Throughout what has been a difficult campaign, fight has defined the women’s basketball team’s season this year.
Following a loss and a win in their recent consecutive games on Feb. 7 and Feb. 10, currently the Tars are determined to show their fight, finish strong, and make a splash in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) tournament despite the tough season.
They showed their determination in a hard-fought loss on Wednesday, Feb. 7; they hung tight with SSC leader, Florida Southern, for the entirety of the contest.
The Tars trailed by nine points after the first quarter and proceeded to remain neck and neck with the Mocs for the remainder of the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, they came within four points of Florida Southern. Despite the impressive play of Jaylyn Harrison ‘20, who added 15 points and five assists, the Tars came up short, losing 78-69.
Although the loss was the third straight for the Tars, they managed to bounce back on Saturday, Feb. 10 with a 57-52 win over Palm Beach Atlantic. This time, the Tars led the entire game, warding off a fourth quarter comeback to finish off the win.
Starter Vernisha Andrews ‘19 had a solid outing corralling 15 rebounds and scoring eight points.
Andrews took Wednesday’s loss on a positive note, emphasizing the endurance that the team showed, especially down the stretch. When asked about the game, Andrews said, “That game shows that we can stick with any team in the conference. We have the talent and the will power.”
Such attributes could prove pivotal as the season comes to a close. With a 12-11 overall record, the Tars’ only shot at a NCAA Tournament berth will hinge on their success in the SSC tournament.
Were the Tars to win the conference, they would receive an automatic bid to the national tournament. The road will be tough, however, and the Tars will look to go into the conference tournament with momentum from their final few games.
The tournament will not be easy, and with teams like nationally-ranked Florida Southern standing in their way, the Tars will need to be at their best.
Andrews had a clear vision for what it would take for the team to make a run. “We can out play teams with our toughness and talent, we just have to play hard,” said Andrews.
Regardless of whether they manage to make the tournament, the Tars aim to finish the season strong and continue the fight they displayed in both of their games this week. The Tars have two games left on their schedule; one at home against Eckerd on Saturday, Feb. 17, and another at St. Leo next week.