Sports editor Callie Hummel discusses the first winning season for the women’s basketball program since 2015 and the individual player accolades.
The Tulsa women’s basketball season officially came to an end, marking the first winning season since 2015. The program had a major turnaround from previous years thanks to new head coach Angie Nelp, the help of new coaching staff and the adjustments Nelp has made to the program during her time here.
With a majority of the team being underclassmen, there is a notion that the team this season is just the beginning of what these players can do. In the coming seasons, as players continue to develop and work together, it is expected for even more vistories. Two of these important underclassmen that have greatly helped the team throughout the 2022-2023 season and received individual accolades for it are Ahrray Young and Temira Poindexter.
Young is a freshman who, despite not being able to finish out the season due to injury, still started a majority of TU’s regular season games. Averaging 8.6 points a game, the guard was elected to the American Athletic Conference’s (AAC) all-freshman team.
Only a sophomore, Poindexter is the first TU women’s basketball player elected to the AAC all-conference first team. Poindexter had a stand out season after starting in all 29 of Tulsa’s games and leading the team in scoring with 482 points. The second highest scorer on the team, Delanie Crawford (sophomore), comes in at 334 points. These numbers also put Poindexter in fifth place for scoring among all the players in the AAC.
Along with the AAC awards to Young and Poindexter, fifth-year student Maya Mayberry earned the AAC Ambassador Award. This was the first time a player from TU’s program won this award. The Ambassador Award looks to recognize players who display superb sportsmanship, good behavior, fair play and community service outside of basketball. Coach Nelp speaks to Mayberry winning this award by saying, “There’s a community service project going on every weekend that you’re going to probably find Maya Mayberry at, and just her willingness to serve others and just the unselfishness that you see her play with on the court is the same unselfishness that she lives every single day of her life. I really don’t think there’s anyone more deserving of that Ambassador Award than Maya.”
Along with the recognition from the AAC, Mayberry also reached a career milestone earlier in the season after surpassing 1,500 career points. Another player that reached a scoring mile marker this season was Katia Gallegos. A junior guard in her first year at TU after transferring from The University of Texas at El Paso, Gallegos surpassed 1,000 career points during their game against UCF on Mar. 1.
TU started off incredibly strong at the beginning of the season and solidified themselves as a major team to beat this season. The winning record they held throughout the entire season placed the team at the seventh seed going into the AAC Championship Tournament. Despite having beaten UCF both times they played in the regular season, when they faced off in the first round of the tournament, the results were not the same. The game remained incredibly close throughout its entirety, but in the end UCF pulled ahead to win 53-69.
This brought TU’s final record to 17-13 and ended their season.