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Columbia Missourian

Stephens basketball wins first American Midwest Conference game

By Nicole Malinowski
February 28, 2009 | 8:00 p.m. CST

Stephens basketball ended its regular season with a win over Williams Baptist

COLUMBIA – Even before the buzzer sounded, the Stephens women's basketball players were out of their seats on the sidelines clapping and cheering for their teammates.

They would finally be adding a win to their conference record.  As soon as the clock hit 0:00, the players, along with many thrilled fans, jumped up and down in excitement. The team came together and hugged each other. The giant smiles never left their faces.

Stephens won its first American Midwest Conference game of the season Saturday, defeating Williams Baptist 61-55.

“This is a pretty amazing day, “ Stars coach Dane Pavlovich said.  “We accomplished a lot.”

The Stars played a tough, heart-filled game and were able to finish their season strong with a win, just as Pavlovich and the team had hoped.

Despite nine straight losses and a 0-15 conference record entering the game, the Stars went in with a positive mindset of adding a win to their record.

“We got down early and it would have been easy to think, ‘Here we go again,’ but we brought it back possession by possession,” Pavlovich said.  “They knew they could compete, and we took a big step and got over the hump.”

Even though the Stars trailed 34-26 at halftime, they fought hard to gain the lead and kept it for the majority of the second half. They played with heart and determination throughout the entire 40 minutes. It was easy to see the Stars were not going to back down.

“I think we’ve played well this season, but never put together a full 40 minutes,” Stars senior Rachel Henderson said. “We didn’t lose composure and finally played a complete game, and I’m proud of the team for not giving up.”

They showed that they wanted to win not only through how they played, but their attitudes on the court and on the sidelines.

The Stars had a goal to finish the season strong, and they are proud to say they have accomplished that.

“I won’t remember any other specific game, but I will remember this one, because of how much heart the team gave,” Stars senior Stephanie Dippold said.