Forward Malou De Kergret is one-of-a-kind on the UC Riverside women's basketball team this season. She's the only senior.
"Something is different about your senior year," De Kergret said. "All seniors from all sports feel it. You know it is your last year and you want to make a difference."
Through seven games this season, De Kergret is averaging 10.4 points per game, which is second on the team. She had a season-high 18 points in the team's last game vs. Milwaukee on Nov. 24. She also scored 17 points against USC in the season-opener. De Kergret has the seventh-highest field goal percentage (.517) in the Big West and is shooting 47.3 percent from the three-point line.
That's a sign of how hard De Kergret worked during the offseason. She was determined to become a more complete player on offense.
"I wanted to have confidence in my shot from everywhere on the court," De Kergret said. "I worked on my mid-range jumper and shooting three pointers."
While she's yet to start a game this season, De Kergret is the first to come off the bench, which has given the team a noticeable boost. "Malou is very driven," head coach John Margaritis said.
"Since her arrival at UCR, she has worked extremely hard to maintain a high level of performance both academically and athletically."
Knowing her experiences on and off the court, Margaritis asked De Kergret to be a co-captain on this season's team.
"Malou has taken the responsibility of being a captain to a higher level than anyone in that position before her," Margaritis said. "We all should be grateful for her leadership and dedication."
Originally from France, De Kergret began her college career at Eastern Arizona College before transferring to UCR. She excelled during her sophomore year, scoring in double figures on nine occasions. Injuries hampered her production last season, averaging 2.9 points per game, but it taught her beneficial lessons.
"They value me as a player and I'm that stable leader on the floor," De Kergret said. "I feel like this year I have a better understanding of what I'm doing and what we're doing on the floor."