photos by Tommy Reid

TU women’s basketball finishes difficult season, looks to future

Tulsa opened their season with a 69-62 win at Oklahoma State on December 13. This was after the first four games of the season were canceled due to the delayed start of the NCAA season this year. After a postponed game against Wichita State, Tulsa entered a series of three consecutive losses to close out 2020 against the University of Central Florida (UCF), Temple and the then number 21 ranked University of South Florida (USF). In each of these games, the Golden Hurricane lost by over ten points.

The first scheduled game of 2021 was against Southern Methodist University (SMU), though it was postponed. Tulsa won their next game against Cincinnati by a score of 62-57, and following this, they won their game against Memphis by a score of 72-68. Two losses followed with one against Houston and the other against Tulane.

Back at home, Tulsa beat East Carolina University 68-59. On the next road trip, they lost to Memphis and then beat ECU 68-59, putting them at this point at a record of 4-5. Unfortunately, this was the last win of the regular season, as the Golden Hurricane lost their final seven games of the regular season against Houston, Tulane, then number 14 ranked USF, Temple, UCF, Cincinnati and Wichita State.

In the American Athletic Conference tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, the Golden Hurricane lost their first, and only game, against Wichita State by a score of 76-64.

Despite losing their last seven regular season games and failing to advance to the second round of the postseason, Tulsa Coach Matilda Mossman said, “I think a big thing is in the last two games we’ve improved on the offensive end.” She continued by saying that “having four in double figures is certainly something we’ve strived to have all season long. I felt like Wichita State did a great job of isolating their post and point guard and they got easy buckets on us because we couldn’t get stops.”

Even though the season did not go as Tulsa hoped it would, two of the Golden Hurricane players Maya Mayberry and Wyvette Mayberry earned accolades from the AAC. Maya was named to the AAC third-team all-conference and Wyvette was named to the AAC all-freshman team. Throughout the regular season, Maya had a team leading 14.3 points per game and a fourth ranking 22 assists per game and 20 steals per game. Wyvette, throughout the regular season, achieved a second-place team ranking 12.3 points per game, a team leading of 55 assists per game and a second-place ranking thirty-one steals per game.

Coach Mossman was excited about both accolades. Speaking of Maya’s achievement, she remarked, “Maya has been a coach’s dream – she comes to work every day, never complains and treats her teammates with the utmost respect. She has put in the work to be named as one of the elite players in the AAC.” Discussing Wyvette’s achievement, she stated, “Teams have guarded her with their best defender, they’ve tried to take the ball out of her hands, and they’ve switched defenses on her to take her out of rhythm. She has received everybody’s best shot, yet she has led our team in assists and been our second leading scorer all year. She is just getting started.”

With Maya, Wyvette and the rest of the team expected to improve next season, Tulsa should do better throughout the season and end the season with a better record.

tucollegian | Collegian

Post Author: Tommy Reid