Hopkins women’s basketball won both of their games over Thanksgiving break to move to 4-2 on the year. The Jays beat Bryn Mawr University 76-36 and McDaniel 51-42. Both wins came against conference rivals, so the Jays earned a 2-0 start in conference play.
Saturday began the team’s five-game streak of Centennial Conference games to end the semester. Hopkins came into the game 3-2 facing an 0-3 Bryn Mawr squad in Goldfarb Gymnasium.
The Jays started fast and outpaced Bryn Mawr the whole game. There was not a single moment in the game where the Jays didn’t have the lead. They simply overwhelmed the Owls. The Jays shot a Stephen Curry-like 48.4 percent from the floor.
On the other end they also played great defense, holding Bryn Mawr to a 31.7-percent clip shooting. Freshman forward Halie Egan stood out, leading all scorers with 13 points and adding seven rebounds for good measure.
Sophomore forward Erin Walsh also had a good game, leading the team in rebounds with nine boards, while contributing seven points on the offensive end.
However, it was a true team effort, as nine Jays scored more than five points in the win. Even the players that didn’t score contributed with rebounds, assists and solid defense. The Jays will play the Owls again in February at Bryn Mawr.
Tuesday presented a tougher challenge for the Jays — there were seven lead changes throughout the game against McDaniel. Any time the Jays looked to put McDaniel away, the Green Terror would inch back into it. Going into halftime, the Jays were looking to extend the lead to double digits, but McDaniel cut the lead to five.
And, again with five minutes left in the game, the Jays were up by 11. But there was no quitting for McDaniel as they kept scoring point for point with Hopkins. It was a hard-fought game, and in hard-fought games you need leaders, such as sophomore guard Diarra Oden, who led the Jays in points (20), rebounds (eight) and assists (three). This was her first game back after dealing with an ankle injury. She was the biggest offensive piece for the Jays.
This year has been one of transition for the Hopkins women’s basketball team. Six seniors left last year, two of whom were First-Team All-Centennial caliber players. The team now looks for a leader in Oden, who has been excelling this year.
She explained how she has taken on a bigger leadership role with the team in an interview with The News-Letter.
“It’s still pretty much a big challenge every day learning how I can be a leader and how I can best help my teammates through anything on or off court,“ she said. “In terms of games, it’s been really different in comparison to last year considering I mostly played with the seniors. But since everyone this year is so dedicated and looking to get better every day. Our team chemistry grows daily and it’s just as fun and competitive.”
On the other side of the ball, freshman guard Emily Howie contributed five steals. The overall defense was impressive as McDaniel was held to a 28 percent shooting percentage.
Hopkins won the game for two reasons: Oden could get a bucket when she needed to, and the entire Jays team clamped down on McDaniel. The defense was particularly crucial in the third quarter when McDaniel was held to only four points. So, even though the stat sheet was a one-woman show, this win was a team effort. The next time Hopkins plays McDaniel is Jan. 29 in Goldfarb Gym.
The Jays’ next game is here at Hopkins against Gettysburg University who are undefeated thus far in the season. Kick-off is at 6 p.m. in Goldfarb.