By Greg Dudek
A new 1,000-point banner was unveiled Saturday at the Tinsley Center, but some changes already need to be made to it.
Senior guards Jenna Williamson and Elisha Homich each hit career milestones in a 77-67 win over Framingham State University on Saturday to cement their place in Bridgewater State University women’s basketball history.
Williamson became the Lady Bears’ all-time leading scorer and Homich earned her 1,000-point.
“From start to finish, very special,” said Bridgewater State head coach Bridgett Casey. “Happy for El. Obviously huge accomplishment, making that on a special day with everyone being on the banner, so now she’ll be raised up there and it’s fitting that she got it on a three.
“Jenna, you knew it was just a matter of time that she was going to break that score. And that’s truly special.”
Williamson came into the game 20 points shy of breaking Laurie Berryman’s mark of 1,265 points established in 1996.
Williamson started off the game slow, scoring only six points in the first half. But she turned it on in the final 20 minutes, scoring 15 of her game-high 21 points.
It took Williamson late into the second half to set the stage to capture the record.
With 52 seconds left in regulation, Williamson went to the free throw line for two shots, but missed the first one.
The second free throw went through, putting her atop the all-time scoring list.
“A couple of people told me different amount of points I needed, so I didn’t really know how many I needed,” Williamson said. “I was getting mad when I was missing my foul shots. But, it was exciting.”
Throughout the game there was a watchful eye over Williamson’s point total, but Williamson said she was not thinking about the record when she stepped to the free throw line.
“I was not nervous at all,” Williamson said. “I knew it was going to come. I knew I was close. I was just more looking for the shot to win the game.”
Earlier in the season, Williamson said it was not time to think about the all-time scoring record. Now, she can, but might not choose to do so.
“I’m enjoying it, but I will a lot more when we’re done and if we win MASCACs,” Williamson said.
Williamson was not the only one garnering all the attention against the Rams, as Homich made history of her own in the first half when she knocked down a three-pointer for her 1,000 career point.
For Homich, the milestone was truly special, as two years ago, no one knew if she would be able to play again. Homich had a blood clot in her right arm, forcing her to sit out all of her junior season except two games.
Homich rejoined the team last season and now, by becoming the 17th player in Lady Bears’ history to reach 1,000 points, has made a journey which seemed impossible two seasons ago.
“We didn’t know if it was a season-ending arm injury,” said Casey, thinking back to when Homich noticed something wrong with her arm during a practice. “We didn’t realize what it might entail. The way she came back last year, and then she made that decision that she wasn’t done.
“She has lived and died by the three for four years and for her to get it on that, I think it was even more special and meaningful.”
It was fitting that on the same day, Williamson and Homich each had career milestones. They have played basketball together since elementary school in Ludlow, Mass., and have formed quite a duo at Bridgewater State.
Making history together was the only way they knew how to do it.
“It’s exciting. It’s something that not a lot of people can experience,” Williamson said. “I have been playing with her my whole life. The fact that we accomplished such great things together is awesome.”
While a fourth MASCAC championship is still up for grabs, the Lady Bears will tell you that is all they are focused on.
Williamson will say it does not matter who scores as long as the team wins, and Homich will echo the same feelings.
But on Saturday, two teammates since they were kids, embraced one another in a celebratory huge once the final buzzer sounded. It was only for a moment, as they will only allow themselves to celebrate their individual accomplishments for that long.
Greg Dudek is The Comment’s Editor-In-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at gdudek10 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.