Jacquelyn Schwark remembers all the preseason conditioning she and her Hope College basketball teammates did, along with four months of practices, since the 2017-18 season started in October.
All the sweat and hard work have the fifth-ranked Flying Dutch on the cusp of another Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season championship.
Hope is one game away from its 16th league title in team history after an 86-33 win against Adrian on Wednesday at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Flying Dutch (23-1 overall, 14-1 MIAA) can clinch at least a title share with a win at Olivet Saturday. Sixth-ranked Trine (22-2, 14-1) also can claim a piece of the championship with a home win vs. Kalamazoo on Saturday.
"It's exciting," Schwark, pictured, said asked about being one game away from the second MIAA title of her career. The senior co-captain from Fraser, Michigan (Lutheran HS) was a member of Hope's 2016 league champions.
"We've got a lot of season left, but we're looking at the next game," Schwark said. "The opportunity to win a championship on Saturday is a credit to how hard he worked since we started. You don't have an opportunity to win a championship unless you grind throughout the whole season."
VIDEO: Game Highlights
The Flying Dutch kept on track on Wednesday by equaling a DeVos Fieldhouse record with 13 3-pointers extending their win streak to five games.
Hope clamped down defensively during the second quarter, holding the Bulldogs to three points in the period while scoring 24 and pushing its lead to 40-16 at halftime.
It was the fourth time in five games the Flying Dutch limited an opponent to four or fewer points in a quarter.
Freshman guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) scored of her game-high 12 points during the first half.
Two of Hope players finished in double figures for the game with 10 points apiece: junior guard Victoria Swift of LaGrange, Illinois (Lyons Township) and freshman guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing).
The Flying Dutch shot 49.2 percent from the field (30-61) and 46.4 percent from 3-point range (13-28).
Hope's 13-pointers equaled the 2014 DeVos Fieldhouse record against Trine and the 2017-18 season-high at Alma on January 10.
Head coach Brian Morehouse is proud of how his team has earned the opportunity to go for a league championship on the final day of the regular season.
"We're really young. We graduated six seniors who played a lot last year," Morehouse said. "It's a credit to these players, especially our senior class and captains for the leadership they have provided.
"We know it's going to be a very tough game. (Olivet was) tied with Trine at halftime (on January 31). It will be a grind out kind of game."