Women’s Basketball versus Pace – Column
Jaylen Carr – Sports Editor
I covered the recent women’s basketball game against Pace University, which was such an intriguing game to watch. The Owls played so well as a team, and I believe they have a chance to win the Northeast 10, NE10 Championship, this year.
The team is off to a terrific start to the season, and I hope they can erase the heartbreaking loss they had last season during the NE10 playoffs against Stonehill College in the semifinals. They have won three of their last four games and are starting to learn from last season’s loss. They are to a great start thanks to the coaching staff and players.
Head Coach Kate Lynch has motivated and encourages the team so well that it shows when they play. Coach Lynch noted that despite the 27-point victory over conference rival Pace, there is always things they can improve upon.
That’s a true definition of a great coach because she does not want the team to get complacent after the win. Another moment that Coach Lynch had that caught my attention was when the Owls had a 19-17 lead at the half; the team was not playing well in the second quarter and once the third quarter started, there were clear adjustments made from the halftime discussion in the locker room.
The team came out more aggressive on defense and scored in transition once they would force turnovers.
Coach Lynch’s energy on the sideline was infectious throughout the bench. The players on the bench were cheering their teammates throughout the game and showed great sportsmanship after the game.
During the game the plays that Coach Lynch and the staff drew up were beautifully run by the players. Forwards Katie Williamson and Ashley Evans, juniors, moved without the ball and scored consistently inside the paint.
Guards Zoe Amalbert and Isabella Santoro were great leaders on the court. They both showed great resilience and poise when the team was met with adversity in the first half. Amalbert, who specifically plays point guard, displayed how a point guard should play. She was a great conductor of the offense and was still able to score.
She was also diligent about making sure she passed the ball to her open teammates while making sure she stayed aggressive when looking for her shot too. Amalbert made two threes and had three steals in the game.
The ball movement, the sharp cuts to the baskets and the dominated effort on the glass were a sight to see.
The late, great legendary Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Women’s basketball, Pat Summitt, who one eight national championships, once said, “Offense sells tickets, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships.”
The Owls dominated in the rebounding category during the game which caught my attention throughout the game. The plus 15 margin in rebounding and 11 offensive rebounds during the game was clearly one of the reasons why the Owls were able to blow Pace out in the second half.
The Owls’ defense erased all hopes for a Pace comeback. Pace never scored double figures in a quarter and shot 16 percent from the field in the third quarter thanks to defense from the Owls.
I was amazed by the play from Owls’ bench players in the game. The bench scored 19 points and brought great energy when the team needed it most. For example, forward Renza Milner, a sophomore, came off the bench and provided a spark for the team. She pulled down eight rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
The last two victories for the Owls were both over 20-points. The last victory was another home game win over Caldwell University, 70-50.
The Owls played so well together and communicated frequently on defense and offense. There are no egos on the team and no “I” in post-game interviews. Instead, it’s always “we”. The players are truly selfless and regularly put each other over with kind words.