The women’s basketball team is at the top of its game.
They currently have a 18-2 win-loss record and have the highest rankings they’ve achieved in university history, Coach Bo Overton said.
Ranked seventh in the nation within the National Association for Intercollegiate Atheltics and tied for the Sooner Athletic Conference lead, the women’s basketball team has played tough to get to nationals.
“It feels accomplishing to be a part of a successful basketball team,” Senior Guard Leah Cheney said. “I love being able to strive for something greater with my team because we are capable of achieving it.”
Overton has only been the women’s basketball coach for two years, but he said he’s always thinking of ways to advance the team.
“This university and this athletic program–if you look at all the sports–we have a great tradition,” he said. “So when you take a job like this, there’s really no excuse for OCU not to be at a high level. That’s what we believe, that’s what our players believe, and we work really hard to do that.”
Cheney said she thinks the team’s success is due to their chemistry.
“I think we play well together, and we know how to work together because we all want the same thing, which is to get to nationals and win,” she said.
Overton said their success also is due to the work ethic they develop as OCU students.
“This is a great school, and they come here for that education. I think, because of that, they already have a good work ethic, so that kind of just translates to the basketball court,” he said. “We did really well in the classroom first semester, so they already have that hard work instilled in them.”
A certain player on the team also works hard to lead the team to victories, Overton said.
“We have a special player on this team. I’m pretty sure you know about Daniela Wallen,” he said. “She’s a really special player and has a chance to get a lot of honors this year. She’s doing really well.”
Senior Forward Daniela Wallen is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She’s been on the team since 2015 and has already collected several accolades. This season alone, she’s been a two-time NAIA Player of the Week and a five-time SAC Player of the Week, according to OCUsports.com. She leads the country in scoring, Overton said.
“I have to give all the credit to my coach, only because he makes us work hard every single day to find the way to win,” Wallen said. “As he says, ‘some teams are going up, and some teams are going down; we have to be the team that always goes up.’”
Wallen inspires her teammates through her hard work and dedication to the game, Overton said.
“One of the things about Daniela that’s also great for this team is she’s probably our hardest worker as far as getting work on her own and studying the game,” he said. “When your best player is like that, everybody else follows.”
The team is only about halfway through with its season. Their next home game is against Southwestern Assemblies of God at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center.