Hopkins men’s and women’s basketball finished up their regular seasons this past weekend against the Ursinus College Bears.
Men’s basketball cruised to an 84-68 blowout win. The win secured the first seed in the Centennial Conference tournament for the first time since 2015. Graduate student guard Conner Delaney led the way for Hopkins with 26 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Senior forward Erin Walsh recorded 10 points and seven rebounds on her senior night. Women’s basketball won their game by a score of 49-42 and finished this season with a 21-3 record overall.
The News-Letter had the opportunity to talk with Delaney.
The News-Letter: You hit five threes in the win against Ursinus. How were you able to generate and knock down those looks?
Conner Delaney: I thought our team did a great job at executing our plan offensively. We ran great offense all night, and I was fortunate enough to get a lot of opportunities to shoot and was able to make a few. We want to get the best shots possible each possession and in that game, I was able to step up confidently and make some threes.
N-L: This is the first time since 2015 that Hopkins has secured the number one seed in the Centennial Conference tournament. What does this mean to you and your team?
CD: Coach Loeffler always says that winning a regular-season championship is challenging, and to do it for the first time in my career means a lot. It’s a testament to our team's focus and preparation for every game. We always come out ready to compete and don’t take any opponent lightly. It’s the first time we will get to host the Centennial Conference tournament in my career, and I am excited to play very important games on our home floor in front of our fans.
N-L: Your team ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak. How will the team look to carry that momentum into the Centennial Conference tournament?
CD: We definitely have a lot of confidence heading into the tournament. I think we have been playing some good basketball, and hopefully we can build on our success in the regular season. Our guys are ready to make a deep run in the postseason.
The News-Letter also spoke with Walsh about her game.
N-L: How did the team stay composed through a very close fourth quarter?
Erin Walsh: Our team is fairly accustomed to the pressure of close games — we’ve gone into overtime a few times this season. It’s never a question in our minds of whether or not we will win, so our confidence in our abilities and our trust in each other allows us to really keep our composure.
N-L: Your team out-rebounded Ursinus 52-33 and you had seven rebounds in the match. How were you and your team able to win the rebounding battle?
EW: Out-rebounding the other team is one of the key points we discuss before every game. We like to focus on controlling the controllables. Rebounding is all about effort and hustle, so it’s something we make a conscious effort to do. By focusing on crashing the boards, we’re able to limit the other team’s opportunities as well get second-chance points and give ourselves an offensive spark.
N-L: You will be facing off against Haverford College in the semifinals of the Centennial Conference tournament. What is the team atmosphere feeling like heading into that matchup?
EW: Our goal since pre-season has been to win a Centennial Conference championship, and as a team we’ve really honed in on going into this weekend with a clear head. The pressure of these big games is both nerve-wracking and exciting, but we’re ready to take on whatever Haverford throws at us. This season has been so full of joy, I am personally going into this weekend with a lot of gratitude for my team and what we have accomplished, and I know we are all ready to finish this season out and leave it all on the court.