The Hopkins women’s basketball team won all three of their games last week to improve their Centennial Conference record to 12-2.
Two of the victories came at home against Franklin & Marshall College and Washington College.
Against the Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall, the Jays were led by senior guards Lillian Scott, the Conference’s leading scorer, and Lexie Scholtz, who combined for 39 points. The victory marked the Jays’ 12th consecutive win over the Diplomats.
Hopkins had its best defensive game of the season against the Washington College Shorewomen, allowing only 37 points on 28.8 percent shooting. Sophomore forward Elise Moore and freshman forward Diarra Oden had two steals each, leading the Blue Jays to their 13th straight victory over the Shorewomen.
The other victory was a nail-biter at Dickinson College, the former home of Head Coach Katherine Bixby.
The Jays took a seven-point lead into halftime, which was erased in the third quarter after a strong 10 minutes by the Dickinson Red Devils, who outscored Hopkins 17-8.
The teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter. With a minute and 15 seconds remaining, senior forward Rory Cole stole the ball, leading to a layup from Scott that tied the game at 63.
With less than a second on the game clock, junior forward Jess Sweeney inbounded the ball to Cole, who drained a three-pointer to beat the buzzer and clinch the victory for the Jays.
Cole, the second-leading rebounder in the Conference, averaged over two steals and almost nine rebounds per contest over this three-game span. The Idaho native sat down with The News-Letter to discuss her recent success and the team’s hot streak.
The News-Letter: What have been the keys to the team’s success all season?
Rory Cole: One of the biggest keys we’ve developed as a team is trust in each other. What’s been really neat is that on any given night, there could be a different combination of three or four players that could go off for double digit scoring. It makes us really hard to defend and helps motivate us throughout the game.
N-L: What was going through your head before and after hitting the buzzer-beater to defeat Dickinson?
RC: When I caught the inbounds pass from Jess, all I was thinking was, “turn and shoot, turn and shoot!” I really didn’t think it would go in, so when I saw it go through the basket, all I could think was, “where’s the ref, what’s the call?”
N-L: What have the seniors done to help the underclassmen adapt to the level of play in college and Coach Bixby’s system?
RC: As a whole team we take responsibility for helping the freshmen adjust to school at Hopkins in general. The biggest thing is letting them know when they are doing things well, whether that’s in practice or in a game, or when we see them around the campus the next day.
N-L: How do you feel you have developed as a player over your career at Hopkins?
RC: The biggest development in my game has been in leadership on the floor.
N-L: What must the team focus on to continue its success in Centennial Conference play?
RC: Going into the tournament and post-season play, we really need to focus on working as a team and getting more players involved in scoring consistently.
N-L: What are your personal goals and the team’s goals for the rest of the season?
RC: Both personally and as a team, we are working for a Centennial Conference championship. Any games after that will be the cherry-on-top of a wonderful season.
Hopkins will face the Bryn Mawr College Owls in their next Centennial Conference matchup on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. The Blue Jays will then look to maintain their strong home record when they return to The Nest on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. as they take on the Swarthmore College Garnet.