Freshman Nelson helps spark UMass

McDonogh grad starts all 30 games at guard



March 06, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

This sounds like a basketball fairy tale.

The gifted daughter of a highly successful basketball coach goes off to college and is immediately asked to lead her team in a major collegiate basketball conference.

The freshman responds by taking charge of the offense, and the team nearly makes it to the conference championship game.

It all seems so perfect for Katie Nelson (McDonogh) and her father, Bill Nelson, who calls the shots for the Johns Hopkins men's basketball team. Don't believe it, said Katie yesterday from Amherst, Mass., where she just completed a strong first season for the Massachusetts women's team in the Atlantic 10.

"I have my down times when my teammates have to carry us," said Katie. "Like in the first round of the A-10 tournament last week against LaSalle, when I scored only four points and had one assist but we still won."

That game was an aberration. Two days later, in the semifinals of the A-10 tourney, the savvy point guard performed like a veteran in a 67-61 overtime loss to Temple. Nelson led the Minutewomen in scoring (15 points), had two steals, two rebounds and one assist in 40 minutes.

She scored five of the team's seven points in overtime, including a clutch three-pointer to reduce the Temple lead to 58-57 with less than three minutes left in overtime.

"Just playing in that tournament was my biggest thrill to date here," said Nelson. "My biggest disappointment was our 2-11 start. But once we all became familiar with each other, we won seven of our last nine [12-18 overall, 8-8 in A-10]."

Nelson started all 30 games, averaged 36.5 minutes, 9.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and had team highs of 50 three-pointers and 92 assists, plus 39 steals.

With everybody except one key player returning next season, UMass and Nelson are expecting big things. "My dad and I talk basketball all the time when we go out to eat after a game," said Katie. "Mom [Margaret] drove up to every single one of our games. Dad only missed a few games."

Miller scores

Sophomore attackman Brian Miller (Loyola) scored two goals Saturday in a 7-0 third-quarter run by Brown University that wiped out a 3-2 Sacred Heart halftime lead, giving Brown a 14-5 opening-game lacrosse victory.

Also helping Brown was 6-foot-4, 235-pound sophomore midfielder Richard Tuohey (Gilman), who had two assists in the game. Freshman defender Matt Willse (Gilman) is also a member of the Brown squad.

Have an item for Postcards? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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