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NYU women beat Smith to win program's 2nd NCAA D-III basketball championship

Perfection! NYU women's basketball goes 31-0, wins NCAA Division III national title
Perfection! NYU women's basketball goes 31-0, wins NCAA Division III national title 02:08

NEW YORK -- Congratulations are in order for the NYU women's basketball team. The team returned from Columbus, Ohio on Sunday as NCAA Division III national champions.

CBS New York spoke with some of the players and their coach about their record-breaking season.

With a 51-41 victory over Smith College on Saturday, NYU secured its second national title and finished the 2023-24 season 31-0.

Violet pride was on full display from the court in Ohio to the airport, where security got a close look at the trophy before the team boarded the plane home.

"I don't know if it has fully set in yet, but it's such an unreal experience and I'm so grateful to do it with some of these girls who have become my best friends," player Belle Pellecchia said.

"We're just trying to soak in every moment of it," player Megan Bauman added.

Among those moments was coach Meg Barber cutting down the net. She said she has been wearing it since.

"It is an amazing feeling as an alum to win a national championship for the university," Barber said.

Even when Saturday's game got close, the players, who call playing together a sisterhood, said there was never a doubt they'd win.

"The close games really show our tightness as a team and staying composed in that moment and not letting the moment be too big, even in the national championship game," Bauman said.

"I had the ball at the end. I kind of chucked it up and I was like wow - saw our parents, our fans in the crowd and it was just amazing," Pellecchia said.

The program's last national title came in 1997. The players said they are already thinking about adding a third.

"I think we want to keep this legacy going," Pellecchia said, when asked what the team would like to see come next.

"Celebrating and really cherishing the moment, flipping the page to next year and getting ready to try to do the same thing," Bauman added.

Right now, it's spring break for NYU, but the team is looking forward to celebrating on campus when everyone returns.

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