Oct. 4, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss women's basketball team has hit the court in preparation for the 2012-13 season.
The women's basketball teams could begin on-court full basketball practice at a date that is 40 days before the first regular season contest. The Lady Eagles will play an exhibition game against Mobile on Nov. 6, before opening the regular season against Hampton University on Nov. 9 in Reed Green Coliseum.
Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis heads into her ninth season at the helm of her alma mater. McNelis' squad returns 88 percent of the offense and 85 percent of the team's rebounding.
Southern Miss returns eight letterwinners including all five starters from the 2011-12 team that finished 13-18. The team improved over the 2010-11 season with plus-three games in the win column.
Five new players are expected to suit up for the first time. The newcomers include Jerontay Clemons (Coldwater, Miss.), Tiarra Pollnitz (Birmingham, Ala.), Samirah Ali (Hazel Crest, Ill.), Anteria Berry (Hattiesburg, Miss.), and Caron Brown (Atlanta, Ga.). Clemons and Pollnitz were named the most valuable players of their respective teams in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic.
Jamierra Faulkner and Tanecka Carey are two of 10 returning players in the league that were an All-Conference selection (first or second team). The duo finished third and fifth, respectively, in C-USA in scoring with averages of 17.2 and 15.1 points. Faulkner led the Golden Eagles in scoring while Carey was second.
Faulkner led the league in assists for the second consecutive season. She finished third overall in the nation in assists. Faulkner has moved into No. 7 in all-time assists in only 59 games. She was named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team, becoming the first player since 2009 to the make the team.