Erica Moore leads the Lady Pirates scoring 10.3 points per game this year but she is averaging 12.9 per game over her last seven.
Erica Moore leads the Lady Pirates scoring 10.3 points per game this year but she is averaging 12.9 per game over her last seven.

In basketball there are players that can score and then there are scorers. A player like Ryan Anderson is going to score, but a lot of his points are going to be coming from his three-point shooting. 

That's a player that can score.

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, all of these men were scorers. When a play broke down or the shot clock hit five they could create their own shots and get to the basket.

Having a true scorer on a team is an absolute weapon, but being able to take that scorer and getting them to play team basketball can make that team unstoppable.

Those are some very big names to start off with so they might throw the perspective off slightly, but the main point here is that when a scorer learns to play within the framework of a proven offense then that offense is only going to get better. And if that scorer can still create when a play breaks down then that's when everyone will start to take notice.

Erica Moore has always been a scorer. She was a prolific one in high school at Howard in Macon, Georgia. As a senior she averaged more than 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game.

She finished with more than 1,700 points as a member of her high school team and was named to the second team all-state roster.

Scoring comes naturally to her and before the season she was one of the women many focused on as the one to take the torch from Brianna Jackson-Brewer and score when head coach Leslie Crane needed it.

She has started to get to that point in recent games.

"Sometimes she's still thinking too much where Bri just motored right through it, and I'm trying to get her to do more of this, and she is," Crane said. "She's driving more and she's finishing around the bucket and she's strong and doing some really good things, and she's keeping herself under control."

Moore now has 22 games under her belt as a member of the Lady Pirates. She leads the Lady Pirates in points per game scoring 10.3 on the season.

However, that number has been on the rise. Through her first 15 games of the year she was scoring just over nine points per game.

In her last seven games she has scored nearly 13 per contest and scored 17 points twice which were season highs in both instances.

She's starting to make those plays when the offense breaks down. Two separate times in Wednesday night's win over Garden City she made lay-ups with less than two seconds left on the shot clock.

She saw that she had to make a play and she made it, which is a lot of what Jackson-Brewer did last year for the Lady Pirates.

Moore has looked strikingly like the Texas A&M Corpus Christi player in recent games.

For Moore though it has taken some adjusting. In her time at Howard in Macon she took nearly 19 shots per game and scored nearly 46 percent of her team's in any given game.

With ICC she is taking 9.3 shots per night and scoring about 16 percent of the Lady Pirates' points. 

It's been an adjustment for the freshman who was relied on much more heavily in high school to carry the load on offense.

"In high school I did have to shoot a lot," she said. "But now if I drive I always have someone open to pass to and I can get it to them more which I like to do."

Moore is averaging 2.3 assists per game this year. She can really score but she can certainly pass as well after she averaged nearly five assists per game as a senior in high school.

College is certainly a different beast though. ICC really runs about two plays. They can do a lot out of those two plays, but they are plays that take awhile to develop and they have to go through several looks before the play will even break down.

Early in the season the Lady Pirates had some trouble trusting the system and going through all of the progressions. They had a lot of freshmen on the floor, they actually have started four freshmen for much of the season, and the offense has not looked fantastic for many games this year.

Moore herself didn't quite look comfortable in the early going and had to go through some growing pains in the offense especially in the middle of the season. There was a four-game stretch in which she scored a total of 23 points and shot 23 percent from the floor.

In that stretch she relied a little bit too much on her shot as she went 2-14 from three in those games, and Crane simply wanted her to get back to what makes her so good.

"Her best game is to put it on the floor and take it in there," Crane said. "And her shooting has developed more since she's been here, and she's using that very well, I think she's thinking too much sometimes because the game is a lot faster and we're running different offenses and different things and different defenses and stuff, so sometimes she's thinking too much and sometimes she just has to play."

But over time Moore and the rest of the freshmen have adjusted and really started to look comfortable with Moore being at the forefront of that.

After that four game stretch came the seven-games in which she is averaging nearly 13 points per game. She is shooting 33 percent from three-point range and taking nearly 12 shots per game as opposed to just eight through her first 15 games.

Much of that is familiarity with the offense.

"With our floater it helps you get a shot off, but not a rushed shot," she said. "Because you have screens, and it works if you're doing it right."

ICC has been doing it right more often lately. That especially showed up with their win over Garden City Wednesday night.

ICC had lost to the Lady Broncbusters earlier this season on the road, but to come back and get the win in Indy was a huge deal for the Lady Pirates.

Moore scored 17 points in that game to lead the way for the Lady Pirates. She is truly starting to emerge as the scoring threat Indy has been looking for much of the season.

The Lady Pirates are starting to look like they've wanted to all season. They are starting to play like they want to and have shown some signs in recent weeks of maybe even pulling off an upset when they get into the playoffs.

"I'm hoping that we're coming out from under some of the drudgery of this conference because it's just so intense and it's just such beat 'em up, beat 'em up, beat 'em up type thing," Crane said. "And I'm hoping that we're coming out of this at the right time for February going into March, this type of thing too, you just never know, we'll see.

"We're definitely playing better than what we were in early January, and hopefully we'll start February better than what we started January."

The good thing for the Lady Pirates is this is a team loaded with women with high school playoff experience.

The two Chanute girls in Anna Bagshaw and Jordan Schoenberger being two of them and other like Dakota Corle from Fredonia is another, but Moore is one that made it all the way to the regional finals in her state as well so she has an idea of what to expect taking into account obviously that college is different altogether.

Now they just have to get through that schedule as there is still a ways to go in conference play.

Moore though is starting to get comfortable now and she is ready to test herself in the intense end of the season that she know they'll face in just a few weeks.

"I think on the road it's just we all have to be 10 points better," Moore said. "We have to come out harder than the home team because we're not going to get the calls that they do, when we're at home most of the time it's fair game, but this conference is crazy."

ICC gets back to action tonight when they take on Butler on the road at 5:30 p.m. Make sure to check us out on Twitter @IDRSports for live updates of that game as well as the men's game at 7 p.m.