By, Kelly Cwik, Staff Writer
Finishing their season with an overtime win on Saturday at Marist College, the Manhattan Women’s Basketball team is preparing for the 2022 MAAC Basketball Championships in Atlantic City, New Jersey next week.
The regular season came to a close in exciting fashion with two overtime games. Manhattan beat Marist, 68-60, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for their final regular season game on March 5. On Wednesday, March 2, Manhattan beat rival Quinnipiac in overtime, with a final score of 73-69. The win was an exciting way to finish off their home games this season.
“It actually meant the world and to be honest, after it happened I was kind of like, tearing up and I really couldn’t believe it” junior guard Dee Dee Davis said. “It was just a surreal feeling. Because I mean, it’s always a battle with them.”
Manhattan lost to Quinnipiac in January, so the win at home was especially meaningful to the seniors on the team.
“We were so close the last time. So we were like, we really want to get this. And it was also important for the seniors” sophomore forward Jade Blagrove said. “So yeah, it was amazing to get this in overtime.”
This past weekend, with their win over Marist, Manhattan ended the season near the top of the standings in third place, but remain humble as they are taking one game at a time.
“Going into the conference, our coach emphasizes not worrying about what records are, not worrying about who lost to who by what, who’s doing this, it’s anybody’s game on any given night because the conference that we’re in is just so competitive,” Davis said. “And so it may be a great feeling that we’re picked to be one of the best teams in the league, we’re at the top of the league, statistically, but if we don’t show up, none of that matters.”
The team is focused and prepared to go into the tournament, looking to win the MAAC Championship. They will face stiff competition, especially from Fairfield, the No. 1 seed. This season, they lost twice to Fairfield by over 10 points each time, however, they are confident and ready to play.
“They’re a skilled team, very mature team and we played them last Saturday, although we didn’t get the win, that was good prep for when we get down to Atlantic City,” junior forward Brazil Harvey-Carr said.
Despite these losses, Manhattan feels prepared, confident and ready to leave it all out on the court.
“My confidence has been high ever since I stepped on campus at Manhattan,” Harvey-Carr said. “I know this team is something special and I have high confidence that we can win this tournament. Everybody on this team is very talented and capable of getting the job done.”
Davis said the key to winning the MAACs is to stay true to themselves, defend and play their game. Harvey-Carr said it is to focus on every possession, communicate, and play as a team. Similar to her teammates, Blagrove shared her key to winning these upcoming games.
“If we stick to our principles, and stick to what we do, as a team, then we can win everything,” Blagrove said. “I think being together is very important and sharing the ball trusting each other that we are all following what the coaches taught us to do and that we can do everything.”
Unlike last year, fans and spectators will be allowed into Boardwalk Hall for this year’s tournament. The cheerleaders, dance team and the band will be traveling to support the men’s and women’s teams, as well. The Manhattan Women’s team is thrilled that they will have the support of Jasper Nation, friends, and family.
“To just see the people that you love and your family and your teammates, from other schools, supporting you, it means the world because you can feed off of that energy,” Davis said. “When the gym is silent and there’s no one there, it’s all us, but we like to credit a lot of our success to not only us, but to our entire fanbase, entire Jasper nation.”
Manhattan’s first game of the MAAC tournament is on Thursday at 12PM.