More Than Just a Game: Madison Conley Becomes Honorary Pioneer

Allie Rooney '16 Sports Editor 

Despite facing a tough conference loss on the night of Jan. 28, the basketball team had a lot to be thankful for. The game featured a seven-year-old honorary team member, Madison Conley. Conley has been with the team since last spring through a program called Team Impact. During halftime of the thrilling game, Conley had her own “signing ceremony” where she officially became a member of the team.

“By being part of the team, Madison has taught us a lot about basketball as a family. It’s not just about Xs and Os, it’s about smiles, good times, laughs and being there for one another,” Captain Alyssa Barrett ’15 stated.

Forward Tia Karapoulios ’16 added that “Madison is like a little sister to us on the team. She always brings a smile to our faces and has an amazing spirit.”

Although the Pioneers did a tremendous job in making the night one to remember for Madison, they fell just short of defeating their cross-town rivals, Mount Holyoke.

The game was a low-scoring one, focusing on the defensive units of both teams. First-year Samantha Alakai led the Pioneers with 12 points, and classmate Meghan Holland added 10. Lauren Weston ’15 chipped in with seven points.

Smith was held to a mere 29.7 percent in shots from the field, while Mount Holyoke shot 55.6 percent. The Pioneers did start the second half strong, taking a five-point lead, but too soon Mount Holyoke readjusted and regained the lead.

With the loss, Smith fell to 6-11 overall, and 2-7 in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference play. This was the first time in 12 games that Mount Holyoke has beaten Smith, and with the victory they improved to 6-12 overall and 3-6 in NEWMAC play.

Smith returns to action on Feb. 4 in Springfield, Mass., where they will face the reigning NEWMAC champions Springfield College at 7 p.m.