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Furman To Open Preseason Practice Tuesday

Cierra Carter Buy Now
Cierra Carter

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's women's basketball team officially opens preseason practice on Tuesday when the Paladins take the court at 1:30 p.m. to begin drills in preparation for the squad's Nov. 12 season opener at home against the College of Charleston.

Head coach Jackie Carson, who is entering her eighth season in the charge of Furman's program, welcomes the return of six letterwinners and two starters from a year ago, who along with eight newcomers will comprise the Paladins' 14-member squad.

"It's amazing how quickly the first day of practice has gotten here, but we couldn't be more excited to get started," said Carson on Monday.  "We are very pleased with the work our squad has put in to prepare for the start of practice, but due to our youth we have a long way to go before our first game.  Our young ladies are eager to be the best they can be, both individually and as a unit."

Headlining this year's squad is senior All-Southern Conference small forward Cierra Carter, who tallied 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game a year ago.  The Columbia, S.C., product heads into the 2017-18 campaign with 919 career points, poised to become the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.  She ranked second in the SoCon in rebounding last year and already stands eighth all-time at Furman with 659 caroms.

Sophomore guard Le'Jzae Davidson will anchor the Paladin back court following an impressive SoCon All-Freshman Team campaign that saw her contribute 10.9 points per game and drain 73-of-221 3-pointer attempts (33.0%).

Other key returnees include senior forward DeAnneisha Jackson, who started 10 games and averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a year ago in her first season as a Paladin; junior forward Kaitlyn Duncan (4.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg); and senior guard Stephania Oramas (3.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg).

Wing performer Tierra Hodges, coming off a solid freshman campaign that saw her contribute 5.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg, will sit out the 2017-18 season after sustaining a knee injury in an early September workout.

The squad's eight newcomers include freshman guards Milica Manojlović, Jarya Outten, Tyah Hunter, Hannah Sellinger; freshman forwards Sydney Donovan, Parker Tompkins, and Celena Taborn; and Taylor Petty, a transfer guard from Presbyterian College who will sit out the upcoming season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.