Men's Sports Sports Women's Sports

Athletes of the Week Feb. 14: Men’s Basketball’s Matt Pascuzzo, Women’s Basketball’s Jaimie Bickelhaupt

Marshall Hastings
Contributing Writer

Athletes-of-the-Week-feb14Matt Pascuzzo, Men’s basketball

Senior Matt Pascuzzo from Wallingford, Conn. helped guide the Pride to an upset win over previously unbeaten No. 2 WPI on Sunday afternoon. Pascuzzo added a spark to the Pride on both the offensive and defensive end of the floors, pouring in a season-high nine points off the bench and adding three assists. Pascuzzo helped keep the Engineers’ high-powered offense at bay, keeping them 15 points below their season average. Pascuzzo also played the role of clutch shooter as he nailed two cold-blooded free throws to increase the Pride’s lead to three with less than one minute to play. Pascuzzo played a season-high 25 minutes on Sunday on Senior Day for the Pride.

Q. What was it like knocking off previously unbeaten No. 2 WPI?
A. It was obviously awesome. But we weren’t that surprised because we’ve had close games with them. Last year we beat them two times out of three and they had the same team. They had been playing good basketball. We knew we could beat them. We played our game and won.
Q. What was going through your mind as you stepped to the free throw line up by one with under one minute to play?
A. I try to think of nothing and relax. I just knocked them down, try not to get too nervous.
Q. Using the win as momentum, how does the team feel entering the playoffs?
A.We know if we win out in the regular season and make a pretty good run at NEWMACs we could probably get an at-large (into the NCAA Tournament) no matter what. We know we’re going to end up seeing WPI again, so that one will be huge.

Jaimie Bickelhaupt, women’s basketball

Jaimie Bickelhaupt erupted for the Pride last Wednesday against Coast Guard, pouring in 24 points to go along with 16 rebounds in a triple overtime loss. Bickelhaupt helped keep the Pride close with Coast Guard throughout, using a dominant post game as well as showing off an extraordinary perimeter game. Bickelhaupt’s strong rebounding and defensive presence helped the Pride slow down a lethal Coast Guard offense, as well as hitting clutch buckets to keep the Pride within striking distance as the marathon wore on. Bickelhaupt aided the defensive effort with two blocks and three steals.

Q. What was it like scoring 24 points and adding 16 rebounds against Coast Guard?
A. It felt good. It felt like I finally broke out of my shell. I’ve been doing all right, but I haven’t been playing like I did last year. It felt good that they [the team] stepped up this game and got me the ball.
Q. What do you see in the future for women’s basketball at Springfield College?
A. I see a lot. I think we have a lot of potential. With the recruits coming in along with the guards this year, we’re going to have a good season next year.
Q. As the game wore on, what was the mental mindset?
A. Keep doing what I’m doing. Hopefully other people will step up, and some did, but we couldn’t finish it out. I tried to stay strong so that the younger freshmen playing could see that no one was in a panic mode.

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