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Beauchamp has worked her way toward a major role
Dec. 8, 2007
By LINDA BOUVET, LSSU Sports Information Director
The post-season has always been an important time of the year for Lake Superior State senior guard Shalyn Beauchamp.
Beauchamp's role within the LSSU women's basketball team has changed and evolved over the past five years, and this year it has dramatically increased. She has made the most of the off-season to learn new positions and adapt to bigger roles.
"During my red-shirt season, I worked on everything," said Beauchamp, who was a reserve point guard as a true freshman then red-shirted during her sophomore year in 2004-05. "Going into my sophomore year, I worked more on preparing to be a point guard. And going into my junior year, I worked more as a `Two.'"
"Basically, Shalyn is a hard worker," LSSU coach Jamie Pewinski said. "With having her change positions, it was not a question of if she could do it. She put in a lot of time shooting on her own, getting to the basket and being able to handle the ball. She knows we want her to take big shots at big points in the game."
Although Beauchamp enjoyed the take-charge aspect of being a point guard, she believes that she helps the team more as a shooting guard. And she has found a greater need for her leadership abilities now that she is one of only three seniors on a squad that includes just as many rookies as returning players.
"I've always looked forward to being a leader on this team," Beauchamp said. "It's a little overwhelming at times because we have a lot of young people on our team this year. Some of them maybe don't know how important some of these games are...But one thing this team has is good chemistry off the court."
Beauchamp remembers the approach that former Lakers Allyson Conaway, Becca Johnson, Hillary Bultema and Brooke Henderson took with the underclassmen. She was a true freshman in 2003-04 when the Lakers enjoyed their best season in school history -- 28-4 overall record and 13-1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference mark.
"My freshman year I didn't play at all, but I always envisioned myself being a leader and leading this team to something," she said. "I never thought that I wouldn't be able to do that, but it just took a lot of hard work. Nothing is given to you, and that's something that I love about this program. You need to work in order to get things done."
According to Beauchamp, who is averaging 12 points per game and is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 in career three-point field goals, the three seniors all lead in different ways. She describes herself as the most-intense of the trio, which includes center Danielle Makins and guard Amanda Epolito. At the same time, she tries to be a calming force on the court when the Lakers are in pressure situations.
"I think that just comes with having more experience," she said. "I know what needs to be done and can be focused...The others look to us for that."
"Shalyn is definitely the most-demanding and the most-aggressive as far as vocally," Pewinski said. "She leads by example, and she wants her teammates to give their best effort."
This fall, the young Laker squad went through a challenging conditioning program, and Beauchamp was a tough act to follow.
"Our pre-season workouts were a lot tougher this year," Pewinski said. "We did a lot more running and were trying to get stronger. But we can't have a hard enough workout for Shay. We joke that she could have a broken foot and not even know it. She plays right through pain."
"This pre-season was hard compared to last year, really hard," Beauchamp said. "It was good, and showed character in who did what. It sent a message that you're here to work. I thought the freshmen did real well. They all have good work ethics and are hard workers."
Through the first month of the season, Beauchamp leads the Lakers in scoring and assists, and is second in rebounding and steals. She is currently ranked fourth in the GLIAC in free-throw percentage and is tied for fifth in assists.
She has already hit some big shots this year, including the game-tying jumper at the buzzer against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville during the GLIAC v. GLVC Challenge at Ferris State University. On the same court on Jan. 14, 2006, she hit a half-court three-pointer at the buzzer to beat FSU, 82-80.
"That one was, `OK, I have the ball, and I know I can get down the court in at least four seconds,'" said Beauchamp, recalling the half-court shot. "We got the ball out of bounds, and I was looking to kick it out to someone. Maybe there was less than four seconds, but everyone was covered. I decided to shoot it and see what happens. It felt good and went it. It was a half-court shot - you never make those."
"When you put in as much work as she has, it's easy to have confidence," Pewinski said. "She's still working on when she's missing shots and being able to keep shooting. Now she's finally shooting eight, 10 or 12 times a game whether she's making them or not, and that's what we need her to do."
Lake Superior State Women's Basketball