In the Dalhousie Tigers women’s basketball’s final game of the fall semester, Sophie Gaube hit six three-point shots to propel the Tigers to a huge 78-58 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies at the Scotiabank Centre.
Gaube is one of the best shooters in the AUS. At the December break, she leads the league hitting 2.1 three-point shots per game and is fourth in the league in three-point shooting percentage.
But the team’s Head Coach, Anna Stammberger said Gaube is more than a shooter.
“Even people who know something about the game will think of Sophie as a shooter but she is so much more than that,” said Stammberger.
For example, Gaube is one of the best defensive players on the team. The team allows 0.73 points per possession but when Gaube is on the floor, that number drops to 0.526, Ashley Cain is the only other player in the 0.500s.
“I guess I just go on the floor and work hard and that is my main thing,” says Gaube. “Whether it is offence or defence I really pride myself in getting back on defence in transition. Just doing what I can to help the team.”
The foundation of Gaube’s game is her work ethic.
During a practice last year, Gaube rolled her ankle and sprained it. However, she got up and was going to continue practicing but Stammberger insisted she sit out. The next day, Gaube was trying to practice shooting but she couldn’t shoot properly because she was limping and Stammberger had to tell her again to rest.
“She drives everybody at practice crazy with how hard she plays, which is great because she raises that bar of work ethic and intensity at practice,” says Stammberger.
Working on her shot the right way is how she has developed into a strong shooter. When she was in elementary school, her coaches emphasized shooting with proper form, even though many kids shoot with two hands because they get more power.
“I think that really helped me as I progressed throughout basketball – having a strong base,” says Gaube.
When she moved to Sir John A. Macdonald High School in Tantallon, N.S., Gaube was used as a point guard who would drive to the basket for points.
“I wouldn’t take outside shots at all,” said Gaube. “I was kind of scared of three-point shots.”
When she moved to university, Gaube had to add another offensive weapon; the competition was bigger, stronger and faster, so her driving game wasn’t as effective. She worked on her shot in first year. In second year, she was passing up on good shooting opportunities and Stammberger took her out of a game because of it.
Stammberger said she told Gaube, “If you’re not going to shoot open shots then you’re going to sit on the bench.”
Gaube got the message and started shooting more. With her shot, she can keep the defence guessing on whether she is going to shoot or drive to the basket.
“She [Stammberger] gave me the confidence to go out on the floor and shoot,” said Gaube.
Now Gaube is in her fourth year, and Stammberger has complete confidence to use her in any situation. When the team’s starting point guard, Michele Tchiakoua got hurt with an injured knee in November. Stammberger called on Gaube to become the starting point guard even though she hasn’t played that position since first year. It’s a big position change because the point guard is the quarterback on the court, and will give directions of what plays to run.
Gaube isn’t sure what her plans are at the end of the year. She graduates in May but still has another year of basketball eligibility left; Stammberger wants her back.
“She is so easy to coach,” said Stammberger, “and she is a great teammate, she is all about what the team needs.”