Proud of Our Pards: Kelly Loughney
By Peter Levine ‘16
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
Last season certainly wasn’t the most exciting or memorable in the basketball career of Kelly Loughney ‘14. Having transferred from New York University following her freshman season, Loughney was forced to sit out last season as a sophomore due to NCAA transfer rules. While many players would be deterred from joining a team if it meant watching a season from the sidelines, Loughney, a native of nearby Clinton, NJ, saw the off-year as an opportunity to spend more time in the weight room and improve her skills during practice.
“It really shows us something about Kelly’s character,” head coach Dianne Nolan explained. “That her only reward last season being a part of the team.”
This season, as a junior, Loughney has already made a significant impact with the team. Though a talented and versatile forward, Loughney was somewhat limited in her playing time at the beginning of the season, with a dominant frontcourt featuring 6’7” center Danielle Fiacco ‘14 and 6’3” forward Emily Homan ‘15.
When both Fiacco and Homan were forced to miss playing time during the interim due to illness, Loughney took quick advantage of the increase in playing time, averaging 7.6 points per game during conference play thus far, ranking third best on the team. In last Saturday’s decisive win against Lehigh, Loughney scored 16 points including two three- pointers.
“We have been working on our offense a lot recently, and I think that showed in the Holy Cross and Lehigh games,” Loughney said. “We are focusing on running our sets while looking to get the ball to our scorers where they are comfortable and effective.”
Fiacco and Homan have been drawing more attention from opposing defenses down low, Loughney has room to hit more open outside shots. Coach Nolan describes her role as a “trail post” where Kelly could catch the ball at the top of the key and hit an open three- pointer with confidence.
“I have never really looked to take a lot of threes in games,” Loughney admitted. “But I am beginning to feel more comfortable taking them. I’ve practiced 3 pointers since last year and I think it’s just a matter of being offensively minded and taking 3’s when I’m open.”
Though she couldn’t see any playing time, Loughney certainly benefited from being able to hone down her shooting skills in practice and work with Homan, Fiacco and the rest of her teammates.
“I did a lot more individually, like extra lifting and workouts,” the junior said.
Coach Nolan says the work that Loughney put in last year has allowed her teammates to familiarize themselves with where Kelly is comfortable shooting the ball.
Off the court, Loughney fit in easily with the team, and Coach Nolan was quick to praise Kelly’s easygoing personality and great sense of humor, which helps to, “keep the team loose and relaxed through the season.”
“After attending NYU for a year, I realized that I was much more comfortable in a small community oriented setting rather than in the middle of the city,” Loughney explained. “I live about 20 munutes away from Lafayette so I had always known about it and liked it. Sitting out for a year was hard, but I know I made the right decision.”
When Coach Nolan received word from NYU stating Kelly’s interest in transferring, the Lafayette coaching staff began their research and saw that Loughney was a strong player in high school. Upon meeting Loughney, the Lafayette coaches were impressed by her personality, and determined that she would be an asset to the Leopard team in future years.