Women’s season ends against UConn in AAC tournament
The women’s basketball team ended their regular season with a win, beating Cincinnati 78–61. The win earned the Golden Hurricane the ninth seed and a matchup with Memphis, who the Golden Hurricane beat in their only regular season matchup at home. After upsetting the Tigers their season ended with a matchup against the University of Connecticut.
In the win over the Bearcats senior Ashley Hughes had a career-high 18 points and eight assists, playing the full 40 minutes of game time.
Hughes was joined by Erika Wakefield (15), Liesl Spoerl (14) and Tatyana Perez (10) in double-digit points.
Head coach Matilda Mossman discussed her reasoning for keeping Hughes in the entire game in her post-game press conference.
“It wasn’t intentional to leave Ashley in, but she was playing so well I hated to take her out. Then in the second half she came out and hit a big shot so I was going to leave her in until she missed a shot and she didn’t miss until about two minutes left in the game.”
“Tonight was her senior night. She didn’t make any mistakes — no turnovers, 6-of-9, guarded well and didn’t do anything wrong. It’s one she’ll always remember and she as well as fellow senior Jessica Pongonis are great ambassadors. They set the tone at practice every day and I am happy for them and how they have played in the last two games.”
The Golden Hurricane and Bearcats went back and forth in the first quarter, with both teams shooting over 50 percent in the first quarter. Tulsa took a slight edge, leading Cincinnati 21–20 after 10 minutes.
The second quarter did not feature as much offense as the first, but Tulsa was able to take a five-point lead of 34–29 into the half.
Tulsa exploded offensively in the third quarter, starting off 6-of-7 and finishing with 31 points to take a nineteen-point lead (65–46) into the final frame. While they only made 25 percent of their shots in the fourth quarter, they held on to take home the seventeen-point win.
“It’s always about making shots. We shot the ball well, everyone shot well. When you are shooting the ball well, other parts of the game you feel good about too. I am thrilled that our guys were able to manage the game the way the did, especially in the fourth quarter. They took care of the ball.”
In the game against Memphis (where the winner got the reward of a meeting with UConn) the women’s team jumped out to an early lead, and held on to upset the eighth seed 60–55.
Hughes and Wakefield led the Golden Hurricane with double-digit points/
In the final game, the Golden Hurricane took on the Huskies for the third time this season with similar results to the first two matchups with UConn handing Tulsa a 105–57 loss. Mossman talked about the season.
“I want to remember the season by our two previous. The way we came back after six losses in a row to win at Cincinnati and beat Memphis in the first round, that’s where I envision our future.”
“I am proud of the strides we made throughout the year. We won a lot of close games with a lot of inexperience kids and I thought we put ourselves in a better position for next year.”
“Our two seniors – Ashley Hughes and Jessica Pongonis – rallied at the end of the year. Their last three games of the year were really solid and we’re going to miss their work ethic, leadership and who they are away from the floor.”
While the Golden Hurricane finished the regular season with only a 9–20 (5–11 AAC) record, there were things to look forward going forward to next year.
The Golden Hurricane’s roster features eight freshmen and sophomores who all got a lot of playing time and experience this season. In particular Shug Dickson and Kendrian Elliott were named to the conference All-Freshman team.