By Marco Meglio - STAFF WRITER
Two years ago, Darius Faulk was playing the role of backup point guard on a West Virginia team. Now, she’s back in her hometown of Hempstead, leading the Pride on its quest for a Colonial Athletic Association title.
Faulk, the Pride’s new starting point guard got the team off to a hot start this season.
With the Pride winning six of its first seven games, they officially matched their hottest start to a season since 2011.
In her final season as a collegiate athlete, Faulk will get to finish it out once again in her hometown.
“It feels great to be back home, in front of family and friends, especially for my senior year, there’s no better feeling,” said Faulk.
The Hempstead native’s main focus this season is distributing the ball. Last year Faulk ranked second in the CAA in assists, with 4.7 per game.
She finished with 205 assists, ranking 28th in Division I. This year her numbers are a bit down, with just 3.3 a game. When asked about her personal goals Faulk said, “I want to be the CAA player of the year. I also want to be the top leader in assists.”
The Pride did not need big game “takeover” performances so far this season. No player is averaging more than 13 points per game.
The Pride’s Kelly Loftus, Krystal Luciano and Ashunae Durant all are averaging 13, 12.1 and 12 respectively.
When asked about the performance of the team and the scoring mentality they have, Faulk said, “We rely on the flow of the game. It can be anyone’s night. Any night can be anyone’s night.”
The Pride is on an absolute tear of late, with the key emphasis on defense.
In wins against Coastal Carolina and University at Buffalo, the Pride allowed a total of 36 and 40 points in the contests, respectively.
In the second quarter against Coastal Carolina, the Pride even shut out the Chanticleers 27-0 in the second quarter.
“We’re playing collectively as a unit right now. And our defense is fueling our offense,” Faulk said.
With only four more games left until conference play the Pride is looking to finish out its non-conference schedule strong.
The first conference game is less than a month away, with a matchup at Hofstra against the University of Delaware. Faulk shined last year during conference play, shooting just above 50 percent from the field.
The main goal for Hofstra is to get back where the season ended last year, in the CAA finals. James Madison was the only thing standing in the way of the Pride last year, with a 62-56 loss.
“We have to take one game at a time. There’s not one team in specific. The ultimate goal is the CAA title,” Faulk said.
With the Pride starting off strong this season there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the championship game. Faulk, now a senior, knows the role she plays.
She was in this position before with both the Mountaineers and last season with the Pride.
She will continue to lead the Pride down the stretch, in its quest for the title as the team faces UMass on Wednesday, Dec. 9.