Lynn University’s women’s basketball team has high hopes for the 2012-13 season as a youthful squad from a year ago, which challenged the nation’s best, matures into a force to be reckoned with. The Fighting Knights welcome back the majority of their squad, returning eight letterwinners and four starters from a team which went 12-15 overall.
Leading the charge for the Blue & White will be First Team All-Sunshine State Conference selection Kira Harvey. The redshirt senior guard became the first player since 2005 to garner first team recognition after finishing second in the league in steals and top-five in points per game (13.4) and three-pointers made (52). She is 172 points shy of becoming the eighth member of the 1,000 point club in program history.
Fellow Seniors Tashina Bailey and Amanda Schults bolster an already imposing frontcourt that features reigning SSC blocks leader, sophomore Charla Nelson-James. Bailey looks to be the 11th player in school history to reach 500 career rebounds while also securing second place in total blocks.
Sophomores Tylar Tracy, LaKendra Jones and Jayde Sparks hope to continue their ascent in development. Tracy shot over 30 percent from three-point range while Jones became a consistent offensive rebounding threat after entering into the starting lineup in the last third of the season.
Along with Harvey in the back court, the Fighting Knights will rely on Karolina Bazua. A redshirt junior, Bazua provided a spark from beyond the arc, hitting 32.3% of her attempts while also making 75.9% from the free-throw line.
With just two guards on the roster, Lynn is counting on several newcomers to pick up the slack. One player who has impressed early has been Shatorria Baker. A three-time Florida State High School basketball champion point guard, Baker has the winning drive to help LU. Zachara Bailey should also see time on the floor as her shooting touch will be key towards the Fighting Knights scoring points.
Lynn’s schedule will test the team with non-conference road games at Armstrong Atlantic and Division I Stetson and a home date with defending NCAA Division II National Champions Shaw. The Blue & White open conference play on December 1, against Florida Southern and later enter the meat of league play beginning in January at Saint Leo.