Despite the adversity that the Stevenson University women’s basketball team has faced, there is still an opportunity for the team to finish .500 and receive an invitation to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament.
A rough start for the Mustangs in the Middle Atlantic Commonwealth Conference (MAC Commonwealth) has caused them to miss the chance for conference playoffs.
Head coach Jackie Boswell has led the Mustangs to five consecutive postseasons, including three straight ECAC tournaments. Boswell led the Mustangs to a historic season in 2014-15, during which the team set the school record for the best start in program history, surpassing the previous record of 10-2 and consecutive wins (19) while setting a program-best 24 wins, according to gomustangsports. Stevenson also received its first-ever votes in the WBCA Coaches Top 25 Poll and the D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll, according to gomacsports.
With a 12-12 record this year (7-8 in the conference), the Mustangs’ chance to play in the ECAC tournament depends on their success against Albright College on Feb. 16. The Mustangs have averaged 67.1 points per game, shooting 39 percent on average. Boswell argues that besides the injuries and other adversities the team has faced, they have shown their true perseverance. With the top defense in the conference, she has faith in her team to be successful in their last regular season game.
Senior captain guard/forward Montana Chance Herndon described her career at Stevenson under Boswell as a never-ending process. She explained how she has had to constantly adapt to the level of demanding practices and how she was persistently growing as an athlete and as a student in the classroom.
Boswell emphasized the impact of the size of the team this season but added that this made the rest of the players extremely close, working better as a unit. Having an 11-women roster was not discouraging, said Boswell; in fact, it led the players to buy in to the message that Boswell and the rest of the coaching staff wanted to convey. Boswell said that practices may be short, but lack of intensity was never an issue, adding that road trips are always entertaining because of the bond the players share.
Junior captain and guard Hannah Crist explained how her performance has improved throughout her career at Stevenson due to the rewarding practices and coaching. “It’s been a fulfilling experience,” she said.
Senior captain and guard Jonyae Curry scored her 1000th point against Alvernia University, a game that the Mustangs won 77-55. Curry, who became only the fourth player in Stevenson history to achieve this feat, has averaged 16 points per game, shooting 86.7 percent from the floor, according to gomustangsports. She said that the experience has been hard but fun.
The Mustangs’ last game was at home against Hood College on Feb. 12. The team won this game 81-58 with every player on the team scoring. This game was senior night and honored the team’s two seniors, Herndon and Curry.