Women’s hoops starts practice for 2012-13 campaign
Junior Abril Peeples
Junior Abril Peeples
The hoops season is finally here as the JU women’s basketball team will open practice for the 2012-13 campaign Monday in Swisher Gymnasium.

The Dolphins return eight players from last year’s squad that reached the A-Sun semifinals for the sixth straight year and broke the program-record for steals with 334. JU has made the A-Sun title game in three of the last five seasons as it continues work towards the program’s first conference title.

“We are excited to get started,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “It will be fun to see our entire team working together. We have set high goals as a team and we are anxious to begin working toward those goals.”

Some of the Dolphins strength in the returners will come down low from forwards Jade Cargill and Tracie Sneed.

A former guard, Cargill got comfortable in her post role as a sophomore by ranking first in rebounding (8.3), second in steals (57) and third in scoring (9.8). She had nine double-doubles last season to move into fourth all-time. She also recorded three 20-point scoring efforts and 10 double-digit rebound games.

Sneed, a local native, scored seven or more points on 23 occasions as a junior for JU. She finished the year fourth in scoring (9.7) and third in rebounds (6.1).

Much of Sneed’s success had to do with her work at the free-throw line with a .727 average (120-165). Sneed hit 10 free throws twice in a game last season and finished second on the JU single-season list, two shots shy of Yolisha Jackson’s (122, 2001-02) record.

Junior Abril Peeples will look to build on her successful sophomore season in the back court.

After being limited to only 10 games in the first two seasons due to injury, Peeples started in 20 contests and averaged 26.6 minutes a game last season. She led the Dolphins in assists (75), ranked second in scoring (10.8) and was third in steals (52). Peeples earned A-Sun all-tournament honors after recording double-digit in both of JU games, including a career-best six three-pointers in the Belmont win.

Senior Maggie Wilson returns after starting in a career-best 21 games last season. Juniors Ronisha Mitchell and Ciara McLee and sophomore Britney Holliday each return to the back court, while junior Madison Scott will be back in the post area.

Transfers April Carson and Stephanie Edwards will highlight the four newcomers for JU.

Carson appeared in 21 games as a freshman last season at the UNC Greensboro, scoring a season-high 10 points in the home finale against Wofford. Edwards was named freshman of the year at Santa Fe Community College by helping them win the conference title and earn a trip to the national tournament.

Freshmen Queen Alford and Briona Brown come to JU following successful careers on the high school level.

Alford earned Georgia 6-AA Player of the Year honors in her senior season at Decatur High School. As a junior, she hit the 1,000-point barrier for her career to take home all-state and all-region honors

As a senior, Brown averaged 14 points a game to earn Polk County Player of the Year honors and lead Haines City (Fla.) High School to a spot in the state title game. She also was nominated for the school’s Hall of Fame.

JU will host an exhibition game against Columbus State (Nov. 4) at Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins will open the regular season Nov. 9 with a special 11:30 a.m. start against Florida A&M at home.