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Monday, February 22, 2010

Hoop dreams

Sunday was senior day for Emory's men's basketball team--the last home game of Daniel Curtin's, Chad Hixon's, and Anthony Fernandez's college careers--but it was a freshman who led the way to the Eagles' most dramatic victory of the season, a 64-63 win over University Athletic Association rival Brandeis.

Alex Greven (left) a freshman from Winston-Salem, NC, hit a pull-up jumper with five seconds left to seal the come-from-behind Emory victory. It was a thrilling way for the Eagles (15-9, 7-6 UAA) to cap the home portion of what has been a pretty solid season. Just one game remains, a road date with the University of Rochester (14-10, 5-8 UAA).

The Emory men currently sit tied for third in the conference, and a win on Saturday, combined with a loss by Brandeis against NYU, would earn the Eagles a tie for second place in the conference. That would be Emory's best UAA finish since a conference championship in 1990.

Before some of the current team's players, like Greven, were born.

A win on Saturday would also give the Eagles their first a winning record in the UAA, one of Division III's toughest, since 2001. Quite a season for third-year coach Jason Zimmerman.

Sunday was also a big day for the women's basketball team, which celebrated its third-annual Think Pink game for breast cancer awareness. The result wasn't quite as positive as it was on the men's side, though, as Brandeis (15-8, 8-5 UAA) walked away with a 58-38 victory.

Still, it was nice to see the largest crowd of the season come out to see the Emory women (10-14, 3-10 UAA), who have shown flashes of brilliance in 2009-10 but also long stretches of inconsistency.

With the gym wrapped in pink sheets and the Eagles decked out in their pale pink unis, it really was tough to think anything but pink, but the game was also the last appearance on the Emory floor for seniors Keenan Whitesides, Mary Smith, and Whitney Martin, Martin adding two blocks to her career total, giving her 86, which is good enough for second on the Eagles' all-time list.

All the proceeds from the game (which came primarily in the form of donations) went to Emory's Winship Cancer Institute--a good cause, no matter what the score.

-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, Emory Alumni Association

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