Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Janice Luck
Janice Luck, Albright College women's basketball coach, shares with Zeke the story of the Lions' remarkable season. They were 23-6 overall, including 16-0 in the MAC Commonwealth Conference during the regular season, and made their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Plagued by turnovers, they lost to Messiah 53-50 in the MAC Commonwealth Championship Game. Albright rebounded to beat Piedmont 64-54 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. But Marymount's powerful inside game was too much for the Lions in a second-round 68-59 loss. Albright had reached the NCAA Sweet 16 the previous season. The Lions reached 20 wins and the MAC Commonwealth title game for the third straight season. “This past season we had a very difficult non-conference schedule,” Luck tells Zeke. “It made some of the easier competition seem even easier.” Nina Mazzarelli, their top 3-point shooter, was the leading scorer at 14.7 per game, followed by Alysha Lofton at 11.8, Shannon Thomas at 11.5 and Devan Horka at 11. Lofton, a junior, was named Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention for also averaging 9.4 rebounds a game (second in the conference).
The All-MAC Commonwealth Conference first-team selection had 13 double-doubles and 21 double-digit scoring games. Her 76 steals ranked third in the conference. Next year also looks promising. “We have four returning starters,” Luck tells Zeke. “They will be seniors.” But all that returning talent can crimp recruiting. “This year was a little rough recruiting because we have so many returning players,” Luck tells Zeke. “Everybody wants to play right away. Athleticism seems to get us where we are today. I’m always looking for that and height. There is a lot more athleticism in women’s basketball today. I want kids who are going to be active on campus.” Another change in college women’s basketball is they play four quarters instead of two halves. “That’s because the WNBA plays four quarters,” Luck says. She played at Albright but upon graduation her career plan didn’t include coaching her alma mater. “I wish I could say that it was a fairy tale and all but I was a psych business major,” Luck tells Zeke. “Looking back, everything happened the way it should have. I love seeing the kids mature, grow up and graduate.”
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