Dragons look to find stride

BY TURNER BLAUFUSS
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The Dragons’ men’s and women’s basketball teams have had an up and down winter break, and both squads are hoping to find some consistency and improve their defensive play.

Advocate File Photo

Advocate File Photo

Head coaches Chad Walthall and Karla Nelson stressed the need to improve following a six game stretch that saw both teams go 3-3.

“We’ve had some good moments, and then some moments where we haven’t had a lot of good. We’re just not playing very good right now,” women’s coach Karla Nelson said.

Coach Chad Walthall’s team has the same struggles with their play, as they can’t string together runs of consistent play.

“We do some things very well some nights, and some nights we’re not as consistent,” Walthall said.

Both MSUM squads show promise on the offensive end, but struggle in their defensive efforts in the recent stretch of games.

“We haven’t been very good at times on the offensive end, and there are times where we have been good. Defensively, we haven’t been close to our best,” Nelson said.

“We’re a pretty good shooting team, but we’ve been having trouble stopping people. We just need to figure out how to guard and get better moving forward,” Walthall said.

A positive side of the stretch of games was Megan Strese’s 1,000th point, forever etching her name in MSUM history.

“It’s a great milestone for her to hit. I think she’s the 20th person in the program to pass 1,000 points,” Nelson said.

Nelson emphasized the need for Strese and the other Dragon leaders to step up their play as a whole.

“We need our players to all play consistently well. Our players shoot well, but overall they all need to play better,” Nelson said.

Like the women’s team, Walthall knows the entire squad needs to get better, and play consistent to improve their team’s record.

“I think we’re a deep team, the issue with that is we need to be more consistent. We’re just not consistent collectively or individually,” Walthall said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, and somehow we need to get a little more consistent.”

The Dragon men and women continue conference play on Friday at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The women tip off at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m.

The teams return to Nemzek Fieldhouse on Jan. 31, hosting Upper Iowa in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.

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