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Quiz: Which NCAA women’s basketball team owns the longest home winning streak?
UConn? No! Stanford? No! Arkansas-Little Rock? I like your creativity, but no, no and no! The answer is Amherst College, which defeated Baruch College last Sunday, for a home court winning streak of 100 games. That’s not only the longest such streak; it’s the longest in women’s NCAA basketball history.
Amherst head coach G.P. Gromacki joined Bill Littlefield to discuss his team's amazing run.
BL: Were you thinking about the streak as your team was on the court last Sunday or were you and your team just focused on the game?
You're not going to have streaks without a little bit of luck, but we definitely like playing at home.G.P. Gromacki, Amherst Coach
GPG: Well, it was hard to not think about it after so many people were telling us, you know, how close we were, and we didn't talk about it before the game, but, to be honest with you, it was in the back of my mind, definitely.
BL: The previous record holder, at 99 wins, is the juggernaut otherwise known as UConn. Amherst College is Division III. UConn, of course, is Division I, but still, I would think it must feel great to be mentioned in the same breath as UConn.
GPG: Oh yeah. UConn, with their rich tradition, with how many championships they've won, just to be mentioned [with] UConn is definitely an honor.
BL: Your home court streak began on Jan. 31, 2009. You were in your second season as head coach then. That last home loss must feel as if it happened ages ago.
GPG: Yeah, I still remember it though. We lost on a buzzer shot. A girl actually caught it on the left block, spun toward the baseline, banked it off the glass, went through, buzzer sounded and that was it. We lost by two. The game was tied at the time.
BL: Tell me about some of the key players who have helped you sustain this streak.
GPG: Yeah, we've had some great ones come through here. In 2011 and 2012 we had the national Player of the Year for Division III. In 2011 it was [Jaclyn] Daigneault. And in 2012 it was Caroline Stedman.
BL: I understand that this year you've got twins on your roster. Do you ever get tempted to have then switch shirts and really confuse people?
CPG: Well, what's funny is they're not identical. Yeah one of them is definitely more blonde than the other, so we haven't been able to pull any pranks. And fortunately they're not able to pull any pranks on me as well.
BL: Well who are these twins?
CPG: One is Ali Doswell and the other is Meredith Doswell. They're both sophomores and they've both been tremendous players for us early in their career.
BL: The men’s home record is held by Kentucky, which was victorious in 129 straight home games from 1943 to 1955. I realize this may be a little premature, but are you and your players — and perhaps future players — thinking at all about breaking that particular mark?
[sidebar title="The Kentucky Wildcats" width="630" align="right"] No. 1 Kentucky is off to a blazing start. We ask Yahoo! Sports Pat Forde whether any team in college basketball can hang with the Wildcats. [/sidebar]CPG: No, we're not going to talk about it. If we're fortunate to get there then that would be pretty amazing but we're just gonna kinda keep going about our business and do what we do and not really think about things like that.
BL: Amherst won the national title in 2011. I'm sure you'd like to keep the streak going and win another national title but which would be more important?
CPG: Our goal is to win a national championship every year but ... hopefully, you know, when it's all said and done each year we can look back and enjoy our experience and try to teach 'em things about working hard and achieving their goals. That will help 'em later in life.
BL: I have just one more question, coach. Amherst has 207 wins and only 18 losses since you took over. You guys seem to play pretty well on the road, too.
CPG: Yeah, we've been pretty successful and been pretty fortunate. You're not going to have streaks without a little bit of luck, but we definitely like playing at home.
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This segment aired on November 29, 2014.
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