BASKETBALL SEASON OPENS WITH TUFTS
The women's basketball season tips off this weekend as the Jumbos host a field of four teams competing in the Tufts Invitational. Joining Tufts this weekend will be Bryn Mawr College representing the Centennial Conference, Endicott College representing the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and Smith College representing the New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference. The tournament opens Friday night at 6 p.m. with the host Jumbos taking on Bryn Mawr followed by Endicott and Smith at 8 p.m.
Endicott is coming off a 13-13 campaign in its 2003-04
season, where it posted a 10-7 record in the CCC. The Gulls' season came to an
end last February in a first-round playoff loss at the hands of Salve Regina.
Endicott returns three of its regular starters from last winter, with junior
guards Liz Yuneman and Jodi Brown along with sophomore forward Holly Beth Wojcik
taking the floor again this season. Brown led the Gulls last year in scoring
with 11.3 points per game, while Yuneman was the team's most proficient
three-point shooter, shooting 38.5% from behind the stripe. Wojcik led the team
in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game last season.
Smith comes into 2004-05 after going 10-14 last winter,
including a 7-7 mark in the NEWMAC. The Pioneers return two of its regular
starters from last winter, with tri-captains Diana Bull, a senior guard, and
Kerry Jo Nagle, a junior forward, expected to be among the team leaders this
season. Nagle figures to be a presence inside, coming off a sophomore season
where she averaged 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while Bull appears
ready to be a mainstay in the Smith backcourt. Junior forward Shelley Harrison
rounds out the team's tri-captains. With many openings due to the graduation of
key contributors last spring, Smith will use this tournament to see who will
step up this winter.
Bryn Mawr enters this season coming off a tough 2003-04
season that ended with some momentum in the form of two wins in its final three
games. Senior Jo Ann Gage figures to be the teams biggest threat underneath the
basket after averaging 8.2 rebounds along with 8.3 points as a junior. The
team's other main senior leader is guard Deb Charamella, who averaged 8.5 points
per game last season and will be the team's biggest threat from behind the
three-point line. Bryn Mawr also returns sophomore forward Amy Johnson, who had
a tremendous freshman season, where she led the team in scoring with 14.5 points
per game. Johnson also led the Owls defensively with the most blocks and steals
on the team and was second on the team in assists and rebounds.
Tufts is coming off its most successful season in recent
memory, despite an abrupt ending to its season in the form of a first round
NESCAC playoff loss to Williams. Seniors Allison Love, a forward, and guard Erin
Connolly are ready to take the reigns of the Jumbos as co-captains. Love is
primed for a big senior season, coming off a junior year where she led the team
in scoring and rebounding with 12.8 points and 7.4 boards per game. Connolly
will be a big part of Tufts' guard play this winter and returns after a junior
year where she was one of the team's biggest three-point shooting threats.
Junior guards Jessica Powers and Julia Verplank will also be major parts of
coach Carla Berube's Jumbos, coming off sophomore seasons where they were among
the team's leaders in points and assists.