Women’s Basketball Prepares for Spring, Gains Momentum on Court

Stepping onto the courts for the 2010-2011 season, the women’s basketball team broke a 3-3 even standing with its first conference win in the season, boxing out Stevenson University in overtime to take a winning spread into the York College (Pennsylvania) game Wednesday.

The Seahawks began their season on Nov. 17 with a non-conference home game loss against Lebanon Valley College. While the Seahawks put up a strong effort against the Flying Dutchmen, including shots from first-year guard Aura Payne, senior forward Jamie Roberts, and sophomore forward-center Sophie Pruden, the five-point half-time lead by Lebanon Valley became a 17-point defeat for the College.

Reversing its first performance, the team posted a 10-point victory against Arcadia University two days later, taking its first non-conference win of the season on Nov. 19 in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center court as part of the Cherry Cove Seahawk Tip-Off Tournament.

A superior performance by sophomore guard Jasmine Jones brought the Seahawks up from a seven-point deficit to a ten-point lead at halftime, and Jones’ 17-point game combined with sophomore guard Pui Sham’s 16 points and sophomore guard Taylor Petrisko’s 16 points led to a 67-57 finish over the Knights.

“We’re quick on the defense, and we have a lot of speed,” said Jones about the team. “We just need to focus, and we’re definitely ready.”

While the team took a heavy 15-point loss against Virginia Wesleyan College the following Saturday at home, the Seahawks restored their non-conference spread to a tie (2-2) after dominating Trinity University 70-37 on Nov. 23.

All 13 St. Mary’s players scored against the Tigers, boosting the morale of the Seahawks as they went into their Penn State University (Harrisburg) game on Nov. 28. Again, the College took a strong game away from the visitors, as the Seahawks took an early 2-0 lead on the Lady Lions that manifested into a close 75-68 win at home.

“We’re starting out very well,” said Coach Barb Bausch, now in her fourth year with St. Mary’s basketball. “They’re playing with a high level of activity.”

While holding a balanced spread of wins and losses, the women’s basketball team is performing well despite their disadvantage this season. Out of the 13 players on the team, nine are incoming first-years, and three others are sophomores.

With all but Roberts having under two years of experience, the team itself is one of the newest this year, meaning that the basics of post-high school gameplay still need to be mastered before the team can reach its full potential.

“I can still see more high school than college [gameplay],” said Bausch, “but we’re trying to make those changes.”

While performing strongly against the Catholic University of America last Tuesday, the Seahawks lost the game in the last 1.1 seconds. First-year guard Leah Cranmer’s three-point play to bring the Seahawks to a 65-64 lead was broken when the Cardinals sealed a two-point lay-up to bring the final score to 66-65.

Despite the loss, the Seahawks came back this weekend with 61-58 over Stevenson, giving St. Mary’s a 1-0 conference spread, its first conference win of the season, in its first game away from the College. The Seahawks scored the final three points in a 58-58 overtime period to seal the win.

The team will face two more teams in conference action before winter break, returning in the Spring to face the University of Scranton in the Days Inn Tournament on Jan. 2 as the double-semester season continues.

The home games will be on Dec. 8 against York College and Dec. 11 against Hood College. With the chemistry beginning to develop with the girls on the team, the season is beginning to look even brighter.
“We’re excited, and we’re ready,” said first-year guard Shana Lewis before the Catholic and Stevenson games. “We’re young, but something for the conference to look out for.”

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