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January 25, 2013

Fragile Warhawks look for win

The ULM women's basketball team has seen their share of struggles this 2012-13 season. With just one conference win to their credit and only three over-all, Head Coach Mona Martin has taken it upon herself to get back to her coaching to try and right the Warhawks while in they are in this fragile state.

"It's been very difficult for me, I'm not a fragile person," she said. "I like to holler and fuss, and get mad. At Arkansas State, I was a crazy person, but it did better than trying to keep them calm. I've had to change my philosophy, I've never been one to walk on egg shells, I'm one to get in your face and tell you how it is; I'm blunt. I'm not use to kids being almost in tears after being told they took a bad shot; I just have to stick to what I do. I feel like we are close, but right now we are fragile. We've just lost so many games, and so many close games that we could've won. So when the game gets close, they panic. That's where we have turnovers, and are not sure of ourselves. "

After falling behind early on at Arkansas State, half-time adjustments by the coaching staff helped the Warhawks to outscore the Red Wolves 36-25 in the second half.

"Very frustrating first half, we didn't' get to shoot a free throw, and missed a lot of easy shots, it just seemed like everyone was going in a different direction against Arkansas State," the 18 year coaching veteran said. "We made some corrections at half time, and we played probably the best second half of the year. I love the way our kids came out fired up, we got three steals and scored on all of them. We out shot, out rebounded, and did everything we needed to do."

After having the middle of the week off, Martin is hoping that her squad can regain the momentum this weekend in a 2pm tip-off against Troy. ULM beat the Trojans earlier in the year, a 75-69 decision.

"We are making a lot of mental mistakes, dribbling off our foot, making a pass when there are three players; we are getting better at it though," she said. "Troy has lost two heart breakers on the road to the Florida schools. They have probably the best guards in the conference. They average almost 75 points a game. Offensively we are going to take care of the ball and score on them. Defensively, their guards will shoot the ball, even on a 5-on-1 look."

The key for the Warhawks will be the play of junior Ashleigh Simmons. Simmons has scored double-digits in eight straight games, and picked up her second-straight double-double last week at South Alabama. Her 7.2 rebounds per game places her sixth in the league.



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