Lisa Kowalewski being relaxed on the basketball court is the most important factor to scoring baskets.
Kowalewski, a junior guard, has been relaxed for most of her Columbia College career. She has scored 1,113 points as a Cougar, second to Missy Wilt’s 1,117.
“My dad has always told me to smile when I’m out there,” Kowalewski said. “Smiling makes the shots a lot easier to go in. Or maybe it’s a lot easier to smile when the shots go in. I haven’t figured out which way it is.”
Kowalewski will have an opportunity to set the record Saturday against Pittsburg State (4-3) at 2 p.m. at Hickman.
“Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to set the record a little higher,” Kowalewski said. “Missy had two years to do it and she set a really high goal. This is my third year, so I guess it’s not as cool, but I’m lucky to have four years to do it in.”
Kowalewski said she takes extra pride in the record in that she helped to start the program. Also, coach Mike Davis told the players that with the start of the program they would have the chance to set the records.
No. 19 Columbia College (6-4) uses an up-tempo offense, which Kowalewski said gives the team plenty of scoring opportunities.
“It’s run ‘n’ gun,” Kowalewski said. “It’s a fun situation to be in because we’re all looking for each other.”
This season, Kowalewski has been the top scoring option for the Cougars after spending the previous two years battling Wilt for that honor, a battle that helped Kowalewski improve.
“They went head-to-head in practice every day,” Davis said. “That helped her develop tremendously. I think being pushed in practice, every day at your spot, that is kind of sink or swim and if you are a competitive person, you’re better for it.”
While growing up in St. Charles, Kowalewski began to play for the St. Charles Flames and coach Jerry Booker, who stressed fundamentals.
Davis said that Kowalewski has continued to improve by working hard on those fundamentals at Columbia College.
“Lisa is a very good shooter,” Davis said. “When you kind of watch people shoot, some people the ball comes off their hand the right way and some it doesn’t. She’s one of those when the ball comes off her hand it always has a chance to go in.”