How do you play a team that applies a constant full-court press and a run-and-gun offense filled with plenty of 3-point shots?
It’s a question many coaches are faced with in the Midwest Conference with the likes of the Grinnell men and the Knox women.
Ripon College women’s basketball coach Julie Johnson and her team found the answer last week Saturday.
The Red Hawks held the Knox College Prairie Fire to just 23-percent shooting from the field (15 of 65) and converted on a season-best 56 percent of their shots (40 of 71) en route to a 100-54 victory at home.
The 54 points was 23 below Knox’s season average — which is the highest in the Midwest Conference.
“I think the players executed our game plan really well,” Johnson said. “... [We didn’t] settle for outside perimeter-type shots and attacked the basket. Then, defensively, I thought we boxed out well and crashed the boards on our end as well. The big thing is we had to finish our shots in the paint, because we weren’t going to take as many 3-[pointers], nor make as many 3-[pointers], as they were going to shoot.”
Ripon scored 66 of its 100 points around the basket — capitalizing often on the numbers advantage it had after breaking Knox’s full-court press. Knox scored only 16 points in the paint.
The Red Hawks also held the Prairie Fire, who average 23-percent from behind the 3-point line, to just 5-of-35 shooting (14 percent) from long range, including 1 of 17 (6 percent) in the first half.
Read the full story, which includes information on a overtime loss to Lake Forest, in the Jan. 10, 2013 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.