Boston, MA- The Fisher Women's Basketball team is off to its best start in school history as they currently sit at 6-1 which has not gone unnoticed by the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.). The first conference ratings of the season were released yesterday morning and the Falcons currently own the fourth spot, the highest a Fisher women's team has been ranked. "We're excited to be ranked #4 in the A.I.I. Conference, as this is the highest ranking that Fisher Women's Basketball has ever achieved. Our players appreciate our progress, and we understand the importance of every single game moving forward," said Coach Jesse Ford of his team.
His players have certainly played hard in the young season and have been impressive in the first seven games. Aside from the loss to the Division I UMass-Lowell Riverhawks, the Falcons have made quick work of their opponents, as all but one victory has been larger than a 10-point margin, while averaging almost 70 points per game in that span. The Falcons have played their best ball on their home court as they are a perfect 3-0 while outscoring the visitors 221-156. Coach Ford credits much of their success to the hard work they put in on practice days. "We show up to practice every day focused on ourselves and on our improvement, and that's what makes me excited for the pace at which we're playing."
The Falcons are offensively led by juniors Jenny-Lynn Eggers (Sonoma, CA), Kellie Gaston (Tampa, FL) and Vivian Lara (Norwalk, CA) who account for 70% of the points scored in their seven games. Lara leads all scorers averaging just over 22 points per game, while also leading the team in rebounds (62), 3PT made (22), free throw % (.879), and steals (21). Eggers and Gaston are averaging 12.6 and 14.7 ppg respectively for their squad. Junior Piper Mali (Oro Valley, AZ) has created much of the offense for her Falcons with her strong ball handling and passing skills as she leads the team with 23 assists. Senior Jocelyn Mendoza (Morgan Hill, CA) and freshman Shaniah Hazard (Providence, RI) have been dominant on the boards as they have combined for 111 rebounds, good for second and third on the team just behind Lara. Defensively, freshman Misha O'Neal (Tampa, FL) has been a terror for opposing offenses as she currently is second on the team in steals with 14 coming off the bench for Coach Ford.
Coach Ford and the Lady Falcons will look for their 7th win on Wednesday evening as they play host to the College of Saint Joseph (VT) Fighting Saints (1-5) at 5pm. "We know that these conference ratings are announced bi-weekly, and that positions can and will change. We look at this as an opportunity for Fisher Women's Basketball to produce results that continue to move us up in the rankings."