Heise: Conference Play Begins

After wins against Vermont, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and UMass Lowell to start off the America East Conference play, our three-game winning streak was broken with a 64-59 loss to Albany.

Playing Albany is always challenging, because honestly they are a very good team. To put it simply, there’s a reason they have won three consecutive America East Championships.

Albany is led by two-time player of the year Shereesha Richards, who showed her qualities in the game against us when she scored 34 of Albany’s 64 points. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop her. To say that she was the reason we lost the game wouldn’t be the whole truth, but it was one of them.

Five points in basketball is not a lot — it’s the difference of five free throws missed (shots that we could have made,) five fewer turnovers, more rebounds for us or less offensive rebounds for them. You can find several possessions in the game where we made mistakes, executed poorly or simply didn’t make a shot that would have allowed us to win the game.

After the game, we were disappointed. There is no worse feeling than knowing you should have won a game, and that mistakes that could have been prevented caused the loss.

We went back to the hotel after the game and had a player’s meeting right away. We watched the whole game again. We stopped and rewound the video, we took notes, we called each other out and pointed out how to do things differently (and better,) so we would be successful the next game.

It was extremely helpful. We could have just moved on, forgetting about it and focusing on our next game. We could have smiled, shrugged our shoulders and said that losing is a part of being an athlete.

But we didn’t do that. We watched the game over and over. We felt the same pain again and again and became determined to learn from it.

Our next game was against New Hampshire and the approach was simple. Bounce back and send a message to everybody else in the conference.

I think we did a good job with that. It wasn’t one of the best games we’ve ever had, but it was a step in the right direction, allowing us to try some things out and improve in the categories we did poorly against Albany.

Liz Wood was simply outstanding against New Hampshire. She not only finished with a season-high 23 points, but she also recorded her 1,300th point of her career during the game, a huge accomplishment for such a deserving player.

We are constantly looking to improve. New Hampshire was a step in the right direction, but we are far from being satisfied.

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