The Ravens were 7-19 last season and 6-10 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“This team has improved dramatically from the time they started practice,” said AU coach Marcie Taylor. “We definitely should be much better offensively. I made some changes in our offense. We should be able to get some better looks inside and outside.”
[Photo: Lauren Leisure is one of two seniors on the roster for the Anderson University women's basketball team.]
The Ravens graduated last year’s leading scorer and rebounder Tiffany Bowsher (13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg). The leading scorer who returns is a Frankton product, Lauren Leisure (11.7 ppg). “I’m not the tallest player, but in high school there aren’t that many tall players,” said Leisure, a senior who is listed at 5-foot-6. “In college everyone is taller than I am. I’ve had to adjust to that and to the speed of the game.”
AU opens its season tonight at 8 p.m. in the second game of its Tip-Off Classic against Robert Morris.
“Robert Morris has already played four games,” said Taylor. Actually the Eagles took a 5-0 record into Thursday’s game in Springfield, Ill. “They are quick and will challenge us defensively.” Last year the Ravens averaged nearly six turnovers more than their opposition.
But Anderson is anxious to get started.
“I’m ready to test what we’ve been doing so well in practice,” said Leisure, a co-captain with the team’s only other senior, Ellen Thompson from Seymour.
“I’m more than ready to play somebody,” said Thompson, who averaged 9.2 points and 5.5 rebounds. “We’ve made huge improvements. We’re a lot more confident.”
Thompson plays a part in the change theme for the season. “Last year I played a small forward,” said Thompson. “This year I will play more in the post but still rotate outside.”
Lapel graduate Courtney Prater will also play a key for AU this season. “Last year she was the conference freshman of the year,” said Taylor. “She is continuing to grow for us. Her biggest challenge is just to stay out of foul trouble.” Prater averaged 5.7 points and 6.2 rebounds. She also averaged over 3.5 fouls per contest.
The Ravens will finish this four-team tournament on Saturday. If they win tonight, they will play at 4 p.m. in the championship game. Otherwise they will play in the 2 p.m. consolation contest.
— Rick Teverbaugh is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.