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Healthy Lady Braves prep for hoops season

By Jonathan Bym
Assistant Sports Editor

October 25, 2012

With a roster of healthy upperclassmen, the UNCP women's basketball looks to build off a semifinal finish in the Peach Belt Conference tournament last year in the 2012-2013 season.

Head Coach John Haskins enters his ninth season on the sidelines for the Lady Braves as the team has a 110-113 under him. His home record in t is 65-31.

Haskins coached 10 seasons with the men's program before switching over to coach the Lady Braves.

The team

The Lady Braves enter the season after losing two key guards to graduation. DeDe Cotten and Domonique Washington proved to be more than just leaders on the court but off the court as well, according to Haskins.

The two seniors combined to score nearly one-third of the Black and Gold's scoring output last season as well as over half of the team's assists.

"Their experience, their leadership and obviously their play on the court we are gonna miss that," he said.

Despite the losses, the Black and Gold have reloaded at the guard spot and has had three new recruits come in.

Yazzy Bulter and Chandrica Fuller come in as true freshmen while transfer junior Wayne Mack will also help out in the backcourt as a shooting guard.

Mack played her previous two seasons at Kaskaskia College in Illinois.

She averaged 11.3 points per game while shooting an effective 48 percent from the floor while grabbing five rebounds a game.

Butler, as a senior at Southern Lee, shot 37 percent from behind the three point line to go along with her 14.5 points per game.

As a senior at City of Medicine Academy in Durham, Fuller averaged 11.5 points a contest and four assists to go along as well.

The full recovery of Courtney Bolton and Amelia Partin will also play a big role in this season as Haskins said they will be key pieces for the Lady Braves this season.

Bolton averaged a team-high 12 points per game as well as adding 5.5 rebounds per contest.

Partin finished fifth on the team in scoring last season with a 6.9 points per game average.

"Courtney had a great year making all-conference," Haskins said. "Amelia Partin, getting her back to full speed; she really came on at the end of the year in terms of shooting."

Haskins also expects Jazmine Kemp to have a solid year after becoming one of the top freshmen in the conference after last season averaging 8.7 points per game and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per contest.

Seniors Taylor Gallentine and Jasmine Hairston will be looked upon for not only guidance but to come up in big spots as well. Hairston, Haskins said, came up big last year in certain points during the season, and Gallentine is expecting to build on a solid junior campaign.

With the loss of Washington and Cotten, the Lady Braves are without their two main ball handlers from last season.

Haskins looks for more players like Kemp and Gallentine to bring the ball down more along with the newcomers. He plans on having a point guard by committee for the season.

The schedule

The Black and Gold will play in two tournaments during the season. The OrthoCarolina Classic at Wingate University on Nov. 10-11 against Newberry and Wingate is first.

The Stair South Inc. Holiday Classic hosted by Georiga College on Dec. 29-30 will be the second tournament the Lady Braves play in as they take on Coker and Tuskegee.

UNCP's home opener comes on Nov. 19 as the Lady Braves take on visiting Queens, then will welcome Wingate to the English Jones Center on Dec. 1 for the second of two games against the Bulldogs.

Two weeks later the Black and Gold travel to USC Aiken to take on last year's PBC tournament champions for the Lady Braves conference opener. USC Aiken also knocked UNCP out of the conference tournament last year in the semifinals.

Lander will come into Pembroke on Dec. 17 for the PBC home opener for the Lady Braves.

The Black and Gold will host three home conference contests in a row from Jan. 5-13 as they welcome Augusta State, Georgia State and Georgia Southwestern.

The final home game of the season will come on March 2 as USC Aiken will be the opponent for the Black and Gold.

The Peach Belt Conference tournament will be held at Columbus State on March 7-10 with the top four teams in each division making the tournament.

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Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012
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