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Eastern Oregon University’s basketball player Brittney Newcomb is a lethal scorer, even when her shots aren’t falling from behind the 3-point arc. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Eastern Oregon University’s Brittney Newcomb abilities can make up for the occasional off night
Great scorers are going to find a way to score. It might not always be pretty, but in the end it’s just as effective, and Eastern Oregon University women’s basketball player Brittney Newcomb is a great scorer. Getting the ball to go through the net is built into her DNA.
It’s easy to see that on paper. Newcomb leads the team in scoring with 23 points per game, which also puts her third in NAIA Division II.
The senior typically makes her living from behind the arc. Her quick release, and ability to create space, makes her a lethal at any time.
But, sometimes the shots don’t fall. Newcomb still found a way to keep her team in the game against College of Idaho, which is what the great ones do.
Newcomb opened the game 1-of-8 from behind the arc in her team’s win against College of Idaho, pressing a little bit on her shots.
It was what she did in the midst of that rough stretch that sets her apart from a majority of other basketball players —she found a way to be effective.little bit on her shots.
It was what she did in the midst of that rough stretch that sets her apart from a majority of other basketball players —she found a way to be effective.
She got to the free-throw line and set up her teammates.
Newcomb scored 33 points in the Mountaineers last win, 85-83, against the College of Idaho. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Newcomb had 17 points in the first half against College of Idaho, shooting 3-of-10 from behind the arc. She picked up three assists, and made all four attempts from the free throw line, and finished the game 9-of-10.
She finished the game with five assists, but defenders still had to worry about Newcomb even without the ball in her hand. Sagging off their own responsibilities on defense, making it easier for her teammates to score.
Her quickness sets her apart. It’s a chess match for her, and Newcomb is usually three moves ahead of her defender. Her quick crossover keeps the defender on their heels, and her quick release forces them to close out hard. That often turns into a shot fake followed by a foul.
Newcomb did that twice on her way to 33 points last Friday.
She’s also relentless. Many shooters would have simply stopped firing at the basket. But Newcomb knows all it takes is for one to go down before the shots start falling in bunches. That mental toughness is rare, but vital in the DNA of a true scorer. After the poor start from behind the arc, Newcomb finished by shooting 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point line.
Then there’s sheer strength. Newcomb is strong for her 5-foot-7 frame. It’s somewhat rare to see a 4-point play. But, Newcomb pulled off the feat twice during the win against the Yotes. Muscling the ball to the hoop despite contact that knocked her off balance.
Not only doesn’t it help put points on the board quickly, but it works the rest of the team into a frenzy, and the home crowd.
Great players know how to adapt their game, which may mean that Newcomb has a little chameleon in her basketball DNA.