“Reaching higher” sits on the mind of the Southern Miss women’s basketball team as the Lady Eagles kickoff the 2014 basketball season.

Last year, Southern Miss won a season-high 27 games and posted an 18-1 record at home.

However, this year, the team will not feature standout point guard, Jamierra Faulkner, who now plays for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.

11th year head coach, Joye Lee McNelis, said the guard position plays an integral part in the team’s success.

” We’ve got to have that point guard to emerge,” McNelis said. ” Somebody has got to rise for us and be able to fill that spot.”

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The team will feature many familiar faces from the last year, including three starters in Tamara Jones, Jerontay Clemons and Brittany Dinkins.

However, players like sophomore center, Kierra Jordan, said its important that she steps up as a leader on the court.

” As soon as the season was over last year, the coaches came and was like they would need me to start scoring more, talking more and being a leader in the post,” Jordan stated.

Jordan also said its ultimately the small things that will make the difference this season.

” Like a simple box out, sprinting back on defense, playing with your hands up, being low, it’s just the small things that make a difference,” Jordan said.

Transfer and senior shooting guard, Brooke Rhodes said it is only one thing on her mind, “winning a championship”.

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” I hope we get to the conference tournament and win it,” Rhodes said. ” I played in college and had not gotten a ring yet, so I would like to get one.”

With one win under its belt, the Southern Miss women’s basketball team must take each game, “one shot at a time”.

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