Le Moyne women’s basketball looking to get off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament

Local Sports

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The regular season is in the books, and now every game could be their last, as the Le Moyne women’s basketball team prepares for the postseason.

Le Moyne Women’s Basketball Head Coach Gina Castelli said, “I think the girls know what’s at stake.” 

“This definitely feels like a new season,” Le Moyne Senior Guard McKayla Roberts said. “Playoffs is a different vibe… we like pressure, that’s what we look forward to, winning championships.”

The pressure starts to heat up on Sunday in Le Moyne’s first conference tournament game. The Dolphins are trying to become the first team in program history to appear in the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.

“Well, you never feel like you’ve done enough,” Castelli said. “I don’t know if we need to win it all to get an at-large bid [to the NCAA Tournament], but I do think to win one or two would be ideal.”

Earning the second seed in the NE10 Tournament, Le Moyne starts conference tournament play at home against Bentley University. The Dolphins are coming into the postseason on a hot streak, winning ten of their last twelve games.

“For the start of the season, we were kind of younger, trying to figure some stuff out, and then we had some injuries we had to deal with,” Roberts said. “Now, we are able to pull through, which is the best time to pull through.”

Le Moyne Redshirt Junior Guard Liz Millea said, “We just have this flow with everyone, everyone’s working together well, we’re making extra passes, we’re making layups, we’re just doing everything as a team really well.”

One thing on the Dolphins side is experience. Last year, Le Moyne won the NE10 Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Roberts said, “We know what it takes to be there, how it feels, so I think that will give us a competitive edge over opponents.”

One reason for Le Moyne’s success has been the play of McKayla Roberts. The senior is third in the conference in both points and assists per game. She may only stand five feet four inches tall, but she has a ton of heart.

“Well, I think everyone knows how important McKayla is,” Castelli said. “I think it’s just her passion, she has incredible passion to win, an incredible passion for the game. I always say, ‘you just don’t ever want to disappoint her.’ Her goal here was to help build a program, and she’s really done that.” 

Like everyone else, McKayla wants to go out as a winner, but it all starts with Sunday’s game against Bentley.

Millea said, “I think our overall goal is obviously the National Championship, but we want to go game-by-game, so right now it’s to win against Bentley.”

Le Moyne will host Bentley University on Sunday, March 1 with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. Fans can stream the game here.

For more local news, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17

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