Wright happy to ‘keep playing’

For the third time in four years women’s basketball has found itself in a national postseason tournament. And for the first time in those four years, it’s advanced to the third round of such a tourney.

Head coach Kim Barnes-Arico can be credited with turning three wins in 2001-02 into 20 wins by 2004-05, just three years into taking the job in Queens.

Those 20 wins were good for a WNIT berth and the team’s first postseason appearance since 1987. By the next season, Barnes-Arico had her team into the second-round of the NCAA Tournament.
Her team was all smiles again on Monday night after its second round WNIT win against Iona College, happily joking and teasing about going up against one another in practice.

“It’s a chance to showcase who we are and how tough we are as a team,” said senior guard Kia Wright, who led the Red Storm in scoring in both 2004-05 and 2005-06. “Just to keep playing is great.”

After a regression in 2006-07, a year in which it failed to make a postseason tournament, this is obviously a team that finds motivation in just being on the floor.

And the will “just to keep playing” is strongest in Wright – along with her lone senior peer Tiina Sten- whose next loss will be her last, and also a reason for her teammates to play as hard as they have been.

“I told [Wright], ‘keep fighting because you motivate me’,” said sophomore Joy McCorvey. “It brings me a lot of energy.”