Women's Basketball: Game Day vs. Florida Atlantic
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Coming off a disappointing road loss at Jacksonville, the Lady Wildcats (1-1) return to the friendly confines of historic Richard V. Moore Gymnasium for a Friday evening matchup with Sun Belt Conference foe Florida Atlantic (1-0).
About the Lady Wildcats
Fifth-year Head Coach Vanessa Blair led the Lady Wildcats to a 1-0 record to open the season, dominating NCCAA opponent Trinity Baptist, 84-41 to open the season. The Lady Wildcats ran into second-half challenges against the Jacksonville Dolphins, but proved the potential of where this team can be, controlling tempo and scoring the vast majority of the opening half.
Former MEAC All-Rookie player and top-scoring returner Amanda Hairston has proven herself to be a force in the post in her junior year, topping three Lady Wildcats who average in double figures. Hairston is averaging nearly a double double, with team highs of 18.5 points per game and nine rebounds, not to mention 2.5 blocks per game, while just averaging 22 minutes. Hairston also leads the team with an off-the-charts 75 shooting percentage (15-of-20).
Taking pressure off the post, one newcomer has set herself apart on the offensive end. Junior college transfer guard Chastity René Taylor holds a 16.5 PPG average, shooting 38 percent from long distance for eight three-pointers across the two games.
Fellow backcourt newcomer Jasmine Evans is quietly moving to the top of the 2012-13 list, averaging 11.5 points as the first Lady Wildcats player off the bench. She also leads the team at the free throw line at 77.8 percent.
B-CU looks to open the year at 2-1 for the third time under Coach Blair, and in consecutive seasons. The Lady Wildcats’ defense will be tested against FAU and much like Jacksonville, tempo control and hitting the boards will be crucial.
About the Florida Atlantic Owls
Kellie Lewis-Jay got her Owls and her Division I head coaching career off to a flying start, with a 75-55 road win over Georgia Southern last Friday. In her first year with the program, Lewis-Jay takes over an Owls program that finished 17-13 with a trip to the WNIT.
These teams faced off twice in 2011-12; with FAU winning both by scores of 68-46 and 71-70 (triple overtime).
However, the Owls are adapting to a new staff and a new style of offense, as the new-look FAU attack focuses on pushing the ball. To this point, that endeavor has been met with FAU success, scoring 75 on GSU and putting 100 on Palm Beach Atlantic in their exhibition game.
Much like the Lady Wildcats, the Owls are breaking in five newcomers, but the returnees are carrying the load, with three players scoring 16 points in the season opener, Chenise Miller, Breana Turner and Latavia Dempsey, who came off the bench.
The Owls hit the glass hard, with 49 rebounds against GSU, setting up for 19 second chance points. Junior guard Kimberly Smith led FAU with 11 boards, while three players have five apiece.
Follow the Action during the Game
Live stats from Moore Gymnasium will be available through B-CUathletics.com, with the link here and on the season schedule. Frequent updates from the action will be provided via the official Bethune-Cookman Wildcats twitter, @bcuathletics.