Sights set on making it to the championship tourney, Lady Cru pull together as a team

With a big upset over Howard Payne University Jan. 27, the Lady Cru have their hopes set on making it to the final four and competing in the National Championship.

“We were able to beat Howard Payne at Howard Payne, which we’ve only done one other time since I’ve been here,” Head Coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton said. “It was a big win while on a hard road trip from Brownwood to Alpine.”

The Lady Cru have an overall 13-8 record, with eight of those being conference wins. Teamwork has played a large role in helping them.

The Lady Cru basketball team huddles up before the home game against the Howard Payne Yellowjackets on Feb. 3. The women lost 66-61. They also played Sul Ross on Feb. 5 and won 87-50. They have four games left in the season, with the last one at home against Texas Lutheran University. Photo by Stacy Fannin

“The best part of the season so far is truly coming together as a team. We’ve lost people for personal reasons and injuries. We’ve fought through sicknesses and we’ve overcome losses,” senior exercise sports science major and guard Caitlin Barganier said. “We finally fused together and became one.”

Junior sports management major and guard/wing Miranda Shorter agrees.

“We all really want the best for each other. We don’t give up on each other, but we continue to help make it through hard times as one and pull together. If a team isn’t a ‘team,’ it will break you. I am so happy to be on this one with such amazing people.”

With only four games left in the regular season, the women are looking toward the playoffs.

“Our hopes are just like every other team’s: win the conference tournament. We’re different though because we believe we can do it and have the passion for it.”

The first step is positive thinking and seeing that the goals of the team can be reality.

“We are definitely capable of winning this season,” senior math major and post Landie Thompson said.

The team knows that any small obstacle can get in the way and not allow them to make it to the playoffs. They are doing everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We’re like a fist balled up. If just one finger is sticking out, or we have space between the fingers, we’re letting other things get in those spaces or take advantage of that one finger,” Barganier said. “We fight together, live together, die together and ultimately need each other.”

The Lady Cru take on the Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls in Abilene Feb. 10. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.

They hope the game will bring them one win closer to playoffs.

“Coach defines W.I.N. as What’s Important Now. For us, that’s finishing the season top 4 on the west side and making the conference tournament,” junior exercise sports science major and guard Brittany Zomora said. “We’ve had a few bumps in the road this season, some tough losses, but we’ve worked through it all together, and we’ve been playing well the last few games. (We) just have to keep it up.”

In their most recent home game against Sul Ross, the women crushed the Lobo’s 87-50.

Since the start of the season, Kirkpatrick-Thorton has favored a quote from Saint Ignatius of Loyola. She reminds her players of it often and will continually until the last basket has been made.

It reads, “Let us work as if success depended upon ourselves alone, but with heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing, and God everything.”

Author: Brooke Morgan

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