Junior Lydia Konstanzer became the 15th member of the Ursinus Women’s Basketball 1,000-point club on Jan. 12, in their game against Johns Hopkins. Although Ursinus fell short of a victory as Hopkins dominated the fourth quarter, beating the Bears 71-59, the day remained a memorable one.
On the day of the Hopkins game, Konstanzer admitted to feeling a bit nervous, needing just 10 points to eclipse the 1,000-point threshold.
“I came into the gym forty-five minutes early that day just to get my rhythm going and collect my- self in preparation for the big day. I knew that this would be a day that I would want to remember for the rest of my life so I wanted to take it all in before the stands were full and the game began,” Konstanzer said.
Konstanzer has certainly put in the work necessary to achieve such a milestone in her basketball career. The junior had a strong freshman season – she was named Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year – and said she felt like she had “a target on her back.”
“Every team knows my moves, my counter moves, my strengths, and unfortunately my weaknesses as well. Each game I play is different, but the other team always gives me something that I can capitalize on,” Konstanzer said.
Despite the challenge that comes with getting extra attention from the opposition, Konstanzer credits head women’s basketball coach Margaret White with helping her “develop new skills and find even more counter moves to use in games when teams take away my first option.”
Coach White said, “Lydia’s biggest strength is that she is like a sponge, constantly soaking up new skills and strategy. She always wants to learn and continue to expand her skill set. When an opponent takes away one thing, she is able to counter with something else. She has also increased her stamina and strength through- out her career, which has also enhanced her play.”
Konstanzer’s 1,000th point came on a mid-range jump shot in the third quarter of the Hopkins game. She said the feeling of reaching such a milestone was “surreal. This is something that I have dreamt about ever since I was a little girl and being able to see my hard work pay off and my dreams come true is exhilarating.”
The junior finished the game with 10 points, which was exactly the amount she needed to reach 1,000. Konstanzer joined her sister, Carolyn, who scored her 1,000th point for Ursinus in 2014. Having her sister’s name on the banner in Helfferich surprisingly did not put additional pressure on Konstanzer.
She said, “The fact that my sister is in the 1,000-point club never added pressure to my basketball career here at Ursinus. Instead of adding pressure, it motivated me to also get my name up on the banner to be the first sisters on there together.”
Coach White believes Konstanzer can accomplish more than just joining the 1,000-point club.
“Lydia has the potential to be one of the most highly decorated players to come through the program. She is also a co-captain as a junior, so her leadership will also be vital throughout the rest of her career as we continue to climb towards the top of the Centennial Conference,” said Coach White.
Aside from her most recent individual goal achievement, Konstanzer yearns to win a Centennial Conference championship.
“Over the last two and a half seasons I believe that our team has grown and improved more than any other team in the conference. Every single person is so motivated to achieve this goal and we are all willing to do whatever it takes to do so,” Konstanzer said.
As the 2018-19 season continues, Lydia is eager to play the teams that defeated the Bears the first time around this season.
Konstanzer said, “I think that if we continue to work hard and end regular conference play with a long string of wins, that it will give us the confidence to prove the preseason rankings wrong and come out of playoffs as conference champions.”
The Bears will play a home game against Washington College on Thursday Feb. 7, then they’ll play their next home game, senior day, on Feb. 13.