White, Bentley come up short in NCAA tournament
Thursday, March 21, 2013
WALTHAM, Mass. – The basketball season didn’t quite end the way it usually does for Jane White.
That was just one of a few changes for the former Souhegan High School star, who finished her freshman year with the Bentley University women’s basketball team on Monday. The Falcons were knocked out of the NCAA Division II tournament by Dowling College, dropping the East Regional final on their home court at the Dana Center, 53-51.
For the Bentley crew, it was a bit of a shock. The Falcons, who at one point this season were ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Sports/WBCA coaches poll, had lost just once all year before Monday and were the top seed in the East.
For White, it’s the first time she hasn’t won a championship in quite some time. Before graduating in 2012, the Amherst resident led Souhegan to back-to-back Division II championships, and as a sophomore, her AAU team, the New England Shooting Stars, won a national championship.
“Even though we lost two games all season, this will sting for a long time,” White said. “I think that’s why this is one of the hardest things, losing, because this experience has been like nothing I’ve been on before. I’ve been on winning teams in the past, but this is something different.”
It has been since the first day of practice, according to White. As a point guard, she felt the pressure of needing to be a leader on the floor, but as a freshman, it was something she had to grow comfortable doing.
“Being one of the youngest, I have to lead people on the team (as a point guard) and that’s hard to do as a freshman,” she said. “Back in high school, that was just me, that’s who I am. In college, if you mess up, you’re out, especially when you’re young. Having such great teammates, who are also mentors, has really helped me.”
White was one of the first players off the bench this season for the Falcons (30-2), who won their third straight Northeast-10 tournament title. Averaging six points per game and just over two assists, White had a season-high of 18 points in a win over Saint Rose on Jan. 18.
Against Dowling on Monday, White had two points, two assists and two steals in 15 minutes. Her layup with 9:49 left in the game gave Bentley a 48-46 lead. Unfortunately for the Falcons, it was their last field goal of the game, and they scored just three points the rest of the way.
The team loses just one player – senior Kelsey Roberson – and White knows losing in the regional final will be enough to motivate everyone who is coming back.
“We do everything together,” White said. “We have practice and we’ll do film together. Preseason, we’re together the whole time. These are your 12 best friends because these are the people you spend all of your time with. Luckily, I’m on a team where that’s exactly it, we’re all best friends.
“We pick up each other up and we build each other up to get to this point. We won one championship (Northeast-10), we wanted this one and we wanted the next one, but we still have more time.”