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Sheetz Thanks Fans
In Emotional Farewell To CU
March 18, 1995
BOULDER - The Shelley Sheetz Tour came to an emotional close Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.
A fired-up Sheetz waved to the roaring, sell-out crowd and pumped her fists in the air as she walked off the home court for the last time in a CU uniform.
Sheetz was still emotional at the post-game news conference nearly a half hour after CU had blown out Southwest Missouri.
She immediately thanked the fans who have supported her and the rest of the Colorado women's team in its rise to greatness in her four years in Boulder. "I just want to thank the fans for everything," Sheetz said, choking back on tears of joy. "It's been a great four years here, and I just want to thank everybody for coming out tonight. We gave them a show tonight."
Sheetz's final homestand did not produce her best basketball of her career, but she did the little things that usually go unnoticed, and as always, got the job done. Sheetz scored only ten points in the two sub-regional games, on 4-of-19 shooting, but her defense and ball-handling were keys to the big wins that sent CU on to Des Moines.
Coach Ceal Barry said Sheetz was the catalyst, even if the big numbers weren't there. "I think the game started with our point guard," Barry said. "It's critical that you have a point guard who can handle the pressure and can handle it for 35 or 40 minutes. You have to give Shelley a lot of credit for handling that pressure and getting us into our offense. It was just a matter of people's filling their roles after that."
For the record, Sheetz's line in her final home game was 3-of-18 shooting and 2-of-2 from the line, for 8 points. She also dished out 6 assists, grabbed four rebounds, and tallied 4 steals.
Typical Sheetz game, typically splendid to watch.
Sheetz knows her role on the team and doesn't mind sacrificing numbers for wins. Her goal is to be in Minneapolis on April 1 for the Final Four, and she will do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.
Sheetz also knows that this CU team can get its points from other positions, and she is on the court to play defense, pass the ball, and lead the team. Sheetz said her desire to lead the team was formed her freshman year, by watching the lone senior on that 1991-92 club.
"When I came in as a freshman, Debbie Jacobson was the only senior," Sheetz said. "She meant a lot to me, because she showed me the ropes when I was only a freshman. I owe a lot to her, as I saw the way that she led as a senior, and that's something that I wanted to do. I take a lot of pride in leadership."
Sheetz also takes pride in playing tenaciously at the defensive end of the court. " I just didn't want to quit on the pressure," she said. "No matter how much time is left, how big the lead is, any team can come back. You play until the horn.
"Scoring is not needed from me at this point," Sheetz added. "I had to fluster their point guard, and I took that as a challenge from the very beginning. I had to make sure that I was handling their pressure, and not to lose my composure and show my teammates that I was under control."
Sheetz was under control on the court, but when the final horn sounded and she realized her career in Boulder was done, the tears started to flow. "It was pretty special after the game there celebrating with the fans," Sheetz said. "It was a tough day today."
CU moves on to play in the Midwest Regional Semifinals Thursday in Sheetz home state of Iowa. Sheetz expects at least 100 people to make the drive from her hometown of Cedar Rapids to Des Moines to watch the regionals on the campus of Drake University.
Sheetz says interest in the Buffs has increased in Cedar Rapids. "They do a lot of articles back home," she said. "They try to keep the community back there up to date on what's going on, and what I am doing here. Lately, with March Madness, they have really kept an eye on how I have been doing."
Sheetz isn't satisfied with just going home for Regional Finals. She'd like one more weekend away from Boulder before graduation in May. "We still have a lot more to do here, but it was very emotional, and I just want to thank everybody," Sheetz said. "It's been a sweet run."
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