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“I asked the team if we should let her come back in,” Frese said. “They unanimously said, ‘Yes.’”

When Hawkins pulled down the record-setting board with just 33 seconds on the clock, the crowd rose to its feet for a deafening ovation.

About an hour after the game, Comcast Center sat quietly as a crew swept up popcorn kernels and picked up plastic cups in the stadium. Only the occasional sound of a mop banging against the arena chairs broke through the silence.

Then, came a second eruption. In a glass room looking out onto the court and the 2006 National Champions banner, family members embraced their athletes, celebrating the victory and Hawkins‘ record-setting performance.