St. Joe's star Natasha Cloud blogs about their 2014 Atlantic 10 tournament run

Photo courtesy of Atlantic 10.

St. Joe's junior Natasha Cloud blogs about their season coming to an end during the 2014 Atlantic 10 tournament and looking forward to Selection Monday, when she hopes her team lands a spot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Hello again everyone! I bet you are all so excited that I am back blogging (just kidding)!

It has been a rough but important past two weeks for us Hawks; to end our regular season we had two important games against UMASS and Fordham. The two games were must-win games to seal our place as the fourth-seeded team for the A-10 tournament.

Unfortunately, we went 1-1 only to secure a fifth place spot in the conference. With us not clinching the fourth seed, we did not receive a bye, which meant we needed to play the winner of George Mason and UMASS on Friday. For us, we had dealt ourselves a tough road to the championship game, but it was not impossible!

We arrived in Richmond to a beautiful coliseum on Thursday night about two hours before George Mason and UMASS tipped off. We got to our rooms, devoured some food (here at Saint Joe's, we like to refer to ourselves as big girls), and headed off to see whom our next opponent would be.

The game was a nail biter and went into overtime, only for George Mason to come out on top. After the game, we went back to our hotel to watch film and walk through our scouting report. Everyone felt good and comfortable with the scout and what our game plan was for a very offensive-minded George Mason team.

The George Mason game was an all-around great team win! Everyone from top to bottom played, and the scoring was pretty much equal all around. This game was a great game for us to just go out, have fun, and get some confidence in our players heading into the next round.

Again, this was a business trip so after the game we went back to the hotel grabbed a quick shower, devoured some more food (remember big girls!) and headed to a two-hour study hall. Even though our main focal point of the weekend was the tournament we are still student-athletes who left midway through midterm week for the tournament; so a usually-dreaded study hall was now a much-needed relief.

After study hall we again had film and walk through of our scout for a very talented, well-coached George Washington team. Already playing George Washington twice in the regular season (splitting the games 1-1), we were both very familiar with each other; so walk-through was more so a review. Again we felt confident in our game plan, and were ready to get some rest before the big game.

The game versus George Washington was overall a very well played, high tempo, and high-energy type of game. It was a game of many runs and lead changes, but it went down to the wire and ended up to be an overtime game. Even in overtime both teams played a well-fought game.

Even though the overtime outcome did not play in our favor, I could not have been prouder of our team. We left everything we had on the floor and I can honestly say we could not have done anything more than what we did. The tournament did not end in another championship like we had hoped it would, but I had no complaints of how we played.

With being knocked out of the A10 tournament, our chances of making the NCAA tournament are slim (but not impossible). Like I stated in my previous blog, we have had a great season, but have had some boo boo's along the way.

But, our RPI is very hard to ignore. Monday night we will find out at the selection show - as of now, bracketology is showing that they will take three teams from the Atlantic 10 conference (Fordham, us, and Dayton), but again you never know! If we do not make the NCAA tournament, we will definitely be playing in the WNIT.

Whether we make the NCAA or the WNIT we are blessed to be one of the few teams standing for a post season! We have more games to play regardless and that is one of the best feelings as an athlete that you can feel. The hawks will live to fight another day, and from here on out, it is all about surviving and advancing. You never know what could happen in the madness of March!

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