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Murphy a step above

At five-foot-four inches tall Jacqueline Murphy is the shortest member of the William Smith women's basketball team in Geneva, N.Y.

It's not often that a guard that size would lead the team in rebounds but that's not the with Murphy.

Entering the Liberty League Tournament Wednesday, Murphy is tied for first place in leading the Heron's in rebounds averaging 5.8 boards per game.

"I dont really think that my size is as big as a disadvantage as people think it is," said Murphy, from Albany. "The key to getting a rebound is to get a step on the person who you are guarding or who is guarding you. If you can get them by a step t makes it a lot easier to get to the ball first. "

On Feb. 18, Murphy had eight rebounds in a William Smith victory. She raised her career rebounding total to 880, passing Gwen Scott '82 for second place on the Heron's' all-time list. Jennifer Goodell '97 is the top all-time rebounder with 901.

"I never expected to become the No. 2 all-time rebounding leader. Honestly, I thought it was something that would be pretty far out of my reach," Murphy said. "I understood it was possible after my first three seasons. But I thought it was a lofty goal."

Murphy averaged 7.9 rebounds as a freshman, 10.4 as a sophomore, and 8.4 as a junior. Twice she had a career high of 19 rebounds for a single game.

For the second year in a row and the third time in the past four four seasons, William Smith will face Vassar College in the Liberty League Tournament.

The Herons will travel to Poughkeepsie Wednesday for a 6 p.m. tipoff in the Brewers's Athletic and Fitness Center.

"We have made it to the Liberty League Tournament Championship twice in my career," said Murphy, a Movement Science major who has her sights set on becoming a Physician's Assistant. "Both times we failed to advance into the NCAA Tournament. This year we are hoping to change that."

One thing is for sure, Murphy will be hitting the boards hard for every rebound she can get.

Hustle and determination don't hurt when it comes to the rebounding game. Murphy possesses both.