May it never be said of the 2009-10 women’s basketball team that they fail to bring some drama to the court. Many of the games this season have been marked by reversals of fortune and when the games matter most, those turnarounds have been the most pronounced.

Three months ago, when UR took on Emory University’s Eagles in an away game, theYellowjackets gained an early lead, but lost it just before halftime, coming up short in a 50-60 loss.

When UR played Emory again this past Saturday, in the comfort of the Palestra, theYellowjackets again took the lead. And again, Emory took it away. Only this time, there was one major difference: UR took it back, winning 67-62.

The game had more than pride at stake. While the win against New York University on Feb. 24 helped secure a place in the NCAA Tournament, nothing was guaranteed until the regular season finished. A chance to prove their endurance, exact revenge and make the postseason well, that’s just high theater.

The last loss UR suffered, against Brandeis University on Feb. 19, came when Brandeis snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The win against NYU ran the opposite way. The biggest question, then, was whether UR could take the lead and actually maintain it.

‘If it was the beginning of the year, we may have lost the game, but I think [this] season’s experience has been a great advantage,” senior guard Jessica Mastronardi said.

The Eagles drew first blood this past weekend, but only momentarily, as sophomore forward Kate Agan went on a shooting spree, bringing an early 6-2 lead further developed by shots from sophomore forward-center Jodie Luther and freshman forward-center Amy Woods.

Then, only nine minutes into the first half, that horrible feeling of dj vu struck. With the exception of two successful foul shots, UR scored nothing for almost eight minutes. With 1:24 left in the first half, Emory reclaimed the lead.

In the second half, the true brawling began, with UR trying to pull ahead yet again, while

Emory brought things back even. Two free throw shots by junior guard Melissa Alwardt propelled UR into a 55-53 lead that was then undone 25 seconds later, after UR fouled Emory sophomore guard Becca Feldman.

Emory subsequently fouled Luther, who started UR’s victory run in earnest as the

Yellowjackets kept the Eagles at bay and Mastronardi nailed the last point in the game for the 67-62 victory.

That success also proved enough not only to cement UR’s place in the playoffs the NCAA announcement came out on Monday but also means the Yellowjackets will kick off hosting privileges this Friday. They will be preparing for the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, especially with their senior forward Jessica Laing, who was recently nominated for the prestigious Jostens Trophy recognizing outstanding ability in DIII basketball.

‘We have worked really hard all season and this is our reward,” sophomore guard-forward Caroline Bernal-Silva said. ‘This is when the season starts to get really fun.”

Brenneman is a Take Five Scholar.



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