The College of Saint Elizabeth women’s basketball team looks to build upon an impressive first season under head coach Nicole Degenhardt in the upcoming 2012-13 campaign.
The Screaming Eagles, who finished 15-11 overall and 12-5 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) last season, made the NEAC playoffs for the first time in school history and return a trio of veterans looking to take Saint Elizabeth back there.
The benefits of experience and leadership will come from two seniors, forward Kelly O’Dell and guard Noelle Grande. O’Dell returns for one more campaign after resetting school records for steals (104) and offensive rebounds (99) in 2011-12. O’Dell, known for her effort and stamina (she was second in the NEAC with 36.5 minutes per game) was the sixth-best rebounder in the conference and grabbed 10.5 caroms per game. Grande was a spark off the bench last season, averaging nearly four points per game. She is a versatile guard who flashes speed (she had 21 steals) and the ability to facilitate on offense (her assist-to-turnover ratio was 1.2).
Degenhardt will look to junior sharpshooter Cheyenne Grant to score early and often. Grant, a starter since her freshman season finished second in the conference for 3-pointers (70) and third for 3-point percentage (36.3) and was second on the Screaming Eagles with 10.8 points per game. Another integral returner is sophomore Lasko who as a freshman played in all 26 games and will be a key contributor to Degenhardt’s defense this season.
Degenhardt, who was named NEAC Coach of the Year last season by her coaching peers, will supplement the Screaming Eagles roster with eight newcomers and look to continue the school’s winning tradition and return to the NEAC playoffs.
The Screaming Eagles open the 2012-13 campaign at local rival Ramapo on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. Saint Elizabeth will make its long-awaited home debut three nights later on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. when Division III powerhouse New York University visits St. Joseph’s Hall.