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Defense key to women’s second victory

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Jeramie Barletta (’13) sparked the Rangers with 14 points (Photo from drewathletics.com)
Jeramie Barletta (’13) sparked the Rangers with 14 points (Photo from drewathletics.com)

Jeramie Barletta (’13) sparked the Rangers with 14 points (Photo from drewathletics.com)

After a shaky start to the season, the Lady Rangers have found a way to pull out two wins in their first five games. In those five games, the Lady Rangers have made defense the priority, allowing 55 ppg, ranking them fourth in the Landmark and holding their opponents to a 32 percent shooting average. They rank second in the Landmark and have collected 219 rebounds for third in conference. The team has also forced 90 turnovers, ranking fourth in the Landmark, and blocked 16 shots for third in the Landmark. “The key to our success is embedded in our defense,” Senior Co-Captain Jen Mateo (’13) said. “When we play as a unit, we can be tough to score on.”

The team has found a way to win, and they’re finding it in many ways. Like their male counterparts, shooting from beyond the three-point arch seems to be a specialty for the Lady Rangers, averaging five per game. Co-captain Whitney Mackay (’13) leads the team in scoring with 10 ppg, and standout Courtney Stephens (’16) is second on the team, with nine ppg and a season high of 19 coming in a victory of Centenary College, adding  10 rpg. “Courtney has been huge for us this year. We knew she was going to be a solid player for us, but we didn’t expect this impact this early,” Mateo said. Another standout player for the Lady Rangers is Jeramie Barletta (’13). Barletta has stepped into her role well. Coming off the bench to start the season, and now working her way into the starting line up, she is averaging seven ppg, and shooting 40 percent from behind the three-point line. In the team’s last game against Baptist Bible, Barletta was the leading scorer for the game with 14 points.

In the wins against Centenary and Baptist Bible, the Lady Rangers were able to produce big runs to break open the games. On Wednesday, against Baptist Bible, the team rallied off a 10-0 run that opened the floodgates and helped seal the victory and a 14-0 run against Centenary. 17 points and 11 assists from Mateo helped the rangers open up a big lead in that game which they would not give up. “Runs can spark any team, but for us it instills confidence and allows us to be unselfish and have fun,” Mateo said.

The Lady Rangers open conference play with a home game on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Baldwin Gym. Defense will once again need to be the key, as they play Catholic University of America who is second in the conference in scoring. “Our defense will win us our games,” Mateo said. “We have to keep the turnovers down and play like a team.”