By Trevor Whitney, Contributing Writer

UMF Women's Basketball athlete Janessa Talarico (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)

UMF Women’s Basketball athlete Janessa Talarico (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)

Crowds filled the bleachers last Tuesday night as the UMF women’s basketball team fell short to Husson in Dearborn Gymnasium for the North Atlantic Conference home opener.

Bright lights shined down on the courts, balls bounced off the hardwood and the rim rang as shots were taken while the Beavers and Eagles began warming up. White and maroon were seen on one side of the court while the away team wore black and green.

UMF junior #22 Jenessa Talarico said, “I think that we have the talent to have a successful year and make the playoffs again; however, we are young and lack experience so we are going to work extra hard on the little things such as defense and boxing out after every play in order to match some of the other team’s skill levels.”

The Beavers and Eagles got in position for the jump ball. The whistle was blown, echoing throughout the gymnasium as the ball launched into the air. As the first quarter was underway the Beavers got the tip and rushed down court attempting to score. The ball was passed back and forth, but then lost and grabbed by the other team. Eagles tried passing the ball, but were stopped by the Beavers who then passed the ball to #33 Emma Duggan for an attempt at a three, but it was no good.

Husson’s Kenzie Worcester hit the first basket of the game at the eight-minute mark. Husson would start out to an early 8-0 lead, that is, until Kennadi Grover hit a jump shot to get the Beavers on the board. Half way through the first quarter, the Eagles lead the Beavers with a score of 15-2. Haley Felkel hit a three pointer with about three and a half minutes left to make the score 15-5. By the end of the first, Husson lead 23-11.

The Second quarter began. The Eagles scored three quick baskets to open their lead to 29-11. The Beavers struggled through the quarter but managed to get back on the board with five minutes left with a three pointer from Cheyenne Malloy. Husson, not letting up, scored seven times where Farmington only had four, which pushed their lead to 25 with about a minute left before half-time.

The Beavers started the third quarter strong, hitting multiple free throws, they scored 13 of their 18 points. Sydney Petrie made a layup with about two minutes on the clock to make the score 62-37. By the Fourth Quarter, a layup from Talarico was made; however, Farmington could not catch the Eagles lead, holding the final score 78-55.

Courtney Alofs, senior athlete at UMF, said, “I think we matched up well with the top team in our conference. We have some things we need to work on, but that was the first conference game of the season and we will only continue to improve. She continued, “We won’t see them again until the last game of the season, so we’ll be ready for the rematch.” Alofs tallied six rebounds while also going 2-2 at the charity strike.

Talarico also shared her input after the game, “Husson is a good team,” said Talarico, “the preseason poll predicted them to be the number one team and us the number 7 team; however, I think that if we play hard and together that we can compete with anyone and give them a good game if not win.” 

Talarico finished with 12 points shooting 3-9 overall and 4-5 at the free throw line. Talarico said she personally prepared for the season by, “working in the gym all season and coaching basketball related summer camps,” adding, “I know several of my teammates took the off season as an opportunity to improve the fitness and skill level as well.”

The Beavers fell to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the early stages of conference play while Husson would move to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the North Atlantic Conference.