The women’s basketball team has yet to win a game in the Great Plains Athletic Conference this season and finds itself sitting in last place with its 0-13 record.
Since the beginning of December, the team’s only win this season was against non-conference opponent Haskell Indian Nations University back in November 2019. After that win the team has lost eight straight GPAC matches.
Interim Head Coach Baumgartner appreciates the toughness of the GPAC for their team.
With half of the conference ranked in the top 15, “Every game is a great opportunity to play against the best players and coaches in the country at this level,” he said. “You never have a night off and have to be ready to play each and every night.”
Baumgartner took over the Tigers in November 2019 after the resignation of Head Coach Sheronda Powell according to Doane Athletics.
He is currently 1-9 since taking over.
Senior guard Cheyenne Ostrander praised Baumgartner for the changes he’s made since taking over.
“Coach Baumgartner has really helped us build a solid foundation both on and off the court,” Ostrander said. “He has done a really good job at keeping us accountable not only as players of the game but also as students and people within the community. Coach Baumgartner has been a big blessing to this team and we are very thankful for him.”
According to Baumgartner, the biggest change the team has made since he took over is changing to a man-to-man defense. With the change in tactics and coaching, he says obstacles are to be expected.
However, he credits the team’s willingness and receptiveness to doing things different made the transition much easier.
Looking back on the first half of GPAC play, Ostrander was happy to see that her teammates never gave up. Even if the team is down by a fair amount of points at halftime, they continue to fight until the last buzzer.
According to Ostrander, one key for the team to do well in these final 9 matches is to focus in the first half of the game.
“We all need to have more confidence in ourselves and know that we can beat any opponent when we do what we are supposed to do,” Ostrander said.
Baumgartner is hoping to have a healthy squad going into the backstretch of games as depth would be very beneficial for the team.
On the court, he is hoping the team can continue to improve taking care of the ball and valuing every offensive possession.
“The effort is always there, it is more of the mental aspect that we are focusing on from a basketball standpoint,” Baumgartner said.
The Tigers return to action this week against College of Saint Mary at home at 6 p.m. on Thursday.