ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
It has been a breakout year for several student-athletes at The University, including women’s basketball’s Makenzie Mason.
The sophomore forward was perfect from the floor against Marywood University on Nov. 21, scoring a career-high 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting. Mason also added six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the 76-53 victory.
The Lady Royals played just one game during the week, but Mason’s performance was enough to earn The University’s Athlete of the Week honors.
Q: How did you perform so well against Marywood?
A: I was kind of surprised by it. I was very happy coming out strong, especially 7-for-7 was pretty exciting, but definitely a lot of it was from my teammates. The back-to-back offensive rebounds that I had were from Katie Feehery who boxed the one girl out so I had a wide open layup. It was just basically what we practiced on offense and just being aggressive, getting offensive rebounds
Q: How did you improve your game from last season?
A: I definitely knew I had to step up this year compared to last year coming off the bench as a sub for Sarah Payonk last year. I knew we were going to be a younger team this year and I’d have to step up and getting the starting role in most of the games is pretty exciting and a little bit of a surprise. But just being more aggressive offensively. I think last year I focused more on defense and was a little bit hesitant on offense, but definitely just being more aggressive on the offensive boards, getting those drives in the lane and looking for the open shot.
Q: What are your personal goals this season?
A: I’m really enjoying the assist part of it. Being dynamic overall, getting rebounds, making shots but also looking for my open teammates. Team-wise, get the Landmark Conference championship like we have the past two years. We do have a tough conference this year because a bunch of teams didn’t lose a lot of players, so just coming out strong against them as well and keeping the Scranton tradition.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Scranton?
A: I know it’s a Division III program, but it’s a different Division III program compared to the other ones I was looking at. It’s Division III but it doesn’t feel Division III. It’s still very competitive. The Landmark Conference is still a very strong conference. There’s not a lot of drop-off with the teams. But overall with the practices, they’re very high-energy. The games, we get a good crowd. The support that we get from the fans is really awesome. It’s a competitive team, there’s a lot of skill because a lot of girls on this team can go Division II or Division I, so it’s just very competitive.
Q: What is your favorite basketball memory?
A: Probably going to Catholic University for the conference championship last year and beating them on their court. We lost to them the first time on our home court last year, and that hurt. So we were just like, “All right, we’ll take it back to them. It’s how we finish.” So it was nice to finish on that note.
Q: What challenges have you had to overcome in your career?
A: Definitely the consistency aspect of playing well and then dropping off, having some good games and some bad games. I want to be consistent throughout.
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: Probably my parents. They’re always there supporting, giving me tips and stuff before the game and giving me constructive criticism and overall just being there. I feel like everyone says their parents, but they’re there for every game.