Daynia La-Force’s team on the upswing

By Jill Saftel, News Staff

The women’s basketball team started this season’s Colonial Athletic Association play with an explosion after two sub-.500 seasons. They went a surprising 2-0 in their first two conference matchups, not to mention an at-home win streak tracing back to the 2011-2012 season that the University of Delaware snapped on Tuesday.

The team has struggled in recent years, finishing their 2011-12 efforts 8-22 overall, 6-12 in CAA play. The 2010-11 season resulted in the exact same overall record, a 3-15 record in conference matchups and ended on an 11-game losing streak.

But the 2012-13 season finally brought the success the Huskies had been looking for, as they currently sit at .600 overall with a 9-6 record. On top of that, the team is 7-1 at home on Solomon Court.

Director of Athletics Peter Roby often refers to Northeastern as a “sleeping giant” which, he said in the Dec. 6 issue of The News, has now awoken and become a threat to opponents. Head coach Daynia La-Force said she definitely feels the same way about her team.

“We’re right where I think we should be, given our improvement over the last couple of years,” she said. “We’re right where we need to be and we need to beat the teams that we know we can beat and really compete against the ones that may be a little bit better than us.”

The Huskies’ two conference wins came against George Mason University, 69-63, and the College of William & Mary with an overtime 71-69 victory.

But just as quickly as the 2-0 record came, two straight losses knocked the team down to .500. Tuesday’s loss to the University of Delaware Blue Hens all but took the wind from the team’s sails. Their height was more than the Huskies could handle, and the once undefeated Husky players left the court 25 points down and rather than nabbing their program-best 11th straight home win, saw their record snapped.

“The last two games we’ve played the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in our conference,” La-Force said, referring Delaware and Drexel University. “Against James Madison we lost by three. Do I think we’re 24 points worse than Delaware? No. We didn’t play our best game tonight. But we’ve proven we can compete with the teams in this league.”

While it’s early in CAA play, they’ll need to avoid slipping and return to the play that gave them the 2-0 start. With three of their next four games on the road, it won’t be easy, but La-Force said she is confident in her team’s ability to continue to fight.

“We have to recover and refocus,” she said. “We just have to keep playing and doing the little things right.”

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