Noack changes her basketball persona, makes Bloomsburg University history

Cat Noack has changed majors three times. Accounting, then math, now sports marketing/public relations.

The Bloomsburg University senior, a scholar-athlete award winner last year, remains on track to graduate this spring.

Noack has been steadfast with pass-first and lead-by-example approaches to her game on and off the court.

If the Huskies are to win a second consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title later this winter, the Liberty High School graduate had to change her two basketball philosophies.

The 21-year-old had to step out of her comfort zone.

The only returning starter from last season's championship team told Bloom coach Bill Cleary last summer of her team-oriented goals.

Cleary made it clear to Noack that if the Huskies were to be labeled champions and NCAA Division II Tournament participants again, she had to do a complete makeover.

The 5-foot-9 guard had to become more aggressive, more selfish on the court. She also had to be a vocal leader to a mostly inexperienced roster.

"In the beginning, it was tough for her," Cleary said. "She cares about what she says to her teammates, but she knows she has to say what they need to hear, not what they want to."

The worm turned following a Dec. 7 road loss to Shippensburg, Noack, without provocation from the coaching staff, tore into the team.

She demanded more effort and passion from herself and everyone of her teammates.

The Huskies have won six of their seven games since Noack stepped out of character and stepped up as a team leader entering tonight's game against visiting East Stroudsburg.

"In two months, we might be looking back at that as a turning point," Cleary said.

The lone loss was a last-second heartbreaker to Gannon, which is unbeaten and ranked second nationally.

Noack also has been more assertive on the court. She is fifth in the PSAC and first on the team in scoring at 17.3 points per game

The Bethlehem resident made Bloomsburg history Saturday when she scored her 1,000th career point on a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left. Her father, Glenn, a 1986 Bloom grad, also hit the milestone, making them the first family pair in school history to do so.

"It's something really special to me," Cat said. "My dad always jokes that when he played, there was no 3-point line so he had to work harder to get there.

"I didn't know if I was going to get there all."

A typically humble response from a star player.

Noack came to Bloomsburg a year or two after several locals — East Stroudsburg South's Kelsey Gallagher, Liberty's Dana Wieller and Bangor's Lauren Ellis — arrived.

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