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Lady Braves make huge improvements

By Curtis Brooks
Sports Editor

March 29, 2012


tennis
Photo by Mindy Hubbard
UNCP senior Domonique Washington lays up a ball earlier this season.

After losing six seniors 2010-2011 women's basketball squad, the 2011-2012 Lady Braves rallied together behind the leadership of their two seniors and finished the season with a 16- 12 record and a third place finish in conference with a 12-6 record in Peach Belt Conference play.

The Black and Gold started off by losing eight of their first 12 contests, including a 1-3 start in PBC play.

"At the beginning of the season we put in a new offense, which took a little bit of time for everybody to learn," said Lady Braves head coach John Haskins.

"Our record didn't indicate how hard we were playing; we had a few losses at the beginning of the season that could've gone either way," he said.

Senior guards Dominique Washington and DeDe Cotten brought intangibles to the table like leadership work ethic and competiveness that rubbed off on their younger teammates and helped the Braves turn the corner with pair of large PBC winning streaks: a four game streak ranging from Jan. 7 through Jan. 22 and a five game winning streak that started on Feb. 15 and ended on March 3 when UNCP lost to regional rival USC Aiken in the PBC Tournament semi-final.

Washington led the Lady Braves with just over 37 minutes played, over three assists and over two assists a game from her point guard position. Washington also scored nearly 10 points a game and was second on the team with over five rebounds a game.

Cotten, who is an excellent shooter, averaged two made three point field goals per contest and averaged just less than 10 points a game for the Black and Gold. The Fayetteville native was tied with Washington for second on the team with rebounds per game.

Cotten, who is an excellent shooter, averaged two made three point field goals per contest and averaged just less than 10 points a game for the Black and Gold. The Fayetteville native was tied with Washington for second on the team with rebounds per game.

"Dom and DeDe were our leaders. We knew we were going to have to ride them to find success this season. They have been with the program the longest and came into the season with the most playing experience," Haskins said.

"They're both good leaders and competitors who bought into the program," he said.
tennis
Photo by Mindy Hubbard
Lady Braves Amelia Partin shoots over an Augusta Stae defender earlier this season.
Junior Courtney Bolton made a large impact from her post position, as she was awarded with a spot on the PBC All-Conference Third Team.

Bolton averaged 12 points a contest and grabbed five rebounds per contest for the Lady Braves, before being sidelined for the later part of the season with a concussion.

Freshman forward Jazmine Kemp led the Lady Braves with six rebounds a season and also nearly scored nine points a game on the season.

Kemp was named PBC Player of the Week after a three game stretch where she averaged 15 points and nine rebounds, after a trio of home victories over Francis Marion, Armstrong Atlantic and Flagler.

Haskins believes if the Lady Braves continue to work hard and use the momentum they built at the end of the season, and carry it into next season, the Lady Braves will continue to be a force in the PBC.

"Everybody needs to get better, especially stronger because we are not the most physical team," Haskins said, "We need to players like Jasmine (Hairston), Jazmine, Amelia (Partin) and Courtney to step into a more of a leadership role for us to continue to get better."

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Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
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