Oct. 31, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University women’s basketball team returned a core unit of upperclassmen last season, which featured 17 victories, a postseason appearance and a second-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division. The Owls are striving to have another banner season in Boca Raton.
The program is now led by first-year Head Coach Kellie Lewis-Jay and a coaching staff that features successful stints at the collegiate, AAU and high school levels.
In preparation for the 2012-13 season, FAUSports.com examines the guards that will be taking to the court for FAU. This backcourt unit features two returning starting players and a two-year starter who missed last season after earning preseason all-conference honors. Improving this unit was a focal point of Lewis-Jay’s first recruiting class. That has resulted in guards making up nine of the Owls’ 12 players, providing quality depth for the program’s new up-tempo playing style.
“Our guards have the ability that will allow us to create opportunities from our defensive play. They should also help us open the court for the frontcourt players to have success,” said Lewis-Jay. “This unit has been challenged to show improvement throughout preseason practice. Everybody must be ready to contribute to the team by being able to handle the ball, rebound and create turnovers with strong defensive play.”
Leading the group is redshirt senior Breana Turner, who returns after missing last season with an injury. The New Orleans native averaged eight points per game in 2010-11 and scored 21 points in games against Saint Louis University and the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Junior Takia Brooks anchored FAU’s ball-handling duties last winter, starting 23 of the team’s 30 games. The Miami native led the team with 64 assists and connected on 33 percent of her three-point field goal attempts.
Fellow junior Kimberly Smith of Minneola, FL, also saw starting action and is one of the Owls’ top outside shooting threats after making a team-high 37 three pointers a year ago. She also helped lead a defensive effort that held opponents to 55.5 points per game during the conference season.
Junior Latavia Dempsey came off the bench last season to provide a scoring spark, averaging 6.6 points a game and making 34 three-point field goals. The St. Petersburg, FL, native scored a career-high 15 points in victories over Bethune-Cookman (twice) and Troy University.
Enhancing the roster are junior college transfers Briah Blakely (McLennan Community College), Shanequa Schrouder (Daytona State College) and Ashley Stevenson (Moberly Area Community College). Schrouder and Stevenson earned regional junior college honors last year.
Florida Atlantic opens the regular season at Georgia Southern University on Friday, November 9, at 8:30 p.m. All games can be heard here. Season and single-game tickets are available by clicking here or calling the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.