Basketball looks to rebound after dropping last three games

By EMILY BARY ’14

Co-Editor in Chief

The Wellesley basketball team got off to a great start this season, taking down some tough teams and building up an 11-game winning streak that stretched from late November to mid-January. But lately they’ve faltered and dropped games to teams they beat handily earlier in the year. After losing to Smith, MIT and Springfield earlier this month, the Blue is looking for ways to get back on track heading into the final few regular season games and then the conference tournament.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get back to where we were at our first practice,” Ailis Hanley ’17 said. “We’re bringing the same mentality, giving it everything we’ve got and trying to go out of our comfort zones.”

Part of why the basketball team was so successful earlier in the season is that the players completed a rigorous 10-week summer training program, organized pickup games three times a week during the fall and attended strength training sessions in the off-season.

Members of the team also came back for Wintersession to train and live together. They had two-hour practices every day and a handful of games.

The highlight of Wintersession competition was the Blue’s win over a nationally-ranked Wheaton squad on Jan. 15. Morgyne Weaver ’15 picked up four points in the final seconds of the game to give Wellesley the 62-59 win.

“We were down but never once did we falter or even consider the possibility of a loss,” Katie Shulenberger ’14 said.

Wellesley was ranked sixth in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) coaches poll, but the team has beaten the teams ranked above it. At 14-6 overall and 11-5 in the conference, Wellesley could complete a deep run into the conference tournament that begins on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

“The way the league is playing out, we have significant hopes of going far.” Shulenberger said. “Anyone can win on any given day so it’s about how much a team wants it.”

Leslie Leong ’14 and Weaver lead the Blue in scoring this season, with Leong scoring her 1,000th career point on Feb. 8 in the team’s 69-45 loss to Springfield. Only Leong and Shulenberger will graduate this spring, so Wellesley should boast a strong lineup next year as well.

Wellesley hopes to snap its three-game losing streak today, Feb. 12, in its 7 p.m. home game against Clark. The Blue beat Clark 74-61 in early January.

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