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Murphy Leading Pride to Respect

By By Drew Buono

Lizanne Murphy holds the most important title on the Blue & Gold's basketball team: captain.

The 6-foot-1 junior from Canada is entering her second season as team captain, a position that has helped Murphy grow up quicker and helped her control her emotions both on and off the court. Murphy has kept her cool in a lot of situations including schooling, where she is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, psychology and french.

Murphy attends class five days a week, worth a total of 17 credits. As part of her major she takes lab courses that last up to four hours. She attends most of her classes in the morning and also has some of her labs after practice. The team practices five days a week for four hours from 2-6 p.m.

Murphy has enjoyed her time here with the Pride, but loved being part of Canada's Women's National Team this past summer. The team played in the World University Games in Turkey for three weeks, and this was an amazing experience for Murphy.

"I dream of playing in the Olympics and this was definitely a step in the right direction," she said. "I was amazed when I was putting on the Canadian jersey for the first time."

Murphy also had that feeling when she enrolled at the University and became a member of the Pride. "I was one of Coach Jack's first recruits and what made me pick Hofstra was when she told me that I would be playing consistently and not riding the bench," she said.

Murphy also credited Jack for bringing a new, fresh feel to the team that "changed the program in a very positive way."

This new approach has taken the Pride to the CAA Tournament the past two seasons. One of Murphy's and the team's goals is to win the tournament and get the at-large bid needed to enter the NCAA tournament.

"I want to win a ring and see them raise that banner up into the rafters before my time is through here. I want to leave my mark before I graduate," Murphy said. "This is the best team since I've been here. We all have the same mentality and that mentality is to play hard and win."

The team is close both on and off the court. "We all work out together even on off days without the coaches and we eat and study together," Murphy says.

When the team is on the road during its long six-month season, it has study hall to catch up on schoolwork. "There is two people in each room and they are left alone to do their homework. We all try to help each other out with whatever work assignment we have, otherwise Rachel Peele, our academic advisor, helps us out a lot."

In terms of her schoolwork, Murphy actually prefers the spring semester to the fall. "When the season starts, your right near finals, and with the spring semester at least you have a month to recover from the end of the season before finals."

Murphy would make an exception this season if the team wins the CAA tournament They would probably have to go through CAA rival and women's basketball powerhouse Old Dominion.

"The fans are so annoying there, and with their reputation of always winning, it would be great to beat them for the championship."

At least the Pride wouldn't have to play at Old Dominion, being that the site of the CAA Tournament is pre-determined before the beginning of the season. According to Murphy, the fan base is one of the main determining factors in winning the tournament.

"It would be great before I go to win the championship on our home court."

With its captain leading the team along the way, the Pride has to like its chances.

Murphy Leading Pride to Respect (Photo Courtesy Athletic Dept.)

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