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GSU women tip off at Auburn

GSU women tip off at Auburn

GSU women tip off at Auburn

Georgia Southern guard MiMi DuBose, l...


    During Chris Vozab’s first season as Georgia Southern’s head coach, the Eagles lived by the jump shot and lost by the jump shot.
    The focus on the offseason has been simple — establish an inside presence.
    The loss of Aishya Wofford to a career-ending injury was noticeable in the paint during the 2012-13 season, in which GSU finished 8-23 and 6-14 in the Southern Conference, but with added depth and experience in the post, it should take the pressure off of outside scorers like senior MiMi DuBose and junior Anna Claire Knight.
    “There was a lot of pressure on our outside shooters last year,” Vozab said. “ I think we kind of had to manufacture a lot of shots for them. Going inside more, we’re hoping that will get them some easier looks.”
Senior Danielle Spencer and sophomore Sierra Kirkland bring experience to the post, and Briana Jones, a sophomore who sat out last year after transferring from James Madison, along with senior Brittany Benzio, will add depth.
    The Eagles will still rely heavily on their guards, with DuBose and Knight combining to average 24.1 points last season. Sophomore point guard Alexis Sams was thrown to the fire as a freshman last year and gained experience with 22 starts.
    With the team playing its last season in the Southern Conference before joining the Sun Belt in 2014, the team is focusing on a strong finish in the league with the future in mind.
    “Our players feel like they’re building a program,” Vozab said. “They've completely bought into that, and the job they’ve done has been outstanding.”
    The move to the Sun Belt has also helped with recruiting.
    “To be able to go to a kid we’re recruiting and tell them they’ll have a chance to play in a top-10 conference that’s been a two-bid league three of the last four years, that’s appealing,” Vozab said.
    The Eagles open the season today on the road at Auburn at 7:30 p.m., and return to the road on Wednesday to face Kentucky.
    Vozab expects both teams to be athletic and physical, and wants he Eagles to match the intensity of the SEC opponents. 
    “I think that’s got to be our mindset,” she said. “We know they’re pressure teams, all about pressuring you the whole way and speeding up the game. We have to take care of the ball and be confident. When we’re being pressured, we have to attack that aggressively, but we have to be smart.”
    There will be two home SoCon games in December, with Furman visiting on Dec. 7, and Wofford visiting Dec. 16.

NCAA rule change
    The NCAA announced the addition of a 10-second in the backcourt rule for the first time. It will be implemented this season.
    Previously, teams could take as much of the 30-second shot clock as they wanted before crossing the center-court line.
    It was the only level of the sport in the world with such a rule.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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