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Hofstra women’s basketball climbs up the ranks during winter break

By Victoria Mickens - STAFF WRITER The Hofstra Pride women’s basketball team has powered through an impressive 2015-16 season. While the majority of Hofstra students were away from school for the winter recess, the Pride was posting wins; only losing one game and winning eight throughout the break.

Their current overall record sits comfortably at 17-5 (8-3 conference and 9-3 non-conference). Additionally, the Pride ranked 18th in the top 25 mid-major poll on Jan. 26.

Among other victories throughout the winter, Hofstra won four of five games in the month of December. One of which was a 66-49 triumph at Delaware State in the previous game. This led the team into the new year with nine wins in 11 games.

All players have been putting forth an enormous effort to keep up this remarkable season and proudly represent Hofstra University.

There have been, as there usually are, stand-out athletes who have really made the difference in terms of pushing the Pride in the right direction. With regard to individual statistics, the top five players of the season are Kelly Loftus, Ashunae Durant, Krystal Luciano, Asia Jackson, and Darius Faulk.

This by no means excludes the contributions of the other seven ladies on the team. In fact, that is what head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey says “makes us very dangerous.”

She continues, “We can put a lot of point on board with a lot of different people and we need to keep riding that.”

Kilburn-Steveskey demonstrates faith and confidence in every member of the team while recognizing the extraordinary potential of those five players named above.

“We don’t want to have any nights where everybody runs dry. We want to keep running with this as long as we can. It will be a battle but it will be one that we are ready for,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.

During an interview after a Hofstra and Marist matchup on Dec. 20, Kilburn-Steveskey said of senior guard Darius Faulk, “She has this ability … [She’s] one of my most improved players from summer to now … I just cannot be proud enough. She’s always going to give you consistency night after night,” Kilburn-Steveskey said.

The different dimensions each player brings seem to be one of the most important aspects of the team to Coach Kilburn- Steveskey. She is well aware that each player is unique and refining that uniqueness in each individual has improved the team’s overall performance this winter.

She said in reference to the matchup against UNCW on Jan. 15, “We get everyone to jump on the [championship mentality] bandwagon and we’ve got a lot of winners in this group that are doing so.”

Coach Kilburn-Steveskey – who is currently celebrating her 10th season as head coach at Hofstra – knows that even with an outstanding team, improvement is always a possibility.

“There’s always a lot more we can do defensively to make ourselves better,” she said.

Overall, the Hofstra Pride Women’s basketball team has had a solid season. However, during the winter recess, the number of spectators naturally declined. The Pride needs all of the support they can get from students, faculty and family to finish out this season strong now that everyone is back on campus.

Kilburn-Steveskey puts it best when she says, “We just need to do some things to get people to come to our games. These are great kids and they deserve people watching them play.”

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