This year both teams had the opportunity to complete their winter training in Puerto Rico. They both played two games, but when they weren’t heating up on the gym floor, they were free to heat up on the white sandy beaches.
It is safe to say that first-year guard Brooke Lemke enjoyed the experience.
“When we weren’t playing basketball we toured old San Juan and spent most of our time on the beach as a team. We played beach volleyball, had a sand castle contest, had relay races out on the beach, and goofed around with the go-pro in the ocean. We also watched both of the Men’s games,” Lemke said.
The women won their first contest against Rampao College 47-29, but fell to the Coast Guard Academy 51-62 in their second game.
Against Rampao, first-year Justine Lee led the team with twelve points, shooting 4-of-5 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the freethrow line. Sophomore Mikayla Miller also showed up to play, going for eleven points and eleven rebounds to earn her second career double-double.
Despite a season-high thirty-three bench points the women dropped the game against the Coast Guard Academy. Lemke had her finest game so far however, tallying fourteen points, shooting 6-of-14 with two from beyond the arc. Sophomore Steph Klockmann notched her first double-double after scoring eleven points and snagging twelve rebounds.
The men lost by a mere point to Vassar college in their first game, 51-52, but bounced back in their second contest beating SUNY-Oneonta 55-48.
Senior Chad Poppen tallied ten points against Vassar, senior Brody Ziegler had nine, and senior Chris Narum went for eight, but it was Narum’s last second layup that had just a bit too much on it nulled the Gusties’ last second win.
The next day Narum played like a man possessed against SUNY-Oneonta, going for seventeen points. Narum was 7-of-10 shooting, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-10- from the freethrow line. Sophomore Schuyler Thompson made his first career start amd went for four points and three rebounds in his nineteen minutes.
Even though both teams would have each surely liked to win both games, they nonetheless enjoyed the experience.
“One of the main things that I took away from this trip is that we are not just a team. We are a group of best friends that act like each other’s second family. This is something that very few people get to experience and I’m glad I am one of those few people,” Lemke said.
“It was a once in a lifetime trip,” Lemke said.