After a tough loss on Sunday against Stanford, No. 17 Texas (4-1) is ready to rebound. Spending the off week reviewing footage and trying to learn from mistakes, head coach Gail Goestenkors has confidence in her team.
“The things we had issues with we can fix,” Goestenkors said. “With some more work and some more practice, we are getting both mentally and physically faster.”
In the second of a tough stretch of games, Texas heads to No. 25 Michigan State (6-1) Sunday with high hopes of coming out strong.
Goestenkors, who hails from Waterford, Mich., is looking forward to the opportunity of facing an athletic
“[Michigan State] just beat ranked Florida State at Florida State,” Goestenkors said. “Another great team, they offer us another set of problems we will have to deal with.”
A graduate from nearby Saginaw Valley State University, Goestenkors is familiar with the Michigan State program. As a young girl she regularly attended basketball camps at Michigan State.
Against Stanford, Texas proved its resilience. The squad never gave up fighting, as they continually worked to cut the Cardinal lead.
In an effort to work on mistakes made in past games, Texas has had a week of tough practices filled with watching film and working on their weaknesses.
“Our communication could have been a lot better on defense. There were times when we hesitated,” said junior Ashley Gayle. “Practice has been intense; we are working hard, focusing on things we messed up on and watching a lot of film before practice; really trying to key into all the things we did wrong.”
Now going to Michigan State, the Longhorns are mentally and physically preparing for a great Michigan State team.
“They don’t have the same height, but all of their players shoot the three and shoot the three very well,” Goestenkors said. “Now our post players have to do a better job stepping out and defending the three. When you play great teams, there is a reason they’re good. It’s because they’ve got a lot of talent and it exposes any weakness you may have.”
The Spartans feature senior Kalisha Keane who has scored at least 20 points in her past four games, tying for the most in the Big 10. She has led MSU in scoring in six of seven games this season. She comes in at 15th on the Spartans’ career scoring list with 1,161 points.
“I think it’s going to be another good game on the road, and it’s going to be another test,” Gayle said.
For Goestenkors, returning to her home state Sunday is something she is looking forward to. But just as she continually encourages her squad to remain focused, she looks to remaining focused as well.
“My parents, when it’s basketball season, know it’s all business,” Goestenkors said. “Right now I have 17 family members coming. They’re pretty hard on me. They’ve got high expectations, so we’ve got to come and play.”