NYU women’s basketball ready for a deep NCAA tournament run

Having gained a share of the UAA title, the Violets are looking to go the distance and bring home a championship.


(Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Jonathan Mak, Staff Writer

Down to just one game left in the regular season, NYU’s women’s basketball has already secured its place in the NCAA Division III tournament. After a close 64-60 win over Emory University on Friday, Feb. 17, and a 72-62 win over the University of Rochester on Sunday, Feb. 19, the Violets have earned a share of the UAA title — with a chance to win back-to-back conference championships. 

Reaching this point wasn’t always easy for the NYU team, though, which faced difficult tests throughout the season. 

“The season has gone amazing so far,” said junior guard Honor Culpepper. “We had a really tough non-conference schedule and pulled out some huge wins over ranked teams, and I think that definitely prepared us for UAA play.” 

Now on a 10-game winning streak, and in sole possession of first place in the UAA, the Violets once found themselves on a two-game losing streak and in the bottom-half of the conference in early January. Inside the locker room, however, the confidence never wavered. 

“We knew we would have our work cut out for us — we lost last year’s starting point guard Jordan Janowski to injury — but I think we’ve known how capable our team is,” Culpepper said. 

The tight-knit locker room culture the players and coaches have created has led to amazing results this season.

“Being so close to one another has helped us this season because we know how to pick each other up and everyone wants to win for each other,” Culpepper said. “There is never any selfishness or putting people down, and it definitely elevates how we play together.”

Looking forward to the tournament, the Violets are now ranked first in their region, just in front of Stevens Institute of Technology, which boasts a 20-3 record. The tournament starts in early March, with the championship game scheduled for April 1. It consists of 64 teams, with the champion of each conference guaranteed a place. 

“I never want to make predictions too early, but if we keep playing how we’re playing I can definitely see us making a deep run,” Culpepper said. “For now, we are focused on winning our last UAA games and finishing conference play strong.”

Last season, the Violets reached the Elite 8 but fell to eventual champion Hope College. With the Flying Dutchmen currently ranked seventh in the nation, a potential rematch may be in the cards for NYU in its path to a trophy. 

The Violets conclude regular season play against Brandeis University on Friday, Feb. 24 at home. 

Note: Honor Culpepper is a member of WSN’s staff.

Contact Jonathan Mak at [email protected]