Pointer disappointed after NU loss
UIC coach Tasha Pointer knew facing Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston would be tough.
“Obviously, we wanted to win,” she said. “We didn’t give our best effort.”
The difficult road game Nov. 15 against the Wildcats was scheduled way before the former NU assistant coach left last season to coach the Flames.
Thursday night’s game was the first time Pointer had appeared at Welsh-Ryan as a head coach. And though UIC lost 87-44, she feels the matchup can have a positive impact.
“Northwestern came out and punched us first and we didn’t know how to respond,” Pointer told reporters after the game. “For UIC, we have to allow this game to drive us to be better.”
NU coach Joe McKeown praised Pointer’s performance.
“I just think great things are ahead for her at UIC,” he said. “They made a commitment to women’s basketball when they hired her last spring. I think you’re going to see that over the next couple of years.”
Pointer is confident the Flames will bounce back.
“First of all, Coach McKeown is a phenomenal coach. One of the things that I learned from him was — no matter what — run your stuff and have great expectations of your team and have your team execute,” she said.
Pointer had hoped for a more triumphant homecoming after beating Valparaiso 75-65 on Nov. 7.
“Coming into the (NU) game I was just conflicted,” she said. “Who wants to lose to their former team and, for that matter, any team?”
Anytime you take over a program that hasn’t been as successful, “you have to appreciate these moments and in between because they are teaching moments,” Pointer said.
“Moving forward, for us at UIC, it is allowing moments like this to help elevate our mentality, our culture and really transform the program,” she said.