By Jose Carrasquillo
At 4:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, Head Coach Walter Paschal and Assistant Coach Kathy Lynch are the first to arrive for practice.
The two coaches wait for their players to enter the gym for practice in anticipation of the MASCAC tournament – a tourney that FSU claimed second seed in.
Among the first group of players to show up are Raegan Mulherin and Alycia Racklife, and one cannot help but notice the energy, buzz and hard work they exhibit during practice.
The two are not only in large part to thank for the two seed, but both achieved incredible feats this year, eclipsing 1,000 career points each.
The team advanced to the finals after the MASCAC semi-final tournament 60-59 win. They will play Westfield State in the finals this Saturday.
Racklifee and Mulherin set the team apart from others in the tourney as the two 1,000-point career scorers. The two come from different backgrounds, but both have found their niches in Framingham.
According to Rackliffe, she had no real basketball skill until her last two years of high school.
As a child, she was always the tall one, she said, and was labeled as the big tall goober on her basketball team.
However, in college, she took off, scoring her 1,000 point against Bridgewater State at home on Jan. 8.
The Bridgewater game was “frustrating,” according to Rackliffe.
The game before she was just three points shy of scoring her 1,000th point, so during this game the opponent focused trying to stop her from scoring.
Mulherin recalls when Rackliffe shot her only 3-pointer of the season on Senior Night.
“She got the ball at the top of the key and popped it. All of our faces on the bench were like, ‘What?’” she said.
Rackliffe’s 1,000th point was more expected than Mulherin’s.
Monta Connolly, a fellow teammate, said, “I do remember when they scored. [Rackliffe] was at home and we had printed out a big 1 and then three cut outs of her head as the zeros and held it up as she scored her 1,000th point.”
At the time, she was the 10th player in the program’s history to achieve 1,000 career points.
Rackliffe said her favorite game is when she broke the single game blocks record with nine points earlier this season.
In high school, Mulherin scored 1,400 career points. She has always played point guard, until college, where she now plays shooting guard.
Mulherin achieved her 1,000th point against Bridgewater too, but in a different game.
Going into the game, Mulherin said she had no idea that she was even approaching 1,000 points. She didn’t even know she reached the plateau until after the game.
Connolly said, “Raegan scored her’s during an away game at Bridgewater. Lauren, our point guard, passed the ball to Raegan who shot and made a three pointer to score her 1000th point, and of course, all of us went crazy on the bench.”
Mulherin said her personal favorite game is when they beat Westfield earlier this season, because the team hasn’t beaten them in three years.
When asking Connolly what it’s like to play with two 1,000-point scorers, she said, “They’re both such great players and I know that when I’m having trouble scoring I can kick the ball to either of them and they’ll get the job done.”
Rackliffe said if she could play any other position on the team, she would want to be a point guard, but only if everyone is the same height so she can keep her post skills with guard skills.
Mulherin said she would become a small forward so she can dunk.
Going into the season, neither Mulherin or Rackliffe knew that they would achieve 1,000 points for their careers this season. No one knew of Mulherin’s 1,000 point until it happened because she was a transfer from Oklahoma and was unsure if her points would transfer along with her.
When asked what their goal of the season is, both answered, “Get a ring.”