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Katherine Harry Checks in with Women's Basketball Fans -- Dec. 22

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Hello Women's Basketball Fans!

Since the last time checking in I have checked in we have had a lot going on in Chicago!

We played our first BIG EAST league game against a talented St. John's team. The game was played at noon on a Wednesday so that we could bus in some area school kids to watch our game and cheer for us! It is always a great atmosphere to play in and it is good to get the kids out to a game so they can share the experience with their families and hopefully get back to a few more games! I'm happy to say that we are 1-0 in BIG EAST play! It's so important to protect home court when it comes to league play.

St. John's was the first game in a string of four games in seven days for us with a bit of travelling in the middle. We played again on Friday against SIU-Edwardsville, in which we also registered a W. Next up, we were heading to New York to play in the Maggie Dixon Classic against Tennessee!

On Saturday morning we left for New York City. When we got in, our bus drove us through the city. It was fun to look out the windows and see all the happenings of NYC. That was my first time being in NYC so I was really looking forward to it. While driving around, we must have seen 1000+ Santa's roaming the streets! The amount of people walking around and shopping was unbelievable. I thought Chicago was crowded but boy was I wrong!

Saturday night we headed to Madison Square Garden to practice before our game. MSG isThumbnail image for MSG.JPG such an iconic arena to play in and I can't believe we had the fortune of playing in there. For us, just playing in arena wasn't enough- we came to win!

Sunday came quick and it was time for the game. I am sure all of you know that we didn't come out victorious against Tennessee but we learned a lot about our team and ourselves individually in that loss. It is never fun to learn from a loss, but we had a quick turn around and played at Princeton on Tuesday. But before heading to Princeton, our coaching staff arranged for us to see a Broadway play.  So on Sunday night after the game, we headed back to the hotel to get spiffed up before going to see Mary Poppins! I am so glad we got the opportunity to see a Broadway play while in NYC because it is something I have always wanted to do.  It was a great show and we had unbelievable seats!

On Monday morning we got up and got on the bus to head to Princeton. Before crossing into New Jersey, our bus driver drove us down by Ground Zero. It would have been neat to get out and walk around but driving by was still powerful. I never realized how big of an area was affected by the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. The construction of the Freedom Tower is almost complete but there is still so much left empty in the absence of the Twin Towers.

After seeing Ground Zero, we crossed the bridge into New Jersey and headed straight to atPrinceton.JPGPrinceton for practice. Princeton is a good team from the Ivy League that we knew was going to be a tough game. We came out with a win at Princeton, which is great road victory for us. We needed to get the win and we got it. Since we have three girls from Philly and another from the East Coast, it was awesome that their families and friends could get out to a couple of games and see them play.

After getting back to Chicago, we had to prepare for another tough opponent -- Arizona State. Last year we went to Arizona State and did not come away with a win so this year we wanted to get the win and protect our home court.  On Thursday, the night before the game we all came together and Chef Anna Martin cooked for us. Anna had wanted to practice her cooking on us for a while and when we finally obliged, she jumped at the chance! Ok, maybe it was more of us prodding her to cook but she did so all the same.

Anna and Mo Mo (Maureen Mulchrone) made chicken marsala with spaghetti for some carbs before the game. Megan and I made a salad with some veggies on the side and then we had corn with a special sauce (it's random, we know, haha). Kelsey and Jasmine joined us for dinner and we had a great time sitting around the table and laughing with each other.

Friday was game day and we knew we had business to take care of.  Arizona State was one of the leading defensive teams in the country coming into this game. A lot of times people only think of us as an offensive team because we like to score a lot of points. However, I like to think we can play some defense too! We came out of the game with a big win! It felt great to get the win! Brittany Hrynko had a career game with 25 points and she made some great plays. Everybody really stepped their game up when we needed them to. We didn't have Keisha for Arizona State, but we all came together and pulled out a team victory. We sure missed her but I am proud of the way everybody stepped up! We again had a quick turn around because we were playing Illinois State on Monday!

We hopped on a bus and headed down to Bloomington-Normal on Sunday and got to practice on their court on Sunday night before heading to a team dinner at a local restaurant. In the restaurant we had a back room all to ourselves, and the tables were pushed together to make one big table. It was fun to sit with the coaches and players. We got to catch the end of the Baylor-UConn game on TV and then enjoyed some good food and great company. I don't think there has ever been a time that we have eaten together as a team and we haven't all laughed together. Usually it's at the expense of Anna but she seems able to take it!

After getting the win on Monday against ISU, we bussed it back to Chicago and play Southern Illinois on Thursday. This is our last game before Christmas so come and check us out while you can! Also, our next home game isn't until New Years Eve!

In some more exciting news, our newest transfer, Kelsey Smith, has arrived on campus and we are so happy to have her! Tuesday was her first day working out with and I think she'll fit right in!

And as promised, I'll share with you all what my and Anna's secret was! We decided that we Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Katherine and Anna with Santawanted to get our picture taken with Santa so that we could make Christmas cards to send to our families and friends this year! We "dressed up" and went to Macy's on State Street to Santa's Workshop in order to get our picture. I'm happy to report that we were not the only young adults in there getting our picture taken! I was really looking forward to sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what I wanted for Christmas, but when he saw both of us together he politely offered the arms of his chair! We had fun taking the picture and making the cards. We just dropped them in the mail yesterday hopefully they will get to their desired locations before Christmas!

Check out some pictures from our trip to NY and our visit with Santa!

Go Blue Demons!
#51 Katherine Harry