Today: Jul 14, 2024

Women’s basketball collects honors

Special to the Southern News | Southernctowls.com
The Owls finished with a 25-6 record, losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

The No. 18 nationally-ranked SCSU women’s basketball team was well-represented when it came time for the year-end Northeast-10 Conference awards.
Senior guard Sylvonya Moore and junior guard Camille Fantini received All-Conference awards. SCSU head coach Meghan Brown also received the much-deserved recognition for Coach of the Year.
After starting 2-3, the Owls won 20 of their last 21 games in the regular season and worked their way into the national rankings in the second half of the season.
Southern, 25-5, 19-3 NE-10 was also No. 2 in the Northeast-10 Conference and No. 2 in the NCAA East Region rankings for their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
Moore, from Stockton, Calif., was named to the Second-Team. Moore had started in all 29 games played and ended the regular season averaging a team-leading 14.4 points and 3 assists per game, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals.
Fantini, from Andover, Mass., was named to the Third-Team. Fantini had played in all 29 games, while starting 26. She ended the regular season averaging second on the team with 12.5 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
Southern also was in the top 10 nationally among Division II in the NCAA statistical rankings. The Owls were No. 6 in steals/game (14.0) and No. 8 in turnover margin (+6.21)  Fantini also ranked No. 6 among all Division II players in steals per game with an average of 3.6.
Moore said she was happy for the honor and that she wants to continue to get better every game.
“It is a good accomplishment [all-conference],” Moore said. “I worked hard for it. As far as deciding where we want to be for the team, I want to do whatever I can. My big goal is to focus on defense. We have got to get better. We have to be able to talk and be solid on the court. Whatever it takes to get a win.”
The Owls 15-game winning streak was one highlight of this season with many quality wins along the way.
The team still feels they have been trying to prove people wrong all year with their performances.
Southern just missed the conference tournament last season with 11 wins and was picked 13th in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll this season.
Fantini said the team has been focused all season.
“My team helped me [receiving All-Conference honors], which helped me be a better player,” she said. “There was really tough competition. This is one of the toughest conferences [NE-10]. Teams come out to beat us. All teams want to play us since we are number two in the conference.
“We kept working hard, which helps us where we are now. We all want the same things. We are all really close, which helps. We are all going to get stronger. We are going to stick together and do what we have been doing and keep moving forward. We still want more respect and to prove it.”
Brown is in her fifth season with the Owls. This was her first Coach of the Year honor and her first NCAA tournament appearance as Owls head coach after one of the biggest turnarounds in the country.
Brown said she was happy for the honor for Coach of the Year. She said this was due to the team’s success this season.
“It is an exciting honor to recognize the team for their performance,” she said. “It is a huge boost for the program, the team and the staff of where we are going. It is an individual award, but it is a program award.”
“They started the season with a chip on their shoulder, and they had that ‘never say die’ attitude. The team just gave all that they had with a lot of heart. We have been tested and lost leads. They were confident in themselves and they were willing to win the games for us. We are a tough team.”
Moore said the team was gaining more confidence each day.
“It gave us a lot of confidence and a more humble state of mind,” Moore said. “We did not let it get to us. Everybody fights for each other and does not give up. We can continue the streak. We need to improve our defense. We have a lot of fight and we want to keep that going.”

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