The regular season has ended for both the Winona State University’s men and women’s basketball teams. Looking at the NSIC tournament ahead, junior Gabie Doud, the women’s third leading scorer, caught up with The Winonan as her and the rest of the team prep for the playoffs.
The NSIC Preseason Coach’s Poll predicted the Warriors to finish fourth in the Southern Division. With the team currently sitting in that exact spot, what were the team’s expectations coming into this season, and what are the expectations now?
“Our team always has high expectations coming into the season,” Doud said. “Once the season is started all we expect from ourselves is to do whatever we can to win the next game.”
With their 79-68 victory against Southwest Minnesota State University on Feb. 16, Winona State clinched home court advantage for round one of the Sanford Health Women’s Basketball tournament, something that the team did not have a year ago during their run to the NSIC Championship game.
“Clinching a home playoff game was a really awesome feeling for us. It’s always nice to play at home and not have to travel,” Doud said. “It will be fun for all of us and especially the seniors to get another chance to play on our own floor one last time in front of our hometown supporters.”
Last season the team entered the post season as underdogs, and fell just short, what did Doud learn from that experience, and how will that experience make her, and the rest of the team more prepared this time around?
“We all learned from last year that the post season is all about giving 100 percent focus and preparation for the next game,” Doud said. “We also learned that whatever happened prior in the season doesn’t matter and that post season is a new season for us. That experience has made our team and our young players that much more ready for this year’s tournament.”
Now that your junior season is almost to a close, how were your roles as a leader different compared to previous seasons?
“The last three seasons our team has always had amazing senior leaders and that makes it easy for the rest of us to just focus on being the best basketball players in whatever role the team needs,” Doud said. “However, not to take away from the variety of different leaders we have sprinkled throughout the whole team. Every year is another year to learn and grow and our team has grown a lot throughout the season, credit to our coaches for having expectations for us to strive for every day.”
The Warriors will host Minot State this Wednesday in McCown Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.