By MONICA OWENS
The stands were rowdy, fans were screaming and the adrenaline was high.
There was never a question as to whether the Eagles were ready to beat their long-time rivals, the Marymount Saints, at home court.
It was with this motivation, as well as their desire to be number one in the CAC conference, that lead the team to victory.
Junior Sarah Flanagan reflected on the intensity of the UMW-Marymount rivalry.
“Playing Marymount is always a huge game for us, especially this year since they beat us in the CAC Championship last year and the win gave us sole possession of first place going into the second half of conference play,” she said. “Also, the last time we played them on our court they won, and we weren’t going to let that happen again.”
The Eagle’s desire to dominate their opponents was apparent when they stepped out on the paint, and although the Saints were the first to score it didn’t take long for the Eagles to gain a lead.
After assuming a 5-4 lead just minutes into the game, the Eagle women never looked back.
Thanks to junior guard Sarah Flanagan’s three three pointers and a shot of 43 percent from the floor, UMW entered the second half with a 38-27 lead.
Despite the Saints aggressive character, the Eagles entered their second half with renewed enthusiasm, delivering a superior game.
Marymount cut the score’s deficit to 59-54 with 3:51 remaining, but the Eagle’s held them at arms length and a reverse layup by Liz Hickey spurred a fifteen point run to close the game.
Junior Amanda Bates reflected on Marymount’s skills on the court.
“Marymount always plays us tough because they are a very physical team,” she said. “I think we did a good job responding to their physical play with good decision making and unselfish play.”
Senior Debbie Bruen attributes the team’s win to defensive strategy.
“Our defensive intensity has really picked up in the past couple of games. Catholic and Marymount were not able to handle our pressure,” she said. “We definitely need to keep this up in the next couple of games and continue to play as a team.”
Head coach Deena Applebury is excited about the teams win.
“It was a great win. A lot of the kids stepped up, there was a lot of intensity, and Flanagan was on fire,” she said.
Flanagan boasted 21 points in the second half, 5 of which were 3 pointers.
Junior center Liz Hickey tallied 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and Bruen with twelve points and seven rebounds.
The Eagle women carried their winning streak further into the week, capturing several wins on the road to both Hood College and Bridgewater College.
Senior Lisa Tracey expresses her optimism for the team’s future.
“After losing two games early this season, we were inspired even more to win,” she said. “With continuous improvement, we have the potential to do big things this year.”
The Eagles hope to maintain their winning streak on Saturday in a Conference matchup with number two ranked York College.