Women’s Basketball Team Wins Region XV Championship
— SullivanWBB (@SullivanWBB) February 29, 2016
The Generals’ run for the Regional title began February 23rd, with an astonishing 88-25 win over Rockland Community College in the tournament quarter finals. In the semi-finals, SUNY Sullivan faced Hostos on February 27th, and came out of the first half with a slight edge, 31-27. But the gap widened in the 2nd half, and the game ended with a 76-49 victory.
Asked about the team’s ability to grow big leads in the second half, coach Dan Lang responded:
“I think in the region semis and finals, despite what the kids say, they had some nerves and put a lot of pressure on themselves to play their best. Once we got to halftime, in the locker room we discussed the changes we had to make to put ourselves in a better position and to get back to playing our style. The kids were very positive with each other and building themselves up to correct the mistakes we had been making and play better.”
The final came Sunday, February 28th, at noon, when the Generals took on Bronx Community College at Monroe Athletic Complex in New Rochelle. Much like in the game against Hostos, the final match-up saw tight scores early on, with Bronx holding the lead. But SUNY Sullivan exploded in the second-half, and managed a 43-29 final score.
With the tournament won, the Generals head to Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey to compete for the NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Tournament, March 10-12. But Lang says the team will not be resting on its laurels.
Our focus will be to continue to get better. Despite winning the region and having a great season thus far, we know there are things that we need to improve on. We are going to be facing the best competition in the country, so we have to be playing at a high level as the margin of error is even smaller.”
SUNY Sullivan Interim Dean of Student Development Services and Director of Athletics, Chris DePew, praised Lang’s efforts.
“Dan took the program to new heights, leading us to not only our 2nd championship in school history, but the 2nd in three years. We’re happy that he’s built the program to be one of the premier programs in the country.”
But Lang says that beyond coaching, the team’s success is based on a very special crop of players.
“This team is special because of how close they came throughout the course of the season and overcame adversity. We played a pretty tough schedule and at one point we played 7 games in 10 days which taught us to grow up and trust each other if we wanted to be successful. Myself and coach Graham would preach certain points all season and during the final few weeks of the regular season, leading to the tournament, we were able to take a step back as they understood more clearly what it takes to be a top team.”
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