On Saturday, January 14, Bates’ women’s basketball team played Williams College at 3 p.m. in Alumni gymnasium. Little did spectators know, while they were arriving to the game, the team was hosting a “mini-dance party” in the locker room.

Julia Middlebrook ‘21 of Ridgefield, Conn., a guard on the team, recounts this tradition.

“Before every home game, we have a mini dance party in the locker room to get hyped up,” says Middlebrook. “I have been on multiple teams before this one, and never have I done this. That’s what makes this team so unique: everyone is able to be themselves and have fun all the time.”

Middlebrook says that the seniors put on The Circle of Life remix from the Lion King, and the team dances to the music.

Post mini-dance party this past Saturday, the team fell short to Williams College, 56-44. This is the third in-conference game loss for the Bobcats.

Middlebrook led the team in assists, with four throughout the game, and helped the team score 12 points.

When asked about the team environment, Middlebrook had nothing but positive acclaim.

“I have been able to have such a great experience on this team because of the girls and the coaching staff, who have been so welcoming,” says Middlebrook. “So far, everyone is doing their best and the energy on the team makes the practices and, obviously, the games so much fun to be a part of.”

On Friday January 12, the Bobcats were victorious against Middlebury, 60-57. Middlebrook quoted this game as the standout part of the season so far.

“The highlight of this season has definitely been Friday night. We won our first NESCAC game by beating Middlebury,” explains Middlebrook. “We haven’t beat them since 2012. It was cool seeing everyone working so hard, being successful and getting the W.”

With 12 seconds left on the clock, Middlebrook assisted the winning 3-pointer, scored by senior Emily Freedland ‘18.

When asked about the biggest difference between the high school and college game, Middlebrook said it was the tempo and commitment.

“Coming from high school to college, there is a much bigger time commitment,” explains Middlebrook. “There are more workouts, and I definitely have to put more time into it, but the upperclassmen have really helped me and the other first-years work it all out.”

Middlebrook said when she was deciding on schools to attend, she loved Bates’ school community. She said the football field in the center of campus was appealing, and the idea of knowing the people you see walking around was reassuring.

Going forward, Middlebrook is determined to stay strong.

“I am looking forward to finishing up NESCAC play, seeing how our team will develop into conference play, and if we keep up our positivity and dedication to fight for every possession,” says Middlebrook. “I am looking forward to the opportunity for us to be successful. I believe it will keep on coming if we are willing to work hard.”

The next game will be away on Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. against University of Maine Farmington.