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Women's basketball playmaking runs on team chemistry

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Nov 28th 2017 09:00 pm
Freshman point guard Zaria McCullough (above) scans the court for an open teammate. The crafty point guard recorded nine points in Brockport's loss to RIT, her most efficient performance as a college athlete thusfar.
Freshman point guard Zaria McCullough (above) scans the court for an open teammate. The crafty point guard recorded nine points in Brockport's loss to RIT, her most efficient performance as a college athlete thusfar.

With one game shy of having a perfect record, The College at Brockport women’s basketball team has shown great potential during the start of the 2017-18 campaign. Improvement is evident in the on-court chemistry, and the team is looking to perfect last season’s efforts by working towards triumph as a unit.

Last year, the Golden Eagles finished the season with a sub-par record of 10–17, ranking in as one of the worst sides in the conference. In contrast, the team’s efficiency has been much greater this season. It has come away with the same number of wins within a three-game margin that it managed in nine games last season.

Following two dominant performances against Alfred University and Hartwick College at home, and a large-deficit loss to RIT on the road, The Golden Eagles find themselves with a current record of 2–1.

This season kicked off on Friday, Nov. 17, with a home match against the Alfred Saxons. The match saw Brockport’s relentless offense control the game early, claiming a comfortable win of 83 to 64. Senior power forward Lindsay Johnson started her last college campaign on a hot streak and led Brockport’s offensive play by failing to miss a single shot and finishing the game with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Golden Eagles killed the game off with a continuous sequence of points from behind the arc by sophomore guard Bailey Pratt and freshman guard Julianna Taylor.

Brockport’s second match was played on Saturday, Nov. 18, against the Hartwick Hawks. The Golden Eagles closed the weekend with back-to-back wins and a perfect record of 2–0 after a great team victory of 55 to 43. The Golden Eagles’ progress was evident in the game of excellent team play and spreading of the ball. Four of the 10 roster members contributed double-digits in points which proved too much for Hartwick’s defensive efforts as Brockport built a lead of 21 during the third quarter of the game. Continuing to impress, Taylor provided nine points with more than half of those points coming from behind the arc. Brockport cruised to the end of the game with ease as Johnson completed her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

After consecutive showings of stability and confidence, Brockport’s winning ways came to end during its third contest of the season. The Golden Eagles suffered their first loss to the RIT Tigers on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The team struggled to keep up with the pace of RIT’s offense and the game ended in a 82 to 54 win for the Tigers. The Golden Eagles suffered from a poor shooting efficiency, shooting a mere 34 percent from the field. The Tigers took advantage of Brockport’s poor shooting, slow transitions and bad defense, taking an early lead and never looking back.

“The game against RIT is a learning tool for the rest of our season,” Taylor said. “Our defense needs to improve, as its key to winning games. We are working everyday to perfect it.” 

Apart from their inconsistent defense, the Golden Eagles have to capitalize on the break, since the team has only managed to record four points from fast-break situations over three games. 

“Coach Jones places an emphasis on the details and that really helps us focus,” freshman point guard Zaria McCullough said. “Once we build consistency within the team, the small weaknesses we possess will slowly disappear.”

The team has made incredible progress from its last season and it shows. With only three games into the season the girls have an undoubtedly bright future. Driven by a spirit full of persistence and a family-like bond, the group’s combined efforts is what is going to take them far this season. 

“The team chemistry cannot get any better,” Taylor said. “This is a family and our bond is what’s going to decide between win and loss.” 

The Golden Eagles’ next game is on Monday, Nov. 27, against the University of Rochester. The team will be looking to bounce back from its loss to RIT and gain momentum for the upcoming SUNYAC playoff qualification games against New Paltz and Oneonta next weekend.

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