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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
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Roos Women’s Basketball: A Season of Grit, Travel Woes, and Growth

Coach Dionnah Jackson-Durrett speaks on the Roos 2023-24 Season and Beyond
Freshman+guard%2C+Elauni+Bennett+celebrates.
Julia Kapros
Freshman guard, Elauni Bennett celebrates.

There is little down time for a college basketball coaching staff with new transfer rules and name, image and likeness deals changing college athletics.

  Before getting the ball fully rolling on recruiting and next season, Coach Jackson-Durrett took time to reflect on this past season for the Roos.  

  “It is an adjustment when you bring in so many new players and staff,” Jackson-Durrett said. “Trying to make that adjustment and the dedication needed for the Summit League is something next season I think we will have more consistently.” 

  Despite a losing record overall (12-20, 3-9 Summit League) to end the season, the team was able to maintain a winning record when playing at Swinney Recreation Center. A facet of having the local fan base and students along with a team not being well experienced with travel helped see this change from home to away. 

  “I think a lot of that comes from having a lot of local kids that either have played in the Midwest and they bring that fanbase with them,” Jackson-Durrett said. 

  Speaking on her team’s road performance, “You have to be a mature team to play on the road, it was difficult to be in those environments at times. With a year under their belt, next season will be different,” Jackson-Durrett said.

  To pair with their home court success, the team received three conference awards. Emani Bennett was named to the All-Freshman Team, and sophomore Alayna Contreas and graduate student Dominique Phillps being named to the All-Newcomer squad.  

  While the team was not able to replicate the postseason they had in 2022-23, remembering that they were able to improve on their regular season record and having room for growth is important when starting to look beyond this season. 

  “We went on a five game winning streak, so we know what this team is capable of,” Jackson-Durett said. “We want to have a winning record in the Summit League next season.”

  Reflecting on this season is something that Jackson-Durrett sees as being important for not just her team but all students on campus.

  “You can learn from your losses. You have to learn from the season, but you also have to stack on top of the wins.”

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Julia Kapros
Julia Kapros, Photography Editor/Social Media Manager
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