The NYU women’s basketball team is currently in the latter part of one of its best seasons in program history, posting a 17-1 record thus far. Much of the Violets’ success this season can be attributed to their senior point guard and co-captain, Melissa Peng.
Peng studies sports management and has been on the NYU honor roll for the past three years. She is from San Diego, California, where she
attended Westview High School and played basketball all four years. She was made captain of her team in her senior year, and led them to the San Diego CIF Championship. For her outstanding play, she was named San Diego CIF Division II MVP as a senior.
After a breakout sophomore year at NYU, Peng was named co-captain in her junior and senior years. When asked about how this team compares to others she has been on, Peng pointed out that the team this year is not much different but that it has continually improved.
“Each year we have gotten better and better and it’s just been a rebuilding process to get to where we are now,” Peng said. “I am hoping that we can continue to improve and compete and be a top contender in the UAA and tournament.”
The Violets 17-1 record is due in large part to their success on the offensive end of the court.
“I think the key reason we are performing well is because we play team basketball, and every player on our team is a scoring threat on any given day.” Peng said.
Over the weekend, Peng put up 15 points and recorded 7 steals against the University of Rochester and scored a season-high 17 points against Emory.
“My approach to the Rochester game was like every other game in the UAA,” Peng said. “Every team in our conference is a top tier team so there is no different mindset or mentality. We just came off a tough loss to Chicago so my main goal was to come into the game focused.”
For her efforts, Peng was awarded the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Associations Player of the Week.
“Being MBWA player of the week is an honor and I’m blessed to be able to receive something like this but my main focus is getting back to the tournament,” she said.
With the regular season of her last year on the team winding down, Peng reflected on what it means to put this part of her life behind her.
“At the beginning of the season I refused to believe that it was my last season,” Peng said. “But as the new year is already under way I just want to give it my all and play with no regrets. I would love to continue to play basketball after college at the next level but beginning my career in the real world is what I am striving for as I begin another chapter.”
Peng and the rest of the Violets will be back in action on Feb. 6 in a rematch against University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Tip-off is at 6:00 pm.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 4 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]