November 15, 2011

Diplomats Expect To Improve On Last Season’s Success

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LANCASTER, Pa. –- Last season offered a glimpse of the potential that Franklin & Marshall's women's basketball team has. This season, the Diplomats expect to make those capabilities into reality.

With three starters returning from a 14-13, 11-9 Centennial Conference record, which included the school's first-ever win in the CC playoffs, F&M is poised to do just that.

"Everyone feels good about last season the strong finish we had," Diplomats second year coach Kirsten Richter '03 explained. "We're excited to get back out there and play. Last season helped the confidence of the team."

Returning All-CC honorable mention players senior forward Megan Pauley and junior forward Alexa Barbush, along with senior point guard Allison Bauer, are the Diplomats three returning starters.

Pauley, a four-year starter, led the team with 6.2 rebounds per game and was third with 10.7 points per game last season while leading the team in scoring in six contests. In her four years in Lancaster, Pauley has amassed 704 points and is 296 points shy of 1,000. She has scored 280 and 289 points in her sophomore and junior seasons.

Barbush averaged 13.1 points per game last year, which was second on the team, and was the team's top scorer in nine games. Her 2.4 assists per game were the second most on the team and she paced F&M with 3.9 steals per game. Barbush, a three-year starter, has 182 steals in her career and is one shy of tying Kathy Raguckas '98 for fifth all-time. With 77 steals as a freshman and 107 in her junior season, Barbush has a god shot of surpassing Amy Kreitz's '02 all-time mark of 281.

Bauer scored 7.7 points per game last season, dished out 1.9 assists per game and swiped 1.5 passes per contest. Bauer will be joined in the backcourt by junior Elizabeth Snyder. Snyder, who saw significant time off of the bench, led the team in scoring in three of the last four games last year and averaged nearly nine points per game.

"It will go along way to making our offense more dynamic," Richter said of Bauer and Snyder's outside scoring abilities. "It opens up the offense and keeps us from being one-dimensional."

Sophomores Emma Lisle and Kristina McCarthy both saw solid playing time last season and are battling for the starting center position. Richter expects Collen Bott and Emily Johnson to be in the sub rotation at forward and Kara Bacile, Kara Bacile and Sam Plunkett to see time at guard.

"I have a lot of confidence in our bench this season," Richter said. "I want to get them in the rotation and see what they can do."

The Diplomats open the season Saturday hosting York in the Terry Greene Memorial Tournament.

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