led to some key scores at crucial moments, as well as kick outs to the guards on the perimeter. Overall it was an even offensive effort, and the improvements on the defensive end allowed us to earn our first conference win.
This game, not to mention the previous ones, has really showed us the team we have the potential to be, in a positive and negative direction. Sometimes, you enter the gym unfocused, expecting to walk away with a win. We have definitely learned that you can’t approach any game that way. We play in the ACC, and as everyone knows it is an “any given night” kind of conference. Our losses have taught us that if we play our game, that is to say, we rebound, and we defend as if each game is our last, we can be the great team we all believe we can be. At the same time, we learned from those losses what kind of focus and effort we need to bring absolutely every day to be that amazing team. Our win at Clemson felt good, not just because it was a victory, but because in the first half I think we saw the team we did not want to become. In the second half, we did everything we could to change it. I can’t wait for the rest of this season.