Owls’ Struggle in 2018


Matt GadSports Writer

Double-digit wins for women’s basketball head coach Kate Lynch
before the calendar struck Jan. 1, 2018 was impressive. But the team has to finish if they want to
continue playing basketball in late February and March.

In one of the first home games for the 2018 part of the season, the Owls fell to 15-2 Stonehill,
63-52. That afternoon senior Abby Hurlbert and sophomore Kiana Steinauer led the show with
16 and 13 points, respectively. Redshirt senior Murphy Murad, raised in Storrs, Conn. and a
graduate of E.O. Smith High School, struggled with 1-8 shooting and 0-4 from range.

“The refs are always a frustrating factor,” Murad said, speaking to a lot of tight calls that were
made as the game wound down in the fourth quarter, “but at the end of the day we have to focus
on us. The second quarter really hurt us.”

In that second, the Owls were outscored 21-13 to an opponent that was led by the hot hands of
Samantha Hyslip’s 17 points and Kelly Martin’s 13. Lynch’s squad came out of the gate strong,
taking a 17-9 lead after the first 10 minutes, but was outscored in every remaining quarter as the
game went along.

Said Lynch after the defeat: “[Stonehill] beat us to every loose ball. We didn’t box-out enough
… we guarded their stuff pretty well it was just that we made some defensive mistakes and a
team like that is excellent and they run the stuff really well so we have to guard it one-on- one;
you can’t make defensive mistakes.”

Stonehill capitalized off 32 points in the paint and 14 off turnovers. They also had 12 from their
bench and held a 13-point lead in the final stretch of the game. The Owls’ largest lead was a 10-
point advantage in the second and they scored 18 in the paint and 19 off Stonehill turnovers.

As the 2017-18 season has progressed, both teams have found themselves in good spots in the
NE10. Southern has only managed to go a tick up in their home record at 4-3 but has won nine
games on the road so far this year. Lynch said she was able to tell the team that, despite the loss,
they have had a stretch where they have been playing some strong competition.

“We beat ourselves in some facets but we certainly didn’t lose to a bad basketball team by any
means. We need to have better shot selection and to capitalize on more of the other team’s
mistakes,” Lynch said. “We had open shots; we need to knock them down.”

Murad echoed a lot of the frustrations her head coach saw in the game, adding that Stonehill runs
a very familiar offense for the Owls to go up against and that some of the fast-break scenarios
put them in a bad spot.

In their next showing, though, in Ridge, N.H, the women pulled out a 55-54 victory over
Franklin Pierce. They lost to Bentley, 64-48, last Sunday in Massachusetts but come back to
Moore Field House for a stretch of games that includes Assumption, Saint Michael’s and the
University of New Haven on Jan. 31 at 5:30.

Photo Courtesy: southernctowls.com

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