Lo Donato

Staff Writer

Davidson Women’s Basketball hosted George Mason and Duquesne at John M. Belk Arena this past week. After coming off of a three game losing streak the ‘Cats topped George Mason at home with an exciting 68-63 victory. Mackenzie Latt ’18 had a successful showing for the ‘Cats, leading the team with 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

Saturday against Duquesne the ‘Cats had four scorers reach double digits, but ultimately fell to the Dukes, 77-62. The ‘Cats fell behind 11-0 to start the game, and though they were trailing, they outscored the Dukes 24-13 in the final 10 minutes. Justine Lyon ‘19 was the leading scorer with 12 points for Davidson. After Saturday’s game, Hannah Early ‘16 is now five three-pointers away from breaking Laura Murray’s ‘14 school record of 222 for her career. As for Latt, this is the 20th time she scored in double digits this year.

After this weekend, Davidson’s record fell to 10-14 overall and 4-7 in league play. They travel to Richmond next for a Wednesday night encounter.

Latt, after her big showing this week, sat down with the Davidsonian:

Q: Why do you play and who do you play for?

A: I began playing basketball at a very young age. Now, at the collegiate level, I would have to say I play for a number of reasons, but three big ones stand out the most. First and foremost, I play for the Lord. I strive to give all the glory to God during both wins and losses; after all, He is the one who has given me the ability to play this sport and the opportunity to play at Davidson College.  Secondly, I play for my school and I play for my teammates. I truly love the girls I play with and we both lean on each other and push each other to get better. I am proud to represent Davidson College and the women’s basketball team every time I step on the court, and I use that to motivate me during workouts, practices, and games.  Lastly, I play because I love the game of basketball! It sounds kind of obvious, I know, but basketball is just something that I enjoy to do and the sport brings me a sort of joy that I cannot compare to anything else.

Q: What were some of your goals for this last season and how did you work toward them?

A: Coming off of our inaugural season in the A-10, we as a team had the goal of “defying the odds.” We wanted to show that we can compete in this league and I believe we have been proving this to teams so far. Additionally, I had the personal goal building off of last year, both offensively and defensively. I can always improve all aspects of my game, but I wanted to focus on improving my scoring abilities and staying out of foul trouble.  During the off season, I worked towards these goals by just getting in the gym, putting up tons of game-like shots and extending my range further from the basket.  I also spent lots of time in the weight room and on the football fields conditioning and getting stronger.  As far as accomplishing my goals, I feel I have taken steps in the right direction.  I’m never truly satisfied with any game I play–there’s always something I could’ve done better–but I definitely believe I have improved in these aspects since my freshman year.

Q: How did you feel after your successful performance on the court this week?

A: First of all, thank you. I feel like the highlight for me from both games was setting a new personal career-high in rebounds.  I always have believed that rebounding comes down to heart and hustle, and it’s a statistic that you can always control to an extent.  Some games your shot might not be falling, but you can always give your best effort on the boards. I didn’t realize during the game that I was cleaning up so many, I was just trying to help my team win in all ways I could, so it was fun after we won to be told that I had 19.

Q: How has the team come together and improved over the course of this season through adversity? What do you hope to see happen by the end of this season?

A: At the beginning of this season, our team had the mindset that we have something to prove this year.  We have a chip on our shoulder and we use that as motivation and fire to get us through the ups and the downs.  Adversity is inevitable in any sport and on any team, and we have gotten through that by continuing to work to get better and leaning on our teammates for motivation and encouragement.  I know we have some wins ahead of us for the rest of the year, so by the end of the season I would love to see our record at .500 or above and have some A10 tournament wins under our belt too. The ultimate goal would be to see Davidson WBB in the NCAA tournament, and that is a goal I have not only for this year but for the rest of my years here as well.

Q: How is the dynamic of playing on your home court different than playing away?

A: There’s just no feeling like playing on your home court. It’s the place where we spend the most time, the court we are the most comfortable with, and also where our friends and family get to come out and support us.  It empowers you because the visiting team is the one who should feel out of place: our home court is our space. It’s a friendly and familiar environment that gives you a little extra boost at the start of a game.