Dane Pavlovich’s body language showed his frustration in the first half Wednesday night.
Pavlovich paced the sideline, shook his head, put his head in his hands and even sat on the end of the bench by himself for a moment.
It wasn’t the first half he envisioned for his Stephens College basketball team in its game against winless St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
The Stars were able to turn their play around in the second half, defeating the Eutectics 61-44 at Silverthorne Arena.
“We definitely played at Pharmacy’s level tonight,” Pavlovich said. “They’re difficult to play because they play a different style of ball. They wanted to slow it up and we wanted to force our tempo. I think our team was raring too much to force our tempo.”
Stephens (5-20) led 26-24 at the end of a grueling first half.
“(At halftime) I challenged them to be better,” Pavlovich said. “Motivation has got to come from within. It’s got to be some sense of that from inside. We were looking for some individual to step up and give us some intensity.”
Stars junior Josy Sanders answered her coach’s plea, scoring seven points early in the second half, but Pavlovich said her leadership against the Eutectics (0-24) was most valuable.
“When she came out of the game, I (told her) that I thought that she picked us up,” Pavlovich said. “She was able to provide some leadership not only with some points but with some intensity as well.”
With the game tied at 29, Stephens outscored the Eutectics 32-15 in the last 18 minutes.
“Collectively, we definitely picked it up in the second half,” Pavlovich said. “We were able to keep our runs. We combined the run with a nice offensive output but also got stops on the defensive end. I was more pleased with the second half. The intensity overall was a lot better.”
Stephens freshman forward Pam Dodge led all scorers with 20 points.
“Anytime you play against a zone, you try to get them to where they’re moving and get them to spread out and the middle’s open,” Pavlovich said. “We tried to do some things to get the ball inside.”
The Stars (5-20) finish their season tonight at home against Principia College (1-17). The game was rescheduled from Jan. 10 because Principia did not have enough available players .
Pavlovich said that his team will have to execute better overall to win against Principia.
“We’re going to have to do better offensively against the man (defense),” Pavlovich said. “We looked lost when they switched to the man with five minutes left. We’ll have to do better on the boards. They got way too many offensive boards. We weren’t fundamentally sound to make contact on the box out. It has to be an every time thing.”
Nonetheless, Pavlovich was happy to get the win.
“I guess it’s a good situation to be a little bit disappointed in the way we played but still get the win,” Pavlovich said. “We get to come right back out tomorrow night and prove to ourselves that we’re capable of playing better because we are.”