WILBERFORCE — The Central State University women’s basketball team — the defending Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division champion — opens its season Nov. 11 at home against Salem International.
After appearing in the SIAC Championship game last season, CSU has parlayed its recent success into attracting top talent, both regionally and internationally.
This year’s roster includes eight new players from Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, CSU further solidified the future of the program with the acquisition of three players during the early signing period for the 2018-2019 season.
The Lady Marauders have been picked by SIAC coaches and sports information directors to repeat as SIAC West Division Champions. CSU enters its third season competing in the SIAC and coach Sheba Harris remains steadfast that her program still has a lot to prove. A key factor in the overall success of the Marauders will be the play of senior point guard Sierra Harley.
Tabbed to the SIAC All-Preseason Team, Harley averaged 11 points, 3.7 assists and two steals per game last season. The coaching staff has credited her with improving on her off-season conditioning and expect her to maintain a high level of consistent play throughout the season.
The Marauders lost their top two scorers from last season in Ghameerah McCullers and Rhani Bell. Harley is expected to be more aggressive as a scorer this season. Junior forward Mustafa Notter will also be called upon to deliver a scoring presence in the front court.
The coaching staff continues to place emphasis on increasing the intensity on the defensive side of the floor, leading to easy transition baskets on the other end. CSU led the SIAC with 12.9 steals per game last season. Harris said she is confident that the speed and athleticism of newcomers Takyra Gilbert and Jaeda Davis will help CSU continue to create turnovers and fast break points.
Harris said her team will have to play all season long with the mindset that respect must be earned and nothing will be handed to her team. Harris explained that every player must come to into every practice, film session, workout and game with the goal to get better every day.
Harris will look to Falon Edwards, Cierra Moran and Hillary Dietahin to step into team leadership roles this year. Moran and Dietahin have gained the reputation for being vocal motivators in practice while Edwards leads by example through her work ethic and focus on detail. The trio also leads by example through their academic achievements.
For information on Marauder Madness visit www.maraudersports.com/news/2017/10/22/mens-basketball-2017-2018-central-state-basketball-teams-to-be-introduced-at-fridays-marauder-madness.aspx.
Story courtesy of Central State University Athletics.