Women’s College Basketball Report delivered today to GreensboroSports.com….
The long regular and conference tournament season has ended and now its time for the post season. The NCAA and WNIT awards those teams that have earned the right to be there. Our focus is on our local girls whom have had a key role in helping their teams achieve such notoriety. Many of the young student athletes displayed such a winning work ethic and attitude from their high school years that it has transpired to the next level. Cogratulations to the local girls for helping their teams reach the post season.
1. Florida Gulf Coast University: 26-7 and 17-1 conference: Atlantic Sun Conference: Champions: Whitney Knight (Forsyth County)(Winston Salem Reynolds) a starter whom is one of the main catalyst help the team to defeat Stetson 72-70 in overtime in the conference tournament championship game. She scored 5 points before fouling out but her team hung on to win. Her team has won back to back conference titles and should win again next season.They were selected to the NCAA womens tournament by virtue of winning their conference and conference tournament outright.She is one of the premiere shot blockers and creates a hard matchup because of her size 6’3 at the guard position.This is the second NCAA trip in a row for FGCU.
2. North Carolina A&T University: 24-6 and 13-3 conference: MEAC Conference: Loss in the semifinals to Coppin State 57-55: Christina Carter (Thomasville)(VCU)a starter whom has controlled the tempo for the Lady Aggies.The Thomasville native has run the Aggies offense to near perfection and it has allowed the Aggies to improve by 3 games thus far this season: 21 wins to 24: The Aggies loss a heartbreaker in the semifinals but should be ready for the WNIT as they make their second trip in a row. Under Coach Robinson leadership the Aggies are one of the better teams in North Carolina and in the Nation. The Aggies had their sights on the NCAA tournament which they have been to before and have the right pieces in place to reach such a plateu next season. But right now they will have to take care of business in the WNIT which they loss to James Madison last year in the first round. With Carter handling the ball look for A&T to have a good run. Kenya Hailey(Southeast Guilford) could see spot duty. The Aggies will have an abundance of talent and experience returning next season.They will return 12 talented players.
3. Stonybrook University: 24-8 and 13-3 conference:American East Conference:Loss to Albany 70-46 in the Championship game: Miranda Jenkins (Eastern Guilford/Gibsonville,NC)a starter whom unfortunately did not get to play in the championship game due to an injury sustain in the semifinal game against New Hampshire which she help her team get off to a great start by scoring 7 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in the first half. She sustain the injury early during the second half.The team was leading by twelve when she exited.They went on to beat New Hampshire 79-59.Stonybrook had beaten Albany 66-56 to break up their 38 game conference winning streak which was the longest in the nation for division one basketball at the time.The Greensboro native has been dubbed as the heart and soul of the Seawolves team because of her tenacity, work ethic and will to win mentality according to one ESPN analyst.The Seawolves were selected to play in the WNIT after finishing as runnerups in both the regular and conference tournament to Albany whom was selected to the NCAA tournament.SBU has improved from 4-26 to 14-16 to 24-8 over the last three years.They have 13 players returning from this years squad next year. Their new 21 million dollar http://www.stonybrookarena.com/ will open next fall. This team set the schools all time win total in a season with 24.The previous mark was 20 wins.
4. High Point Univeristy: 22-10 and 16-4 conference: Big South Conference: Loss to Winthrop 87-74 in conference championship game: Lindsay Puckett(Rockingham/Marshill) a reserve that was clutch for coach Hendrix uptempo style team. She was able to loosen up the defense with her three point marksmanship and was able to bring experience. Highpoint improved from 16-13 to 22-10 and a conference regular season championship. Losing Cheyenne Parker(Southwest Guilford) a year ago hurt but the Highpoint squad has bought into coach Hendrix system and the basketball program is headed in the right direction. HPU not going to the NCAA tournament is not a drop off. Earning the right to play in the WNIT is a great tool to use come recruiting time this Spring. Coach Hendrix was able to blend veterans and not so experience players together to accomplish an improvement of 6 games from the previous year and a title.She loss one of the premiere players at guard due to an injury early on but kept the squad together. Jatzmin Johnson (Oak Ridge Academy) has not factored into the rotation and probably will not see much action during the WNIT. Look for HPU to have a great time by reaching the WNIT and more exciting times in the coming seasons. HPU brings back 11 players.
5. Winthrop Univerity:24-8 and 15-5 conference: Big South Conference: Ronata Rogers(Greensboro Day)a non starter whom rarely played to be considered a factor.Only a freshmen with a great spring and summer work outs should allow her time to earn some minutes next season. Must add and develop a mid range jumper to her game at the small forward position. The team earned the NCAA Automatic berth by beating Higpoint in the Big South Conference Championship game 87-74. Player of the year Dequesha Mcclanahan is the catalyst for the Eagles squad and should help them to get off to a good start in the tournament. The Eagles will return 12 players next year but will be losing Mcclanahan which are big shoes to fill.
The NCAA does a composite rankings of teams throughout the year for all Division One womens basketball programs.There are 347 and here is where our local girls teams fared at the conclusion of the regular and conference tournament.
1.Florida Gulf Coast University 26-7:Ranked #54: Whitney Knight(Winston Salem Reynolds): NCAA Tournament
2.North Carolina A&T University 24-6:Ranked #86:Christina Carter (Thomasville) Kenya Hailey(Southeast Guilford)and Mia Rudd(East Forsyth):WNIT Tournament
3.Winthrop University 24-8:Ranked #87: Ronata Rogers(Greensboro Day): NCAA Tournament
4. Highpoint University 22-10: Ranked #120: Lindsay Puckett(Rockingham) and Jatzmin Johnson (Oakridge Academy): WNIT Tournament
5.Stonybrook University 24-8: Ranked #135: Miranda Jenkins(Eastern Guilford): WNIT Tournament
6. South Carolina Upstate University 17-14: Ranked #158: Brittany Clency(Western Guilford)
7. Campbell University 19-12: Ranked #169: Amanda Coffer (Northern Guilford) and Jessica Pone (Southwest Guilford)
8. Elon University 15-16: Ranked #185: Samantha Coffer (Northern Guilford) Autumn Carter (Rockingham) and Lanaira Ruffin (Rivermill Academy)
9. Gardner Webb University 16-14: Ranked #242: Catrina Green (Western Guilford)
10. North Carolina Ashville 10-20: Ranked #299: Brittany Gwynn (Highpoint Central)
11. UNCG University 7-23: Ranked #321: Breonna Patterson (Dudley)
12. Radford University 7-23: Ranked #331: Kierra McIvor (Dudley)