By NICK NELSON
The fourth ranked University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team added on to their 11 game winning streak by defeating Bridgewater College Tuesday night, 81-56, and York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday, 92-64.
The Eagles are now 19-1 overall and 11-0 in Capital Athletic Conference play.
For head coach Deena Applebury, the game against York was proof of how much her team has come since the Eagles beat York, 70-50, last December.
“We have improved tremendously,” she said “Our defensive rotations are much better and our ball movement on offense is much better. Our willingness to move the ball and distribute the ball to everybody continues to increase.”
The offensive improvements are clearly seen, improving from a 20 point difference when the Eagles played York on December 5, to a 28 point differential by the end of January. The Eagles shot 36.5 percent from the floor against York during their first match-up, but improved a solid 50.8 percent on Saturday.
The Eagles have remained consistent, blocking six shots and bringing in 30 defensive rebounds the first time they played York, while blocking seven shots and bringing in 31 defensive rebounds the second time around.
Speaking on Monday, senior center Liz Hickey saw more than just another win over York.
“Saturday’s game was not only a victory but also one of the best games the team has played all season,” she said. “All five starters scored double digits and we played consistently for all forty minutes. Beating York twice this year means a lot since they beat us last year.”
The Eagles lost to York at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, 62-56.
Hickey scored 19 points, brought in five rebounds and blocked three shots.
Hickey is only 22 blocks away from claiming the all time Division III blocked shot record. She has averaged 4.6 blocks per game this season.
With only five more games to play until the CAC tournament, Applebury is pleased with where her team is.
“We are doing really well,” she said. “We are sitting where we need to be. We have Marymount again on our home court and they are going to be one of our best challenges this year. Then we are just going to go into the conference tournament and see where that takes us.”
Junior forward Ashton Mitchell, who scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against York, is confident that her team will be able to compete in tournament play.
“Our offense can definitely hold its own against other nationally ranked teams,” she said. “We are able to score from every position with tough post play and good shooting from the outside. We are very difficult to guard because we have so many options out of our offense.”
Both the men and women’s basketball programs collected donations for Locks of Love on Saturday. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that seeks to help children under the age of 18 suffering from medical hair loss. Katy Larson, Lisa Tracey, Hickey and other athletes and fans donated their hair during a special presentation between the men and women’s games.
The Eagles will continue CAC play this Saturday, hosting Gallaudet at 4:00 p.m.