Lady Lions knock off Sam Houston with buzzer beater

The Lady Lions women’s basketball squad won by one point with two seconds to spare Wednesday Feb. 10 with the winning shot by senior forward, Caitlyn Williams. 

Williams shared her thoughts on what made the team efficient and consistent during the game as well as her mindset after scoring the winning shot. 

“Our coaches give us a great game plan to go off of, so normally we trust in them and we come out with a ‘W.’ I knew that we only had, like, two seconds left, so, knowing the time and then the situation happening I was like: ‘I gotta shoot it. I gotta do something.’ I can’t miss another opportunity. I’m happy I could help. I honestly couldn’t tell you my mindset: just win,” Williams said. 

Going into the game, Williams explained that she would do anything to win. 

“I wanted to do anything I can to help the team get the ‘W’ today,” Williams explained. 

During a game, preparing mentally can be a challenge. Hailey Giaratano, sophomore guard, said she pushes through to the end and stays confident. 

“It’s just to push through, you know, we were all a little tired; they were pushing on us, but it’s just to stay confident,” Giaratano said. 

Giaratano explained how both she and team prepare for each opponent and how they practice different strategies for certain situations and schools. 

“We watch films — we see their strengths, weaknesses, and we prepare that way. It’s definitely different depending on the school,” Giaratano shared. 

Performing in front of a crowd can be scary, but Giaratano shared that she trusts in her team and her coaches. 

“I just trust in my team and coaches and know that, in the end, we’ll pull it out because we play together,” Giaratano said.  

Coach Ayla Guzzardo explained her philosophy of coaching and how she motivates her players on and off the court. 

“With this group — in this day and age — you gotta love them first, and that’s one thing, you know, when they get here and step foot on campus, they gotta trust you, and you gotta be able to trust them. You build that relationship first, and when we get to the game, it becomes natural. You know that they’re gonna work hard, and they know that we’re gonna coach hard, but at the end of the day, we’re still gonna love them no matter what,” Guzzardo said. 

Guzzardo shared some goals that she sets for her team. 

“You know, obviously, we wanna get that NCAA tournament. We’ve gotta be able to peak at a daily basis, at a high level. We’ve been doing that, and we slip up here and there, but it’s women’s basketball. You’re gonna have off nights. Shooting: you’re gonna have struggles defensively sometimes, but we gotta be consistent,” Guzzardo shared. 

The Lady Lions next matchup is against Nicholls State University Saturday, Feb. 13 at the university center.