The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Makayla Andrews reaches 1,000 points

MaKayla Andrews drives past a defender on the night of her 1000th point. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

In the first half of last Wednesday’s game against Loyola, senior guard Makayla Andrews knocked down an everyday turnaround jumper. However, that shot was anything but routine, as with it she entered herself into the Lafayette record books becoming the 20th athlete in the team’s history to achieve the 1,000-point milestone and the first to do so since the pandemic. 

A two-sport athlete in her younger years, Andrews’ drive to cultivate a collegiate basketball career developed in high school when she decided to focus solely on this passion. 

“The first sport I played and loved was actually soccer,” Andrews said.  “I played both basketball and soccer until middle school, but they are both two time-consuming sports.” 

Realizing she had the skill, talent and devotion to be successful at the next level, Andrews quit soccer to place her energy into basketball — a decision that proved to be pivotal for her career.  

“In high school, I became more serious because I realized I could play in college,” Andrews said. “My dad played at Saint Peter’s so he knew what that felt like.”

With guidance and support from her parents, Andrews began to actualize her goal. She was excited to join Lafayette’s team from the moment she first stepped on campus. 

“I had a really memorable weekend,” Andrews said.  “I visited with my teammate, Kayla, who became my roommate, and it was just a perfect weekend, even down to the weather.” 

While Andrews connected with Lafayette from this initial experience, 2020 dealt her an unconventional rookie season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college athletics was forced to completely restructure its normal season to create a competitive environment safe for players and staff. For Andrews, this meant a short 13-game season. 

Head coach Kia Damon-Olson noted how difficult any adjustment to collegiate sports is, not to mention the stress of the pandemic as an additional factor.

“I thought when she came in that while the circumstances were difficult, of the freshman in her class she was most ready to contribute,” Damon-Olson said. “Just figuring out the college game in such a condensed season is a definite challenge.” 

While Andrews did not start a single game her rookie season, she appeared in all 13 games and averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. She earned a Patriot League Rookie of the Week award and was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team at the end of the season.

Damon noted that she identified Andrews’ skills — in addition to areas for improvement — upon recruitment. 

“When we recruited Makayla we knew she had the ability to score a lot of points in lots of different ways,” Damon-Olson said. “We also knew there would be an opportunity to help her grow her game in terms of her 3-point shooting and decision-making. When she was in high school she played more as a post player, and recruiting her we had visions that she would play as a guard.”

Her career has only trended upward throughout her time with the team. She lead the squad in scoring her sophomore season with 312 points and hit double figures in 23 of 29 games her junior season. She has already put up 250 points this season, and with nine regular-season games remaining, has a chance of outstripping her personal season record of 411 points from last year.

For Andrews, the 1,000-point milestone was an exciting, if familiar, accomplishment.

“It’s always been a goal of mine especially since I’ve seen that I could accomplish it,” Andrews said. “I did it in high school so to see I could do it again proved that I have become the player I have always wanted to and that I’m continuing to grow. Obviously, my parents have been very supportive of me, my teammates are very supportive of me, and it was just a good moment.” 

The Leopards currently rank third in the Patriot League in three-point percentage with Andrews as a significant contributor to this stat. The team just snapped a seven-game losing streak and leaders such as Andrews have been crucial for maintaining collective effort. 

“I see the energy and the fight every day in practice,” Damon-Olson said. “Makayla is a big piece of helping to bring this growth mindset as well.”

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