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UAA Basketball Road Weekend Blog #4: Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon

UAA Basketball Road Weekend Blog #4: Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon

At least one student-athlete from each Association school will blog about a UAA basketball road weekend this season.

Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon University

My name is Lisa Murphy and I’m a senior on the Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team. I’m studying psychology with a concentration in child development. My favorite memories over the past four years have been on UAA travel trips and I hope this recap will give you a better sense of what this experience is like.

Thursday 2/2

The start of our travel weekend began early. Our bus left CMU at 8:45 a.m., which meant we missed all our classes on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, most professors are incredibly supportive and will work with you to make up missed class time. We loaded up the bus with the men’s team and we all received our pre-ordered Panera Bread breakfast. We arrived at the Pittsburgh airport with plenty of time to spare. Once we got to our gate, I passed the time by reading a research paper for my psychology course on relationships. Others grabbed coffee, played games, and read.

Photo: Catch Phrase! in Lisa Murphy's hotel room

Once we arrived in St. Louis, we bussed to the hotel. My roommate for this trip was freshman Dom Petach, which was great because we are both early birds. We all dropped our bags in our rooms and then headed out to get lunch. We walked a couple blocks to Chipotle. Afterwards, we had a few hours of free time. A couple teammates came to our room to hang out and we played our favorite game: Catch Phrase! My team won of course (I don’t lose at that game.)

That evening we went to dinner at the house of sophomore Jenn Mayberger, who is a St. Louis native. Her family treated us like queens and we had a delectable meal of pasta, salad, and fruit. We had toasted ravioli and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, which are both St. Louis signature foods. Then we headed back to the hotel. A couple of us piled up in my bed and watched “The Bachelor,” which we had missed earlier in the week. Our lights went out at 10:30.

Carnegie Mellon team dinner at the home of Jenn Mayberger

Friday 2/3

The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel buffet at 9:00 a.m. Topics of conversation included whether bananas were going extinct and who would survive best on a deserted island.  The rest of the morning was free since our team chooses to rest instead of doing a game day shoot-around. Most of us ended up studying in the hotel lobby. I worked on an essay for my course on the social-cognitive theory of writing. While I find it very difficult to focus on schoolwork on game day, it pays off to get work done during our free time.

At 2:30, we met in the lobby to eat our pre-game meal. The coaches always buy groceries for us to make sandwiches. We get turkey, avocado, tomato, cheese, hummus, peanut butter, carrot sticks, fresh fruit, and pita chips. We left for the game at 4:30. After the game, we showered and then attended the UAA social. It’s a unique experience being able to talk with other student-athletes and it definitely builds camaraderie within the conference. After the game, our athletic trainer Rosie surprised us with cookies from Hot Box of Cookies, which were delicious! I was exhausted and quickly fell asleep.

Saturday 2/4

At 8:30 a.m. the next morning we had breakfast before hitting the road for Chicago. Fortunately, we got a separate bus from the men, which meant a lot more space to spread out. The five-hour drive was spent doing homework, playing games, and sleeping. We arrived in Chicago at 2:30. Our hotel was right in the heart of the city. We had a couple hours of free time before dinner so some of my teammates and I set out to explore the city.  We walked down Michigan Avenue and visited Millennium Park. As a certified chocoholic, I made sure we visited the Ghirardelli store too. 

Photo: Lisa Murphy with teammates at The Chicago Bean

That evening we had dinner at Rock Bottom. We always pre-order our food so we get served right when we get there. Later that night, I took an ice bath in the hotel and used the Recovery Pump compression boots that we bring with us. Recovery strategies are crucial especially after playing a lot of minutes on Friday night and then having to rebound for Sunday’s game. We watched the Cavaliers-Knicks game and then went to bed at 10:30.  

Sunday 2/5

On Sunday morning, Dom and I had breakfast at the hotel buffet at 9:00. After breakfast, we had a film session and reviewed our scouting report. By 11:00, we were packed up on the bus and headed to the University of Chicago. We usually get to the gym 1.5 hours before games so there is enough time for everyone to get taped, dressed, and ready to warm up.

Photo: Eating and studying at the hotel

After the game we headed to O’Hare Airport to catch a 5:30 flight. The coaches gave us meal money to buy food at the gate for dinner. We got back to Pittsburgh at 8:30 and everyone rushed home to catch the end of a crazy Super Bowl. As I finish this wrap-up, I am about to go to bed because I have to be up bright and early for my internship tomorrow. I am a teaching assistant in a first grade classroom in Pittsburgh this semester. These travel trips are always a balancing act between focusing on basketball and school work as well as remembering to have fun! I am so grateful to be able to play in the UAA because I get to travel to cool cities with my best friends and play the sport I love. 

Lisa Murphy, a senior center/forward, is the first woman in UAA history to reach 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She currently leads NCAA Division III in scoring and field goal percentage, while also leading the UAA in rebounding, blocked shots, and free throw percentage.