Lane CC women's basketball will defend 71-home game winning streak

11/18/2009 12:32

EUGENE, OR -- The last time Lane Community College’s women’s basketball team lost a home game was eight years ago—on Dec. 6, 2001. That’s 71 straight wins at home—the longest active winning streak anywhere in college basketball, as far as coach Greg Sheley can tell. And this year’s players have every intention of making it 72 wins when they host Lower Columbia Community College from Longview, Wash., on Dec. 9—the Titans’ first home game of the season.

“I want to win a championship,” says freshman starter Susan Smith, a four-year Churchill High School starter and 4.0 student. “That’s why I came to Lane.”

The Titans won the NWAACC title in 2009: their third championship in four years. That winning tradition is part of what appealed to Smith, who chose Lane over other schools, because the opportunity to attend a college of Lane’s caliber—academic as well as athletic—allowed her to put off leaving home a little longer.

“This is the perfect spot for me—a nice stepping stone,” says Smith, who’s enjoying being part of a team made up of mostly local women she’s been playing with or against for years. “I’m having a lot of fun playing. We know what to expect from each other.”

Starting sophomore and league all-star Theresa Brown has a similar story. She had other offers, but when signing time came, “I wasn’t ready to up and leave my home.” Weeks after starting her second year at Lane, Brown signed with The Masters College in Santa Clarita, Calif., which she’ll attend next year on a full scholarship.

Three players from last year’s team transferred to four-year schools this year, including point guard Kourtney Parks, who’s now playing for Seattle University, a Division I program. In the past 10 years, 28 LCC players have moved on to play at other institutions, Sheley says.

Sheley is confident that the team will continue its home game winning streak this year. As for another championship, he says, " Statistically, the odds are against us. With a lot of hard work and some luck, we might be able to put ourselves in a position to have a shot."

Smith is a little less cautious in her assessment.

“There’s a nice core group coming back from the championship last year, and with the incoming freshman, I think we provide some nice stability as well,” she says. “If we just stay hungry and motivated, I think and I hope that we have a great opportunity.”

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Lane is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.