On Thursday night against New England College, in a rematch of last year’s NECC Tournament final, Cassidy Harrison matched her career-high with 32 points. She knocked 10-of-17 shots from the field and with a second quarter jumper she became only the second player in the history of the Becker College program to reach 1,500 career points.
Harrison is already the program’s all-time leader in career three-pointers (194) and steals (271) and, if she continues at her current scoring pace of 16.5 points per game, could pass 2009 grad Beth Pion to become the top scorer to ever play for the Hawks.
“It’s really special to me,” Harrison said about being among the program’s top scorers. “All of these players were really amazing in college and I looked up to them and I’ve watched film of them play and it’s humbling to know that I could be up there with them.”
When asked if she thought that this was going to be how her college career would go, Harrison quickly replied, “Oh gosh no. I never expected anything like that. I just kind of came in to play and have fun and I never expected to be where I am now.”
While she was at Foxboro High, Harrison demonstrated the potential to be a consistent three-point threat. She scored nearly 13 points per game as a senior at Foxboro and buried 40 threes while earning HockomockSports.com Second Team honors.
In her final game as a Warrior, she drilled a three in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime at Falmouth in the Div. 2 South quarterfinal and just missed a last second effort that would have sent Foxboro to a third straight semifinal.
Harrison has more than lived up to the potential that she flashed at Foxboro. She stepped right into the lineup at Becker, averaging more than 14 points per game as a freshman, and was a major contributor in the team’s first NECC title and its NCAA trip in 2017-18. Harrison scored 16.2 points per game that season.
For her career, she is making more than 31 percent of her threes and is making nearly 80 percent of her shots at the line. She is a three-time all-conference selection, was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2016-17, and was the NECC Tournament MVP as a sophomore.
“Definitely at the collegiate level you have the opportunity to improve your game tremendously,” said. “Especially if you have the right coach and the right teammates, all that stuff, then it’s definitely possible to keep improving.”
She credits head coach David Bostick for a lot of the progress she has made as a shooter and in her all-around game. “He worked with me every day on my shot and ball-handling and footwork and quickness,” Harrison said. “I really owe a lot to him. He put the extra time to get me to where I am.”
The Hawks got off to a tough start to the season. After graduating several core players from last year’s squad and adding several new faces, the team needed to build its chemistry on and off the court, but they got off to a decent start to conference play. After losing to defending champ NEC, Becker sits at 4-3 in the league.
“I got off to a little bit of a slow start but playing in conference has helped,” Harrison said. “It’s a different kind of feel. You know who you’re playing against and how other teams play and we know how we can play against some of these teams because we’ve played them before.”
Having experienced a league title and a trip to the NCAA tournament, Harrison knows what it takes to be a success. Now, as a senior captain, she is trying to pass that on to the younger players.
“The upperclassmen really helped me out a lot and now being a senior captain the underclassmen really look to me,” she explained. “I feel like I have to be a role model for them, so that’s helped me improve my game a lot.
“The senior class we have now, we know how hard we have to work in the season to get to where we were and win a conference title. It won’t be easy but I think that our team has the ability.”
Last time the Hawks went to the NCAA Tournament, they ran into Amherst College, which at the time was one of the top-ranked teams in the country. Although Becker didn’t win the game, Harrison remembers the experience fondly and she wants another chance at that before her career comes to a close.
“I would love to keep going, win another championship, and keep going in the NCAAs and maybe try to get one game further than last time,” she said.
Between her nursing classes, practices, and games, there isn’t a lot of free time in the winter, but Harrison is also trying to make time to reflect on how far she has come and to take full advantage of the last few weeks of the season.
“It’s definitely crazy,” she said. “It feels like it went by in the blink of an eye. I only have 10-11 games left in my basketball career, so it’s bittersweet. I feel like I’ve been playing my whole life. I like to reflect and look back and just enjoy every minute that I have left.”
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