By: Julie Laugel/GCU Staff
A slow start to the new year for GCU Club Women’s Basketball.
Coming off the holiday break, the Lopes’ Team 2 entered its first Arizona Women’s Basketball League (AWBL) game of the new year against Park University on Monday night, but never found its rhythm in a 59-27 loss to the Buccaneers. The loss dropped the Lopes to 0-3 in conference play.
With only two practices to prepare for the game following the break, the Lopes focused on getting back into shape.
“We did a lot of conditioning drills, ball handling drills and shootings drills to get the girls back into form and get them back into running shape so that they were ready for the game,” said GCU Team 2 Head Coach Andrew Zemlicka.
The Buccaneers were the fresher of the two teams, though, and jumped on the Lopes early, taking a 22-7 lead after one quarter. The slow start continued for GCU into the second quarter as Park held the Lopes without a point until the final two minutes of the half when GCU’s Kyle Banzuela and Emma Aparicio hit back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 36-13.
After the sluggish first half, Zemlicka looked to the bench to bring in some energy, but the Buccaneer lead was ultimately too much to overcome.
“We had a few come off the bench that I was really impressed with,” said Zemlicka, “It was cool to see some of my bench people actually putting forth the effort needed – even when the score was how it was.”
Banzuela paced the Lopes’ offense with a total of seven points.
“You could kind of see throughout the game that they were mentally checked out and not as prepared for this game as they needed to be,” said Zemlicka, “One thing I drove home with the girls is just play with heart – getting them to play with more passion, more energy, more enthusiasm, because as you watched the game you could see them getting down.”
In other AWBL action Monday, Arizona Christian University Development used an 18-point fourth quarter to pull off a major upset of defending AWBL Champion Bella Vista College Prep Team 1, 61-58; while BVCP Team 2 scored the first 18 points of the game en route to a 71-61 victory over Benedictine University JV.
Women’s Club Basketball returns to GCU’s Canyon Activity Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, beginning at 10 am as GCU Team 1 will face Bella Vista College Prep’s Team 2. Admission is free.