Oct. 16, 2012
By: Mark Singelais, Albany Times Union
New Siena women's basketball coach Ali Jaques was about to end practice on Saturday with the team tied in an intrasquad scrimmage. She felt they'd gone long enough and didn't want to see anyone injured.
The players insisted on continuing until one side came out ahead, which thrilled the highly competitive Jaques.
"They went another half-hour to determine a winner on their own," Jaques said Monday at Siena's media day. "They said, 'Coach, we've got to finish this out. We've got to see who wins.' In my heart, I was really, really excited to hear that."
The Saints have lacked a winning instinct lately, suffering eight consecutive losing seasons. That string led to the departure of longtime coach Gina Castelli and the hiring in April of Jaques, the associate head coach at Northwestern.
Jaques, in her first Division I head coaching job, has run 10 practices so far with the Saints. She's quickly tried to make an impression on her new players with up-tempo, demanding workouts.
"We've run a pretty tight ship," she said. "Practice moves pretty well. It's been pretty intense. There's not a lot of downtime. I'd rather go two hours really, really hard, than two hours and 45 minutes up and down. It's been pretty intense, but it's been fun."
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