Heise: Great week to be a Black Bear

What a great week for our basketball programs. Both, the women and the men got huge wins against Hartford and Binghamton. Pretty successful, if you ask me.

Wednesday’s game against Hartford was set for 7 p.m. Coach Steelman started off the night with a beautiful performance of the Finnish national anthem. Everybody who heard him sing knows what I am talking about when I am saying he can literally make you tear up. He is extremely talented and hearing him sing is a highlight every single time.

One of our biggest problems this season is the way we start off games. Often times we let the game come to us, instead of taking control form the first second. The task was simple: start the game focused, execute and get off to a good start.

For the ninth time this season we were able to hold a team under 50 points. Our defense has always been something we could fall back on when our shots didn’t fall. We get our momentum from defense. Whenever we play a really good defensive position, we usually have a very good offensive position after.

We beat Hartford by a score of 61-43. Sigi Koizar led all scorers with 24 points, while Bella Swan added 14 points. Liz Wood filled the stat line with eight points, 12 rebounds, five steals and three assists.

We are currently 8-0 at the Cross Insurance Center this season, which shows how much we love playing at home. It is hard to explain, but there is something about the atmosphere at home games that inspires us to play extremely hard and confident. You guys are a big part of that success. Knowing the fans have our back really helps us to perform on a high level.

Our next game was set for Saturday at 2 p.m. against Binghamton. Binghamton is our longest trip of the season. Ten hours in the bus is no joke. Coach Vachon is always holding us down with a variety of movies, Coach Mal provides us with snacks (healthy, duh) and Coach Steelman gives out fist bumps to anybody who looks like she needs one. The first five hours are usually not too bad. Most of us are busy doing homework, watching movies or reading books.

After that it goes downhill. Everybody is bored and tired and doesn’t know what to do in the limited space on the bus. On this trip, some of us started braiding hair and discussed who would be married first. Boredom at its finest — except if your name is Maddy McVicar. Maddy amazes me on every single road trip. She falls asleep as soon as we leave, wakes up whenever we stop to get food and falls right back to sleep. According to her she is catching up on all the sleep she missed during the week. After we finally made it to Binghamton, we went straight to bed. Shoot around was scheduled for 8:30 a.m., since the game was at 2 p.m.

Binghamton is a much-improved team compared to last year. They have three extremely good players and our focus was on stopping them and not allowing any easy baskets. None of their players scored in double digits, which proves that our defense is something we can rely on.

Liz Wood was once again outstanding. She led the team with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Lauren Bodine doesn’t seem to miss lately, and always hits a three-pointer just when we need one. She had 12 points in the win over Binghamton.

Sigi Koizar played a very solid game with 14 points and only needs two more to reach 1,000, so make sure you will be at the Cross Insurance Center on Wednesday, when we take on Vermont at 7 p.m., to cheer her on in achieving this big milestone in her career.

 

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