Despite consistency challenges, Lady Buffs finish proud
The CU women’s basketball team’s season came to an end last week after a loss to top-seeded Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament.
Even though the Buffs’ season was cut short, the team had a solid year. It was filled with ups and downs, as junior standout Jackie McFarland remembers it.
“I think this season was full of ups and downs in so many ways. I think we had a lot of good things happen. We played really well at home. We struggle a little bit on the road,” McFarland said.
The Buffs improved from last year in a few ways. In terms of the overall record, the Buffs finished 13-17 with a Big 12 Conference record of 6-10. The Buffs managed to finish 9-21 overall and 3-13 in the Big 12 during the 2005-2006 season.
“Last year, I think we didn’t really have a whole lot of options. I think we’re kind of short-handed, and a lot was learned last year with new coaching and new players. I think this year we really grew into our offense,” McFarland said.
But one of the major problems the Buffs faced all year was inconsistency. The team had a few winning streaks followed by a losing streak.
“We did really well for a stretch and won some games, then we turn around and lose to teams that we probably should not have lost to. I think that came a lot with the amount of young players that we were playing,” McFarland said.
McFarland also said it’s hard to be consistent when a team has so much youth. Still, the team was led by McFarland and senior Jasmina Ilic throughout the season.
McFarland had an excellent season, averaging team highs with 17.8 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. She was selected to the All-Big 12 Conference first team.
“I was really, really excited to be first team. I think it’s a great accomplishment, especially when you look at the other types of players on that list,” McFarland said.
Ilic was an honorable mention to the All-Big 12 team. She finished her senior year averaging 12.4 points per game. McFarland talked about Ilic and the void she leaves in the starting lineup.
“Jasmina is an amazing player. She is probably our best guard, especially at scoring this year,” McFarland said.
McFarland also said the team could hopefully fill her spot with some younger players stepping in next season.
Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller was a leader and motivator for the Buffs. After her second season with the program, CU appears to be on the right track with the women’s basketball program.
“I think the No. 1 thing is her intensity and just her energy. She is a very competitive person,” McFarland said about McConnell-Miller.
At the end of the season, McFarland said the team had really good chemistry, which is one of the reasons for the improvement from last season.
“I think that goes along with how versatile we were. We had different players step up at different times. This is one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on,” McFarland said.
But the Buffs will look to carry this season with them next year and try to use it as a tool for further improvement.
“I think we ended on a pretty good note,” McFarland said. “We improved a lot. It was a good year.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Kyle McDaniel at email@example.com.
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