A month from now, the Wichita State women's basketball team will be able to look back at this week's road trip and see either an opportunity lost or an opportunity taken.
Coming off a monumental road victory at Missouri State, typically the toughest place to play in the Missouri Valley, the Shockers now have a chance to extend the streak with games at Evansville today and Southern Illinois on Saturday.
Those teams have six wins between them and are at the bottom of the league standings.
"I think we're focused," sophomore Haleigh Lankster said. "We're not leaning on that win. We appreciate the win, but our focus right now is straight ahead and it's always straight ahead."
If WSU is to take the next step and maintain its position in the upper half of the Missouri Valley, road wins are necessary. And to do that, it will need to recapture its vigor the Missouri State win.
"I think we had a type of mentality," Lankster said. "We wanted desperately to get a win. When it was overtime, we looked over at the other team and we saw how tired they were. We found that little bit of extra energy and we put it into gear."
But as second-year coach Jody Adams has often said this season, "We don't get too high with the highs and too low with the lows."
Adams is the first to remind her players one win doesn't make a season. Earlier this month, the Shockers lost by 41 points at Creighton.
"I don't think we can take any teams lightly because this conference is shaky," Lankster said. "Any team can beat any team, so I think we still have to bring that same mentality to every game."
But with wins over Bradley (third place) and Missouri State (tied with WSU for fourth), the Shockers are in good position to finish strong. This weekend might be looked back upon as the turning point of the season.
"I think that game can be a real jumping point for us," Lankster said. "We have to come back strong and hard, though. But I think it really has moved the program (in the right direction)."