In end, Green Bay better prepared for Horizon final

Motor City Madness taught the women’s basketball team valuable lessons.

Before beginning the tournament, we understood what we had to do to be successful. We had to play for one another, stay together and especially take care of our bodies.

This was the first time in the season in which we played three consecutive games in three days against three tough Horizon League teams.

The first game of the tournament, we defeated the Cleveland State Vikings.

The last time we had met, the Vikings beat us by double-digits on their home court.

Understanding that we did not play to the best of our ability that time, we knew we could not give them hope during the tournament.

After defeating Cleveland State, the next day, we faced number two seed Wright State.

During conference season, we had split with Wright State playing two very close games.

Our staff prepared well through scouting Wright State, putting us in a great position to win.

We defeated Wright State in the semi-finals advancing us to the championship game of the Horizon League tournament.

Since it was Motor City Madness, we had the luxury of playing ten minutes away from campus in front of our family and friends at Joe Louis Arena.

Each day, we played in front of a large crowd of Detroit Mercy Titans fans.

Leading up to the championship game our fan numbers increased.

Championship day game came as we faced Green Bay, the number one seed in the tournament.

Earlier in the season, we had made Titan history by defeating Green Bay, at the time ranked 21st in the nation. We couldn’t dwell on the past but had to focus on the new task at hand.

Green Bay was well prepared for us and was looking for revenge.

On the day of the championship game, we were met with a large crowd mostly made up of Detroit Mercy sports teams like women’s lacrosse, family and friends.

This was the first time for Detroit Mercy women’s basketball to make it to the championship in years.

Although we were excited, there was a lot of nervousness on our end, and it was noticeable in our game.

We did not start strongly, and had to rely on the second half to give us a chance at winning the championship.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time.

We waited too long to get into the groove of the game and even when the game got within single digits, we needed to play hard and together for the full 40 minutes to win.

Green Bay prevailed and punched its ticket to the a 17th NCAA tournament.

Despite the loss, the experience still allowed us to learn lessons about basketball overall and specifically about each other.

For next season we are looking to gain confidence – and to win the league championship.

Williams is a VN staff writer and Titan basketball player