Season Review 2002-2003
Sporting a new season, new team, and new expectations, the Trevecca women's basketball team entered the 2002-03 season with its work cut out for it. Living up to expectations, competing in one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA, and maintaining the successful tradition of the women's basketball program were challenges facing the Lady Trojans this season. They couldn't wait to begin.
Losing four seniors and a starting junior last year, the Lady Trojans saw a new lineup take the floor this season. Two seniors, Jennifer Wilson and Ramona Moga, carried much of the leadership and experience that the rest of the young team desperately needed. Wilson, a four- time NAIA All-American, would ultimately come to see individual and team achievements she had only dreamed about in the past. Two juniors, Lindsey Fly and Audrey Leatherman, contributed a wealth of skill and determination as each averaged more than 27 minutes per game, and two sophomores, Leslie Golden and Emily Clark, brought untapped talent as well. Six freshmen including newcomers Sharon Gabuat, Natalie Ellis, Jaime Luke, and Hillary Tanner and last season's red shirts, Kristin Scoggins and Jana Reed, jumped onto a roller coaster ride of a basketball season that no one will soon forget.
Opening the season as always with Homecoming festivities, the Lady Trojans grabbed two easy wins against Flagler College and Shorter College. The win over Shorter College was the 100th win in Lady Trojan basketball history and the 100th career win for Head Coach Julie van Beek. Now having completed her seventh year as head coach at Trevecca, Coach van Beek is now 122-97 overall.
After a loss from a tough NAIA #10 Lambuth University team, a game in which Lindsey Fly grabbed a Trevecca record 22 rebounds, Trevecca went on a winning streak that would literally last through the entire rest of the year. Beginning with a first-round win against #25 Point Loma Nazarene University in the State Farm Nazarene Invitational in mid-November, the Lady Trojans went on to win a Trevecca-record 11 straight games stretching over a period of two months. During the win streak Trevecca women made a name for themselves by defeating four different top 25 teams including #25 Point Loma Nazarene, #20 Georgetown College, #10 Lambuth University, and a huge upset of NAIA #1 Southern Nazarene and eventual 2003 NAIA National Champion in the La Quinta Inn Classic 74-71.
In the State Farm Nazarene Invitational, Lindsey Fly's 24-point, 17-rebound performance in the final game against Olivet Nazarene earned her Tournament MVP honors while senior Lady Trojans Jennifer Wilson and Ramona Moga garnered a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Similarly, in the Olivet Holiday Inn Express Tournament, Fly grabbed the Tournament MVP Award once again, and both Fly and Wilson were named to the All-Tournament Team. Fly's impressive performances were enough to earn both conference and national recognition as the second year center claimed both the TranSouth and NAIA Player of the Week Awards. The overall play of the Lady Trojans also was rewarded with Trevecca's record-breaking #4 ranking in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
By the time the Lady Trojans entered TranSouth Conference play, Trevecca held an impressive 12-1 record; however, claiming four NAIA National Tournament teams this season, the TranSouth Conference contained some of the best competition in the NAIA. After an opening conference win over Blue Mountain College, the Lady Trojans were shocked by an all-star performance from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas, and Trevecca fell by three. The Lady Trojans lost four of their next five, including losses to three NAIA top-16 teams. Trevecca, however, bounced back winning nine of its last 11 games, including a big conference win over #2 Union University.
During the streak the Lady Trojans claimed a win at Cumberland University. More importantly, senior Jennifer Wilson drained a 15-foot jump shot from the baseline midway through the first half to put her over the 2,000-point mark for her career at Trevecca. Wilson holds more than 17 Trevecca game, season, and career records in her four seasons with the Lady Trojans. Also during the win streak, junior Audrey Leatherman, an intimidating defensive specialist throughout the season, grabbed her 86th steal of the year, shattering the previous steals record of 79 set three seasons ago.
With the post season beginning Trevecca had a 7-7 TranSouth Conference record on the year and an overall record of 23-7. The Lady Trojans' impressive record would be enough to clinch their fourth consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament, this time ranked #13.
In the postseason Trevecca hosted Cumberland University and claimed a 76-57 win in the first round of the TranSouth Conference Tournament. Junior Lindsey Fly, in only her second season with Trevecca, scored 18 points in the winning effort, pushing her career-point total over the 1,000 point milestone. Fly is now in third place on the Trevecca women's basketball all-time scoring list. The win was the Lady Trojans' last; a semifinal-round loss to #6 Freed-Hardeman University eliminated Trevecca from the conference tournament, and a first-round loss to #13 Xavier College in the NAIA National Tournament ended the season.
Senior Jennifer Wilson and junior Lindsey Fly, as expected, received spots on the All-TranSouth Conference Team and the NAIA All-American Team. Wilson, receiving the awards for her fourth and final time, amassed 2,072 career points at Trevecca and also leads the women's basketball program in steals. Fly, claiming the All-TranSouth and All-American Awards for the second time, averaged a team-leading 17.6 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game and tallied 14 double-doubles during the season.
Overall, the Lady Trojans finished the season with an impressive 24-9 record. Losing two key starters to graduation in Jennifer Wilson and Ramona Moga, Trevecca women will have their work cut out for them next season; however, with the potential talent and spirit of the remaining Lady Trojans, success is inevitable. If the past five seasons are any indication, Head Coach Julie van Beek will have her Lady Trojans ready for another successful season of Trevecca women's basketball.