Womens hoops experience struggles

p>WomenÕs basketball has had a tough time getting into the swing of things this season.

Despite some hiccups in the CatamountsÕ schedule, head coach Lori Gear McBride has seen improvement in her team.

ÒThe team has had some ups and downs but overall there have been great gains,Ó McBride said.

The first-year players have contributed to the Catamounts success.

ÒOur three first-years are all doing a good job adjusting to the college game and contributing.

ÒThey have all spent time in the starting lineup and have made valuable contributions,Ó McBride said.

First-years Kristina White and Kylie Butler have both been named America East Rookies of the Week.

Even with that honor both girls are still adjusting to playing at the collegiate level and are always looking to improve.

ÒThe games are at a higher pace and every opponent will give you a tough fight down to the last second,Ó White said.

The Catamounts started their season in November with losses to Bryant and Dartmouth. Following that they had the TD Bank Classic and earned their first win against North Florida, 68-44.

They returned for the championship game against Wisconsin-Green Bay but fell 74-57.

The Cats travelled to New York to get their second win against Wagner, 80-70.

They returned to Patrick Gym to get another win against UMass Lowell, 95-82.

This two game winning streak did not create enough momentum to come out on top in the following games against Central Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The game against Canisius Dec. 16 is the last win the Catamounts have had to date. Vermont won the match 74-51.

This game was one that junior Niki Taylor and the rest of her team say they are especially proud of.

ÒWe were very proud of the Canisus game. I think we all worked hard and worked well together,Ó Taylor said. ÒThat game just shows us as a team how good we can be.Ó

The Catamounts, who are 4-11 overall, are looking to get their momentum going in the America East Conference that began Jan. 9.

UVM took on the University of Albany at home in Patrick Gym Thursday night.

The Catamounts fell to Albany 94-49.

Despite an effort by junior Kayla Burchill, who led Vermont with 15 points, foul trouble hurt the team from a scoring standpoint.

Albany, the defending America East Champions, started the game with a 10-0 run until the Catamounts scored their first basket.

Vermont battled in the first half and kept the score close.

Despite the effort, the Great Danes took their 38-27 lead into half time.

The Catamounts fell under AlbanyÕs pressure in the second half.

Albany had a 25-4 run with 9:22 remaining to stretch its gap to 68-38.

They went on to maintain a large lead and get another win under their belt.

Albany sophomore Shereesha Richards set a new single-game school record of 41 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the Great Danes past the Catamounts.

Despite the loss against Albany, the Catamounts arenÕt giving up.

ÒOur goal is to win as many conference games as we can, in order to put ourselves in a position to get to the finals of the America East Tournament,Ó McBride said.