Tianna Sullivan Huskies’ all-time point leader for women’s basketball team
The Huskies basketball program is not just undefeated so far this season, the men and women’s teams have been crushing their competition.
With five wins and zero loses so far, the Huskies women’s team has outscored their opposition by 119 points this season. The men’s team has eerily similar 117 point differential over their perfect 7-0 record.
According to men’s head coach Jonathan Smith, even with several new recruits, the team is picking up where they left off last year. Last year’s team made the nationals for the first time in more than 40 years.
A key to early success, Smith said, has been early buy-in.
“When you tend to win games earlier on in the season, players tend to buy into the philosophy of how you do things more,” he said.
However, this kind of early success, especially when a team is dominating like the Huskies are, can lead to under-estimating other teams.
But to keep his team balanced, women’s head coach Warren Williams has been instilling a DWWD, or do what we do mind set, which means setting process and performance goals for the team.
“It’s not necessarily about the other team, it’s about us achieving our goals as a team,” Williams said.
For his part, Smith referred to an 11-point loss early last season to Centennial where an undefeated men’s team went on the court over-confident and paid the price. He said the team talked a lot about how to avoid the same result this year.
“Everybody playing at the college level is a good team, and they have great players in the OCAA,” Smith said. “(We’re in) probably the strongest division in the country and we have to give our opponents the respect. But we have to go out and play our game.”
In an already promising season, third-year forward Tianna Sullivan has made Huskies history, becoming the all-time points leader for the women’s team. She reached the milestone as part of her 13 points in a decisive 40-point win over the Georgian Grizzlies.
Calling Sullivan a “cornerstone” for the Huskies, Williams said the Huskies forward represents the beginning of a new standard for women’s basketball going forward. And while Williams said that he’s proud of Sullivan’s historic accomplishment, he really admires how much she’s developed as an example for new recruits on the team.
“I’m prouder of her being a leader on our team and showing our younger players what it is to be a successful player,” Williams said. “That for me is a true accomplishment.”
Undefeated seasons are unusual in sports, and tonight both Huskies squads take on the Seneca Sting, who are also undefeated. No matter what, two college teams will leave with their first loss.
While both Huskies teams are undefeated, Smith said that no one is talking about not wanting to be the first team to lose this season. But he also indicated that underneath the surface there’s a bit of competition there.
“Every team wants to be the best in the school but I think the camaraderie between both teams has been fantastic this year,” he said.