Brian Morehouse didn't feel the need to deliver an impassioned speech to his unbeaten Hope College women's basketball team when he walked into the locker room at halftime in a close game against Kalamazoo College.
He's found that's generally not what helps this year's Flying Dutch.
"We have a great group of players on this team. Work ethic is not a problem. Effort is not a problem. They know how to correct what's going on," Morehouse said after his team dominated the second half and marched to an 84-49 victory Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse. "I just walked in and said, "What has to be better guys?" We talked about effort and rebounding and checking people off the glass and running the floor in transition and being a more intentional screener and getting a teammate open.
"It was all stuff that they know and they went out in the second half and they really did a great job of it. I was really pleased with our second half."
The Flying Dutch outscored Kalamazoo 51-23 in the second half en route to their 14th win of the season and fifth in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.
Hope erupted for 32 points in the third quarter alone.
Fourteen different players finished scoring for the MIAA-leading Flying Dutch, who remained one game ahead of three second-place teams who were victorious Saturday: Albion, Calvin, and Trine.
Hope equaled its season-high with 11 3-pointers — from six different players — to overcome a season-low 56.5 percent performance from the foul line (13-23).
Sophomore Celina King of Cincinnati, Ohio (Mount Notre Dame) sank five 3-pointers and collected a career-high 17 points.
King, pictured, hit all three of her 3-point attempts during a nine-point third quarter and had 14 points in the second half.
Junior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS) added seven points and a game-high eight rebounds after sitting out Wednesday's win at Trine due to injury.
The Flying Dutch's investment in each other paid big dividends against Kalamazoo (5-8, 2-3 MIAA), Morehouse said.
"When you have teammates that like each other, that allows you to have a good relationship," Morehouse said. "When you have a good relationship, there's open and honest communication. When there's open and honest communication, there's constructive criticism. With constructive criticism comes improvement."
Buchanan and King agreed.
"Every halftime, everyone 1 to 15 says, we've go to do this, we've got to do that. We talk through things," Buchanan said. "That's awesome we're so deep as a team. We listen to each other so well."
Added King, "People coming off the bench aren't afraid to tell the starters what needs to be done. The starters aren't afraid to tell us. We support each other."