During back-to-back heartbreaking one-point losses to Clemson and Richmond last weekend in Storrs, Conn., the Hofstra women’s basketball team held late leads but was not able to finish. Much of the theme during this morning’s intense three hour practice at the Mack Sports Complex was preaching how to execute in late-game pressure situations as the Pride get set to end a nine-day layoff with a home game against Providence this Tuesday night.
“Today was a game-like practice,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kliburn-Steveskey adding that each drill this week has been at a high intensity level. “We haven’t written in one practice plan that started off soft.”
After Hofstra (3-3) fell in the final seconds to Richmond 42-41 Sunday afternoon, Kilburn-Steveskey gave her team the next two days to heal mentally and physically as the Pride had just played four games in five days. However once practice resumed on Wednesday she ramped up the intensity to get her players fully prepared for a Big East Conference opponent.
“It is good that we have some tough competition coming in Tuesday so that we can prove to ourselves that we can get back on the horse,” said Kilburn-Steveskey.
As a sign of how intense practice has been for the Pride this week, senior guard Sam Brigham lost a half a tooth during a drill yesterday and had to head to the dentist for a root canal. However the Pride backcourt leader still managed return to the floor for this morning’s practice and Kilburn-Steveskey said she hopes the senior guard's determination and toughness can inspire the rest of the team.
When Hofstra battles Providence on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. it will be the first time in four years that a Big East opponent has entered Mack Sports Complex for a regular season game with the last being a 71-65 loss to St. John’s on Dec. 11, 2005. Providence has played well early on in the season winning its first four games. “We need to come out ready,” said Brigham.