By Dana Amihere
The Pioneers captured their first win of the season against Trinity Baptist College in a high-energy match-up on January 18. Despite the Martin Luther King holiday, Wesleyan supporters filled Porter Gym to cheer on the ‘Neers to victory 69-54.
Wesleyan played a competitive defense against Trinity Baptist for the first half, never allowing them to secure more than a four-point lead and tying up the score five times. The Pioneers’ short distance game proved to be strongest, as they scored most points in the paint. Sophomores Bre’ Solmone, guard/forward, and Erinn Williams, guard, worked to keep the Lady Eagles at bay, securing the ball from quick action around the hoop on rebounds.
Tied 26-26 at the half, the Pioneers upped their intensity on the court and in the stands during the second half. Solmone and newcomer Sam Lint continued to rack up points playing the fast break, mostly assisted by Williams. First year guard Ashley Harris scored over half of her twenty game points in the second half, leading the Pioneers in scoring.
Sensing the players’ more aggressive game on the floor and hoping for a victory, Wesleyan students, staff, and friends’ cheers could be heard from outside the building. By the last few minutes of the game, fans were on their feet clapping and yelling for the Pioneers.
Several players feel that it was this enthusiasm from the stands that helped them win. “Fan participation is a must,” says Williams. “When we get down it helps to know that we have that support.” Teammate Lint echoed the importance of fans, “You can watch any game at level, the crowd is always going to be that edge.”
Fans may be the key to the Pioneers’ success as they end a four game road trip this week 1-3. They defeated Trinity Baptist again on Monday afternoon but made a good showing in every match up with no point margin loss more than sixteen points.
This weekend, the Pioneers have two home games against GSAC competitors. On Friday night, they face Salem College at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, they are matched against rival Agnes Scott at 2:00 p.m. Both games will be played in Porter Gym and admission is free.