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Jenna Cunningham and Robby Pride Tabbed Dartmouth Athletes of the Week

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Athlete of the Week Archive

Each week, will spotlight two outstanding student-athletes - one male, one female - as Dartmouth's Athletes of the Week. Student-athletes may be chosen based upon their efforts both on and off the field of competition.

It was seniors stepping it up again for the Big Green as hockey's Jenna Cunningham (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and basketball's Robby Pride (Denver, Colo.) picked up Dartmouth Athlete of the Week honors. Cunningham had a three point week in a split weekend while Pride led the men's basketball team to its first win of the season.

Dartmouth Male Athlete of the Week:
Robby Pride (Denver, Colo.), Men's Basketball, Guard, Senior

Senior captain Robby Pride led the Big Green to its first win of the season, a convincing 68-56 triumph over visiting Hartford on Nov. 28, by scoring a career-high 19 points while connecting of six of his nine field goal attempts including a personal-best three three-pointers. His 12 points among Dartmouth's first 19 helped the squad jump out to an early lead and never trail after the first few minutes of the game. In two games during the week, Pride averaged 13 points and shot 64.3 percent from the floor.

How important was it to the team to get that first win of the season?
It was a huge relief and was doubly nice beating a good Hartford team that many didn't expect us to beat. We're a good team, no question. Our win-loss record just isn't reflective of that right now but we'll be fine.

To what do you attribute your scoring output in the victory?
It's definitely a mental thing. When you make your first couple shots, your confidence grows. For a while there I just felt in the zone, like I couldn't miss, which is a great feeling. Not to mention, we executed our offense very well against Hartford, which made those shots a lot easier.

As a captain, do you lead more by example or are you more vocal in your leadership?
I'd say both. With the older guys, I don't need to talk to them as much, whereas with the younger guys I try to teach them the things I've learned in my four years to help them get better. But in the game, I try to do both - leading by example through body language as well as leading vocally on the court.

You are one of a dying breed as a two-sport athlete at Dartmouth. How difficult is it to maintain your skills in both basketball and lacrosse?
Basketball isn't a problem because I play all summer, fall, and winter without ever picking up a lacrosse stick. But the transition directly after basketball to lacrosse is not easy. First, it's a completely different type of running and moving on the field than on the court so my body takes a beating the first couple of weeks of lacrosse. Also, my skills are never where they need to be when I get back, but luckily I have mostly been used for defense in lacrosse which does not require as much in terms of stick skills. Hopefully this year I can make the jump to offense more often, which means I'll have to work a lot harder on re-gaining my stick skills after basketball.

What are the short-term and long-term goals for the Big Green this season?
The short-term goals are just to focus on one game at a time to prepare us for the ultimate goal, which is to win an Ivy championship. I think we have the talent and, more importantly, the determination to do it this year so as long as we continue to learn and build on our mistakes in the games prior to the Ivy schedule. I think we'll put ourselves in position to be a contender at the end of the year.

Dartmouth Female Athlete of the Week:
Jenna Cunningham (Medicine Hat, Alta.) Women's Hockey, Forward, Senior

Senior co-captain Jenna Cunningham has been one of the most consistent players for the Big Green in her three-plus seasons. She recently reached the 100-point plateau with two goals in a 6-2 over Brown on Nov. 20. Unlike some scorers who tally more goals than assists or vice versa, Cunningham was split right down the middle. Currently after a three-point week, she has 52 career goals and 52 assists. Cunningham is not in the top-10 in either of those categories, but became the 31st member of the 100-point club. In a 1-1 week for the Big Green, she recorded assists on both of Dartmouth's goals in a 3-2 loss to 10th-ranked Harvard. In a tight 4-3 win over Vermont last Saturday, scored her team-leading third power play goal of the season in a four-goal first period for the Big Green.

You reached the 100 career points mark last week. Was it tough the few games before getting to the milestone?
I think the few games before hitting the milestone were a little tougher then usual because no matter how much you try not to think about it, it is always in the back of your mind. But I am glad to have hit the milestone and get two great wins out of that weekend.

The team's scoring has been spread out this season as four players are in double figures and seven different players have power play goals. How important is that balance?
I think any team you talk to that has been successful would tell you that they pride themselves in teamwork. Without teamwork there is no team and your chances of success are minimal and we are no different. Teamwork is an essential part of our team's identity. So I think it is a good sign that we have had the scoring spread out and it also shows the depth of our team and the potential we have.

You are a co-captain this season. Does anything change other than the normal captain duties?
I don't think a whole lot changes we when you are a co-captain. If anything, it makes life a little easier because you have someone in the same shoes as you that you can go and talk to and look to for support.