Midnight Madness starts new era of SCSU basketball
Aaron Johnson – Sports Editor
The start of a new era of Southern Connecticut State University basketball began this past Wednesday evening during the Midnight Madness event in the Moore Field House.
“It’s awesome,” said women’s basketball head coach Kate Lynch. “It’s something that we never had during our four years. It’s really kind of a cool kick off especially for homecoming week. It’s great for our fans to kind of see us and show some support for our student-athletes as well.”
Lynch has returned to take over the reins of the women’s program that she led to the 2007 NCAA national championship. She said that coming back to Southern years later to coach has been nothing short of a dream come true.
“It’s something since I graduated it’s where I wanted to be,” Lynch said. “There’s nothing like coming back home coaching at your alma mater. It’s just a really great opportunity. I bleed blue. I love Southern and I always have.”
Senior forward Jackie Beathea was all smiles and laughs as the women’s team was introduced to the crowd of students, faculty, and staff. Beathea said that she is looking forward to the start of the season and is excited about the fresh start for the Owls this season.
“I want to be able to put a banner up for the year 2015-16,” she said. “That would be pretty cool. Make sure everyone will remember that year.”
The Madness did not stop with just the women, as the men’s basketball team was also introduced under new head coach Scott Burrell.
“It was fun,” Burrell said. “Great energy from the fans. The students were awesome. Great excitement and great build up for the season. ”
The men’s team is returning nine players from last year’s team that made it to the Sweet 16 and eight of those nine from the Elite 8 team from two seasons ago.
“Our focus is a national championship,” junior forward Austin Carter said, on the aspirations for this season. “We made it to the Sweet 16 last year and the Elite 8 the year before so we’re right there. We just have to keep working to win that national championship so everyone is focused.”
The Owls have opened up the season ranked in the top-15 for the second straight season, as Southern was ranked No.13. Carter said that being ranked this high is just more motivation to get to the ultimate goal.
“We’ve been going hard every day getting ready for the season,” he said. “This is a big season. We have to grind as hard as we can. I’m ready to get this season started.”
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor
Video Credit: Aaron Johnson – Sports Editor