The USI women’s basketball team will honor seven seniors at its annual Senior Day ceremony during the game against Saint Joseph’s College. Playing in their final regular-season home game will be Anna Hackert, Mary O’Keefe, Autumn Miller, Libby Ogden, Cayla Herbst, Mariah Nimmo and Taylor Stevenson. Following are comments, edited for clarity, from USI coach Rick Stein on each player.
Stein on the seniors as a group: Very seldom do you get a class where every single member of it is a major factor on the court and in the classroom and in the community, and we have seven of them. Every single one of them has started at one time or another and they’re all in the rotation. It doesn’t happen with every class. It shows a talent level and a commitment level and how they have really grown and come together as a group and brought this whole team together as a group this year. It’s really a special group of seniors.
On Anna Hackert: Anna’s numbers already have her as one of the all-time greats here in points, rebounds, blocked shots and double-doubles. But the great thing about Anna is everything she does it’s trying to help our team win. Her numbers have her as one of all-time greats.
On Mary O’Keefe: I saw a stat of hers that she’s only 17 points away from 1,000 and only eight rebounds away from 500, one of only seven all-time who have done that here at USI, and I think of all great players who have gone through and not gotten that. She’s just been a really consistent force for us all four years. And she’s been a great leader on floor for us.
On Autumn Miller: She’s really taken on the leadership role for us, especially this year. As you watch our team and you see how she’s going, that’s how we’re going. She is a true point guard who really looks at that position as “I’ve got to run the show.” She’s at her best right now.
On Libby Ogden: Libby transferred in before her sophomore year from IPFW. One of things about Libby is I don’t think there’s a stat on the stat sheet that she hasn’t accomplished. You need someone to get to the bucket, she can. You need a 3, she can hit it. And she’s a lockdown defender and a player who can go get a rebound for us.
On Cayla Herbst: What’s been fun to watch with her is her understanding and how she has grown into her role this year. Her role has way expanded than it had been in years past and she has taken it on and hit the ground running. She’s not 20-point game kid, but she’s a kid on the stat sheet who is always a contributor. When she’s not blocking shots, she’s changing shots. She can be a defensive stopper in the paint.
On Mariah Nimmo: She’s probably one of the most team-oriented players you could think of. She’s always trying to find a way to do whatever our team needs to do to win. She’s made a 3, hit a pull-up jumper, made the right pass. More than anyone other than Anna, she has taken more big charges for us in critical games. She’s got a knack for it and loves to do it.
On Taylor Stevenson: Just a tremendous defensive player. I think of the players who have gone through our program, she’s a player that’s athletic and really gets to the basket and makes some plays. I think about her and her defense and what she can do. She has guarded some of best players in our league for a reason — because she can.