For the first time since 2012, the women’s basketball team won the tournament it hosts annually: the Roadrunner Tip Off Tournament, where they improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Roadrunners took home a victory against John Jay College in the first round of the tournament by a score of 70-44, and won the tournament with a 65-44 victory against the College of St. Elizabeth the next day.
Head coach Mike Eineker was impressed with the hot start.
“It was a good start to the season,” said Eineker. “I was happy with the way we competed and the way we played. A lot of kids contributed, and a lot of kids played well.”
Despite 26 and 21-point victories in the tournament, Eineker was happy with his team stepping up against better competition.
“It was definitely a step up, it’s a progression. I think it’s going to lead us forward into the jump we’re going to see from the tournament teams to the conference teams. It will be a significant jump,” said Eineker.
A significant jump indeed, as Montclair, the Roadrunners’ last opponent, and Stockton, their next opponent, are both ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
Senior guard Kellie Lane won MVP honors for the tournament, dropping 17 points against John Jay and 14 against St. Elizabeth.
She also grabbed six boards of her own in the tournament.
“She’s very much. I think her and Bridgette [Buckalew] are the heart and soul of our team,” Eineker said of his two captains.
“Kellie’s been very reliable for us for four years. She plays until exhaustion, she plays until she can’t go anymore. I like that about her, and she’s always been that kind of a kid.”
Eineker added that Lane’s attitude has transpired throughout the locker room.
“That’s bled over to the rest of our team,” said Eineker. “We see a lot of the team dynamic that we have, we have a lot of kids that care about each other, and they’re more interested in seeing our team do well than scoring points or tallying assists and rebounds.”
Shelby Ringer continued her hot shooting in the tournament, going 8-18 from the perimeter on the weekend.
“Last year, we weren’t a great shooting team, so we hope [our new success] can continue,” said Eineker.
Following a loss to William Paterson last week, the Roadrunners lost to Montclair by a score of 57-46 last night, and they will face the Stockton Ospreys on Saturday at the Bradley Center at 3 p.m. for their first home conference game.
“The biggest thing for us when we enter these conference games is we have to get better every game. We want to play as hard as we can,” said Eineker.
“Our conference is going to be very competitive. The longer we can stay in the game, the more it’ll feed us and the more nervous it’ll make those other teams.”