“Eyes Forward”

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MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER

Senior Christine Marks grabs one of her 11 rebounds against Wilkes University February 1. The Cougars won 61-45.

Dom Dellos, Reporter

This year’s women’s basket- ball team already has a place in history with three players breaking records this season. But they aren’t done making history yet.

After winning seven out of their last eight games, the team is hitting a stride, im- proving to 11-8 overall. They are also 7-2 in the Freedom Conference after dismantling Wilkes in front of their home crowd at the Anderson Center. “We’re focused on working to- gether and helping each other out,” said senior Christine Marks. “We’re really moti- vated.”

Marks, an All-American Center, broke the all-time points and rebounding records earlier in the season. Marks is ranked 14th in the nation in scoring, currently averaging 20.5 points per game and 10.4 rebounds. She’s also ranked third in the nation with a free throw percentage of 89.7%. “It’s awesome to accomplish,” Marks said of breaking the record. “It’s amazing to have the support of my team, fam- ily, and friends. It’s something I worked extremely hard for.”

Senior Jesse Robinson broke the career free throw record, is a leader for the Cougars on both ends of the floor, and is averaging 10.9 points per game so far this season.

Junior Tyann McDaniel made history as well, recently breaking the all-time, three- point field goal record, burying more than 163 triples in her career thus far. She currently leads the team in three-point percentage at 42% and leads the team in assists with 3.4 per game.

“Breaking the record doesn’t faze me, I’m more focused on the team benefit,” said Mc- Daniel. “I just shoot the ball with confidence, and Coach has the confidence in me as well.”

Following the resignation

of reigning Freedom Confer- ence Coach of the Year Tom Griffith, the team has rallied behind interim Head Coach and Director of Athletics Da- vid Martin.

“He came in and said he’s not going to change anything in the system, maybe a few tweaks here and there if he feels it will make us better,” said McDaniel.

“It was a smooth transition,” said Marks. “We got together and the captains told the team they are here for anyone who needs to talk. We’re mainly just trying to keep our eyes forward.”

It’s been anything but a distraction for the team, as they see it as just another way to come together and focus on the road ahead.

A focus on defense has been evident, as the Cougars are playing more aggressively and forcing more turnovers. They forced 28 turnovers in their last win over Wilkes, includ- ing 22 steals.

“Coach Martin tells us to be more aggressive and not to take breaks on defense,” said Marks.

With the Cougars playing their best basketball of the season, they have their eyes set on playoffs and a hope for a potential home game in the first round.

“Coach Martin says we’re unstoppable at home,” said McDaniel. “It’s our comfort zone, and we are extremely confident.”

“We have to keep get- ting better and better,” said Marks, of the team heading into the final stretch of the season. “We have to keep working hard, and keep win- ning.”

“We’re all having a lot of fun right now,” said McDaniel. “It has to do with our relation- ship on and off the court. We play for each other.”