Jody Adams demands her Wichita State women's basketball team play a certain way defensively.
Against Arizona, a season-opening overtime loss, the Shockers failed to meet her expectations. But in a blowout win at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Tuesday, Adams liked what she saw.
WSU's defense had 19 steals and forced 31 turnovers in the 79-53 win that led to 42 points, a trend Adams wants to see continue at 2 p.m. today against George Mason at Koch Arena.
"I liked our activeness and the amount of deflections we had, which led to our transition game," Adams said.
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Adams has shown appreciation to those willing to commit to her style. For those that stray from it, Adams has reserved a spot on the bench.
Junior Haleigh Lankster, Adams' only player with more than a season of Division I experience, has been a perfect example.
Lankster found herself out of position against Arizona too frequently and Adams mentioned her specifically after the game. The starting forward responded with 17 points, a career-high eight steals and five assists at SIU-Edwardsville.
"I thought that Haleigh played like the Haleigh we all know," Adams said. "She played very aggressive, very physical. When she plays like that, she brings a lot to the table."
George Mason (1-1) is coming off a 54-37 loss to Fairfield, a game in which it shot 27.6 percent from the field. It's a chance for the Shockers (1-1) to gain a winning record, as well as improving their defense and rebounding.
"We have to be very disciplined," Adams said. "They're a very athletic team and we're going to have to do the little things right."
That includes rebounding, another Adams early-season emphasis.
WSU has yet to control the boards like Adams thinks her young inside players can, but the SIU-Edwardsville game was a step in the right direction. Adams hopes this game can continue that.
"I thought it was a total team effort," Adams said. "It was just great team defense. We provided great help-side defense and our rotation was good. We made good contact on our box-outs and that was a huge step in the right direction."