Nov. 16, 2000
Women's Basketball Opens 2000-01 Campaign at Quincy Tournament
THE TOURNAMENT: Truman State University Bulldogs (Mid-America
Intercollegiate Athletics Association/NCAA Division II) at the Quincy University
DATE: Friday & Saturday, Nov. 17-18, 2000
FRIDAY: Truman vs. Tampa (Fla.) at 5 p.m.
SATURDAY: Consolation game at 2 p.m., championship tilt at 4 p.m. (CDT)
LOCATION: Quincy, Ill.
ARENA (CAPACITY): Memorial Gymnasium (2,000)
TEAMS PARTICIPATING: Quincy, Truman, Tampa & Ashland (Ohio)
BROADCAST: KRES 104.7 FM in Moberly, Mo., Chad Speakar will do play-by-play for the Quincy Tournament. The pregame show begins approximately 15 minutes before the game. The Dec. 2 and Dec. 15 road games will be on 99.9 KIRK.
TEAM LINE: Live KRES broadcast by calling 1-800-846-4700. Access Code: 6350
TRUMAN: The Bulldogs kickoff the 2000-01 season Friday at the Quincy University tournament under new leadership and with nine new faces on the squad. John Sloop begins his first season as a collegiate head coach as he takes over the women's team following the departure of five-year taskmaster, Karin Nicholls. Sloop is no stranger to Truman basketball though. He is very familiar with the women's program after spending the last five years as the full-time assistant coach for the Truman men's program and seeing the women post a 17-9 record last year, earning their first home game in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament.
Sloop will have some rebuilding to do with the loss of honorable mention all-America forward Kelli Kreuser to transfer and honorable mention all-conference guard Wendi Sobaski (Packwood, Iowa/Pekin) to knee surgery. The team also graduated a valuable group of five seniors and lost two juniors as well.
Despite the restructuring the team has undergone, hopes are high for the 2000-01 edition of Truman women's basketball as a talented group of transfers and freshmen join the program. There are also still three returning letterwinners, including part-time starters Robyn Gerber (Affton, Mo./Lutheran South), a junior guard, and Jennifer Perkins (Ft. Dodge, Iowa/Edmund), a junior center/forward.
Perkins finished third in scoring (10.2 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg) and started five games a year ago. Gerber started 12 games and averaged 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a game.
Sophomore center/forward Jennifer Fisher (Fordland, Mo./Marshfield) is the third returning letterwinner and was fifth scoring last year (7.0 ppg), while finishing second in rebounding (6.1 rpg).
Those three, along with junior transfer guards Jessy Fletcher (Atlanta, Mo.) and Tessa Thurman (Atlanta, Mo.) from John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill., look to make up the starting five heading into the season. Fletcher and Thurman have been a dangerous duo the last six years at Atlanta and John Wood.
Fletcher earned NJCAA honorable mention all-America honors last year after averaging 18.7 points and 11.7 rebounds a game. She was also a first-team all-conference and all-region performer, as well as athlete of the year for the Collegiate Conference of Central Illinois. She scored 1,014 career points at John Wood and had 579 rebounds.
Thurman was a first-team all-region and all-conference choice last year at John Wood and averaged 17.3 points a game, while leading the team with 148 assists (a new school record) and 123 three-pointers. She is first all-time at JWCC with 190 three point buckets and 209 career assists. Thurman is second among John Wood career leaders with 927 points and 275 field goals made.
Several promising Bulldog freshman will see action as well. Guards Keagan Thalin (Glenview, Ill/.Glenbrook South) and Emily Turnbull (Toulon, Ill./Stark County), and guard/forwards Annie Westhoff (Webster Groves, Mo.) and Ashlea Wood (Kirksville, Mo.) look to have the talent to play contributing roles early on.
Walk-on freshmen guards Jennifer McDonnell (Archie, Mo.), Erin Tweedy (Kansas City, Mo./Notre Dame De Sion) and Carrie Guenzler (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell) will add depth to the 'Dogs' bench.
Sobaski and returning squadmember Jeannine Doughty (Harrisonville, Mo.), a sophomore forward, will redshirt the 2000-01 campaign to rehab.
TRUMAN VS. LAST OPPONENT: Truman ended the 1999-2000 campaign with a 71-62 loss to conference foe Southwest Baptist in a first-round MIAA tournament game. The Bulldogs completed the season with a 12-6 conference record, finishing in fourth-place.
TOURNAMENT OPPONENTS: On Friday, Quincy will opens its season at 7 p.m. against Ashland. Last year, the QU Lady Hawks were 6-20 overall and 2-18 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Tampa will also open its regular season at the QU tourney, but will play an exhibition game vs. Gulf Coast Pride tonight. The Spartans posted an overall record of 20-10 a year ago and finished second in the Sunshine State Conference with a record of 10-4.
Ashland will also open its season at Quincy. In 1999-00, the Eagles were 6-21 overall and 3-16 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
OPPONENTS' TOP RETURNERS: Tampa's top returner is sophomore center Jessie McDowell who averaged 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds a game. She is also joined by returning starter Liz Wetenkamp, a sophomore guard who averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds a game.
Quincy returns leading scorer Colleen Sexton. The senior forward/center topped the team with 14.2 points a game, and was second among the Lady Hawks with 7.8 rebounds a game. QU's leading rebounder from last year, sophomore forward Jill Unnerstall, is also back after grabbing 8.0 boards a game. She was also second in points with 11.4 a contest. In fact, Quincy returns all five of last year's starters.
Ashland has three returning starters, including senior center Carissa Mahoney who led the team with 12.9 points and 9.3 rebounds a game. Junior center/forward Alexandra Kouznetsova was second on the team with 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds a game.
SERIES RECORDS: Tampa holds a 2-0 advantage in the series with Truman. The last time the teams met was Dec. 17, 1996 in Tampa, Fla. The 'Dogs lost that meeting 72-68, and fell 77-74 on Jan., 3, 1981, at Tampa.
Quincy still has a slight 14-13 edge in the all-time series with the Truman women. The 'Dogs took both games of a home/away series in 1997-98, winning the first meeting at Quincy 89-60 and taking the second contest 80-64 in Kirksville.
Truman and Ashland have never met on the basketball court.
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