Women’s basketball ready to reload and recover

 

The UVM women’s basketball team lost a battle for first place at the hands of conference rival University of Hartford Hawks at home on Jan. 26.

The final score of the contest was 38-36 in favor of the Hawks.

Hartford’s victory kept the Hawks at a perfect 8-0 record in America East play, while the Cats sit sturdily in second place at 6-2.’

Holding onto second place halfway through the conference schedule would normally be a great place to find oneself, but not for this year’s Cats.’

Complacency is not something this team is interested in, especially when first place is in sight.

‘We’re going to work hard in practice, get in the gym, do what we need to do and keep our eyes on the next game,’ freshman Lauren Buschmann said.

Despite losing two tough games against Boston University and Hartford, this team doesn’t need to rebuild: they need to reload.’

In the two America East losses, the Cats have shot 33.6 percent from the field, compared to the 41.1 percent average from the floor over the course of the season.’

Also, stars Courtnay Pilypaitis and May Kotsopoulos have averaged a combined 32.3 points per game.’ However, in the loss against Hartford, the duo managed to score only 16 points.

The losses hurt, but sometimes losing teaches more valuable lessons than winning.

‘You can’t not be affected by [losing] – we’re not in a bubble,’ head coach Sharon Dawley said. ‘We are affected by it, but the only thing we can do is use it to get angry by it and better, as opposed to getting sad by it.’

The Cats have some positives to look back on as well. The effort was always there, as the Cats forced eight jump balls against Hartford.’

They also held Hartford, who received 11 votes in the national rankings, to 38 points when the Hawks normally average 62.2 points per game.

‘It’s always upsetting to lose, but nothing is lost,’ Dawley said.

The team has veteran leaders and a winning formula and, if they keep funneling the offense through Pilypaitis and Kotsopoulos, the other pieces will fall into place as well.’

Even though the road to another America East Championship may not go through Vermont in March, the Cats still have as much chance as anyone to win.