Michelle Clark-Heard, Alexis Govan preview Saturday’s game at Northern Kentucky

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team (3-1) visits Northern Kentucky at 6 p.m. CST Saturday, and we met with coach Michelle Clark-Heard and junior guard Alexis Govan today to preview that game. After the NKU game, WKU returns home to host No. 4 Louisville at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Here are Heard and Govan’s comments:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

Where is the team at right now? “This last game, we were putting some things together. Being able to go on the road and shoot 63 percent – I don’t know any time in my coaching career that’s been done. It’s not easy, going on the road and shooting that well. We came out of the locker room and got off to a good start, and as a coach, that’s what you expect.”

Breakout game for Govan: “It’s a different situation for Chastity and Alexis this year, because now everyone knows about them. Everyone’s scouting report has those two on there, starred and in bold. As a coach, you’re saying you’re not going to let those two beat you. So, as a great player, you always try to find your niche, no matter what it is.”

On Northern Kentucky: “I feel like a broken record these last four games. I’ve been saying, ‘They can shoot the 3, they can shoot the 3.’ Well, Northern Kentucky can shoot the 3 again. We’re going to have to guard on the perimeter and rebound. It wasn’t an easy win for us here last year. They’re playing well, and they play well together.”

Keeping team focused on NKU before Louisville: “It’s very easy. We talk about that we’re four games in. Our basketball team is really smart, too. There are a lot of good teams that have been getting beat early in the season, so we talk to them a lot about that. It’s one game at a time, one place at a time, one opponent at a time.”

Scoring being up: “What we’re trying to do … is put points on the board so people can come out and watch the uptempo – the way we play. They enjoy that. I think that’s one of the things that we’re trying to build upon. When you can put players on the floor that love to have the offense – and know if they play defense, they can come down on offense and not have to slow it down and run sets every time – I think they enjoy that. As a coach, I also know that’s what brings fans and gets them in the stands.”

Debbie Antonelli talking to team before the season: “She’s a very big proponent of offense and scoring. She talked to our players and gave them tips about good teams that do score, and how they score. She talked to them about player shooting the shots they shoot in practice, passing and getting it to open players – things that sound simple.”

ALEXIS GOVAN

Where is the team at right now? “I think we’re starting to hit our stride and get everything flowing. Defensively, it’s coming together, and offensively, we’re starting to pick it up and get on the right track.”

Scoring being up: “Honestly, we didn’t put a lot of emphasis on scoring. It was mainly defending, and our defense has turned into a lot of offense for us. Everybody’s knocking down shots, which makes it even better.”

Her breakthrough game: “I guess it was about time. My teammates have been getting on me about shooting the ball, and (needing) to stop thinking about the shot I just missed. I think I finally got my confidence back.”

Improving defensive transition: “I know definitely today, that’s going to be an emphasis in practice. We’re going to do a lot of drills on picking the ball up early and somebody getting back and covering the basket and getting out on shooters. We have to do that, especially against Northern. They’ve got some shooters.”

Not looking ahead to U of L: “We can’t overlook Northern. We can’t overlook anybody. We have to handle business on the road this weekend and then see what’s going on with Louisville next week.”

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