by Michael Rowse
WNMU Lady Stangs basketball entered the Rusty Kennedy era in a big way as the team snapped a 35 game losing streak by opening the 2012-13 season with a victory over the University of the Southwest, 77-56. Coach Kennedy told his team before the game that this season was about streaks, mostly breaking the losing streaks; 35 in a row overall, 27 in a row in the RMAC; the losing streaks at home and on the road, then building winning streaks. Coach Kennedy has no illusions about winning championships this year, but believes if his team focuses on each and every game with the idea that they are going to get better, the Lady Stangs will win some games this year.
The home team got off to a quick start as the Kim Clark hit a 3 point shot followed by layup from Heather Hamilton for a 5-0 lead. USW would come back to tie the game at 9 before Western put together a 7-0 run sparked by a Clark trey and another three pointer from Morgan Wohltman. The lead would reach 9 and stay that way for most of the half. The visiting Mustangs of USW wouldn't go away and pulled within 5 but Wohltman nailed a jumper followed by a Kassie Scott 2 pointer and the Stangs had a 35-26 lead going into the break.
WNMU didn't let up in the second half as they could smell victory. Wohltman hit a 3 pointer, Hamilton nailed a pair of free throws and and Scott added a 2 point jump shot to build the Lady Stang lead to 15 early in the second half. The Mustangs would keep the lead in double digits for the rest of the night with good defense, solid offensive play and rebounding. Andrea Reiff hit a couple of shots to build the Lady Stang lead to over 20 points and it was a race to the end for the Western victory.
WNMU shot 47% from the floor on the night while holding USW to just 28% shooting. The effort saw four players end the night in double figure scoring. Wohltman was 9-16 to lead the home team with 22 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals. Scott, last season's leading scorer tallied a double/double with 15 points and 11 boards followed by Clark with 14 points and Hamilton with 11 points and 6 caroms.
WNMU hits the road for their second game playing at Texas A&M International on Tuesday.