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POINT PARK WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON PROSPECTUS

Pioneers picked eighth in AMC preseason poll

Oct. 26, 2009

CEDARVILLE, Ohio - The Point Park University women's basketball team was picked to finish eighth in the American Mideast Conference, according to the conference's preseason coaches' poll, which was released by the league office Thursday.

The preseason poll lists Point Park one spot out the playoff picture since the top seven teams make the AMC tournament, but the Pioneers have their eyes on playing beyond the regular season with a few talented newcomers joining four returning starters.

Point Park was 11-14 overall and 4-11 in the AMC last year under Sam Kosanovich, who is back for his fourth season as the Pioneers' head coach.

Henderson action vs. UNOH

Kosanovich welcomes back leading scorer Ashley Henderson (Greensburg/Greensburg Central Catholic), who averaged 15.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on her way to being named the AMC Newcomer of the Year last season. Henderson (pictured left) is a 5-10, junior guard who started her career at Pitt and Canisius before transferring to Point Park for her sophomore season.

Another welcome site for the Pioneers is the return of a healthy Terrica Jones (West Mifflin/West Mifflin), a 5-10, sophomore forward who averaged 10.0 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. Jones missed the final 10 games with an injury last year, but she had been a solid post presence while starting the first 15 games.

Senior swing player Brittney Wilson (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) is the most veteran player on the Point Park roster, and the two-time All-AMC selection led the team in scoring as a sophomore. She averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last year and averaged 15.3 points and 12.9 points her first two years, respectively.

The Pioneers lost only one player to graduation - captain Ashleigh Hays - from a rotation that had 12 players average at least nine minutes per game.  In addition to a deep rotation of returning starters and bench players, the Pioneers added a few pieces that are expected to make an immediate impact.

April Austin, a former Division I recruit and a native of Penn Hills, has joined the team after enrolling at Point Park at the start of the fall semester. After an all-state high school career at North Catholic, the 5-6 point guard's collegiate career began at Dayton although she did not play basketball while taking classes at Pitt the last two years. Austin is listed as a freshman because she has seven semester of eligibility remaining.

Another transfer addition is Joncelyn Peterkin (West Mifflin/West Mifflin), who averaged 8.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a freshman at Carlow a year ago. The 6-2 sophomore center was among the AMC leaders in rebounds and blocks before missing the second semester last season.

Also joining the basketball team this year will be Rachel Roddy (Greensburg/Greensburg Salem), a three-year starter on the Point Park volleyball team who enjoyed a standout basketball career in high school. Roddy was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's East Athlete of the Year and was named to the PG's Fab Five Class AAA basketball team in 2006-07.

Among the several returning letter winners is Heather Swedish (Sewickley/Avonworth), a junior guard who averaged 5.1 points and made a team-high 34 3-pointers while making 21 starts. Also returning in the backcourt is Katy Auth (Bellevue/Northgate), a senior guard who averaged 6.5 points per games as a key player off the bench a year ago. Auth is pictured below.

Women's Basketball

Other returning veterans are Marissa Reinhard (Plum/Plum) and Ashley Bergman (West Mifflin/West Mifflin) who averaged 4.9 points and 4.2 points per game respectively, as reliable reserves last year.

Also contributing to the rotation last year were senior center Phylicia Swain (Pittsburgh/Westinghous), and sophomore forwards Kristen Veseleny (Pleasant Hills/Thomas Jefferson) and Maeve Gallagher (Pittsburgh/Perry).

The only true freshman on the Point Park roster is Brittany Dunmire, a 5-6 guard who was a WPIAL all-section player at Steel Valley High School.

The AMC preseason poll had an almost unanimous team picked at the top of the conference as Shawnee State was picked to finish first with 13 of a possible 14 first-place votes. The defending AMC champs spent much of last year ranked in the top three in the NAIA.

Cedarville finished second in the voting and got the remaining first-place vote. Rounding out the top five were Walsh, Daemen and Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Notre Dame (Ohio) and Northwestern Ohio were projected as the last two teams making the playoffs.

Point Park received 79 points in the voting.

2009-10 AMC Women's Basketball Pre-Season Coaches' Poll

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(Rank by points; first-place votes in parentheses)

1.

 

Shawnee State (13)

195

2.

 

Cedarville (1)

176

3.

 

Walsh

162

4.

 

Daemen

155

5.

 

Mount Vernon Nazarene

142

6.

 

Notre Dame

125

7.

 

Northwestern Ohio

117

8.

 

Point Park

79

9.

 

Roberts Wesleyan

70

10.

 

Ursuline

69

11.

 

Malone

61

12.

 

Houghton

54

13.

 

Wilberforce

47

14.

 

Carlow

18