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Kovatch becomes fastest Flash to 1,000-Point milestone

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The ball bounces on the opponent’s hardwood floor before her knees bend slightly inward, taking her into her unique stance, one that lifts her a few inches.

A nanosecond is all she needs to position the ball on her fingers, before lofting it into the air.

At Robert Morris on Jan. 16, sophomore women’s basketball player Jess Kovatch became the fastest player in Saint Francis history to hit the 1,000-point milestone. She is also tied for 20th in NCAA Division I, reaching the 1,000-point plateau in just 48 career games.

“It’s an amazing feeling and honor,” said Kovatch. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone who supports me.”

A 13-time NEC Rookie-of-the-Week last year and the reigning NEC Rookie-of-the-Year, Kovatch has picked up right where she left off a season ago. In a game at the Stokes Center on Jan. 21, Kovatch erupted for 45 points in an 87-81 victory over Central Connecticut State.

Kovatch continues to challenge herself to get better. During the offseason between her freshman and sophomore years, her focus was on “becoming an all-around player.” Kovatch focused on improving her left hand, creating more scoring opportunities for her teammates, and improving her game against defensive pressure.

She’s had a target on her back for her second go-round, but hasn’t shied away from the pressure on a single occasion. She has also remained humble.

“Don’t take what you have for granted,” she said.

Kovatch’s toughness and perspective can be traced to a moment during her high school years, when she found out her mother, Becky Kovatch, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kovatch said her mother continued to attend games to cheer on her daughter, even as her cancer treatments took a toll on her body.

“She always showed up,” said the sophomore guard.

In the game against Central Connecticut State, Kovatch set an SFU record with 16 made field goals, while tying her own school record with nine three-pointers. She became the first SFU player since 1999 to hit nine threes in an NEC game.

“I’m honored to be able to be put in the (1,000-point) category with so many great players,” said Kovatch. “It’s something that I will cherish forever.

“Being able to make my parents proud, and being able to be a part of this great program and all we are accomplishing, I couldn’t ask for more.”

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