MORGANTOWN — Three of nine state championships won by the Morgantown girls’ basketball team featured Sydney Holloway patrolling the paint. On Thursday, those skills led Holloway back home as her Bryant University Bulldogs matched up with the West Virginia at the WVU Coliseum.
Standing at 5-foot-10, Holloway became accustomed to matching up against much taller players, as she did against WVU.
“With high school, I was pretty tall for 5-foot-10,” Holloway said. “Now, I am going up against someone that is 6-foot-6 and I am looking up and I am like, ‘Wow, she is tall.’ So I have to really think, pump fake, or step back and do a shot or just figure out a better way to score when dealing with opponents who are taller than me.”
Holloway established herself as one of the premier players in the Northeast Conference. As a sophomore last season, Holloway was the only player in the league to average a double-double per game. She scored 17.6 points a game while grabbing 10.8 rebounds en route to first team all-NEC honors. Holloway credits her significant playing time as a freshman in building her game to where it is now.
“I had really amazing posts, senior posts that I had to look up to. They really helped me and helped out my confidence. They helped me with little tips and little things that I could do to help myself out.”
Against the Mountaineers, Holloway struggled mightily in the first quarter. She was held scoreless and picked up three personal fouls in the first eight minutes.
After sitting on the bench until the 3:40 mark of the second quarter, Holloway hit her stride. She scored consecutive baskets in the final minute of the first half. Holloway added twelve points in the second half to finish the game with sixteen points and four rebounds. She fouled out with 5:37 to play.
“I was a little bit down, obviously. I didn’t want to come out and get quick fouls and be on the bench. I wanted to help my team as much as I possibly could. But you can’t really change the outcome.”
A sizable group of Holloway’s family and friends made their voices heard after every basket.
“My family is really impressive, coming out to show a lot of love. My friends were here.
“It was really cool to see faces in the crowd.”
Bryant is off to a 2-2 start and the Bulldogs are expected to improve from last year’s 9-21 mark. The Bulldogs have been picked fourth in the Northeast Conference preseason poll.
“Our offense will come. But I think our defense is what we will be strong throughout the NEC and throughout the rest of the non-conference.”