Nov. 9, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -Western Carolina women's basketball opens the 2012-13 season in Asheville on Saturday against UNC Asheville. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m., at Kimmel Arena, in the second game of Asheville Collegiate Invitational.
The Second Annual Asheville Collegiate matches up teams from the Southern Conference and the Big South Conference. In the early game at 2 p.m., SoCon member UNCG will face Big South foe Charleston Southern. Coincidentally, Western Carolina will face those two teams later in the season.
Western Carolina and UNC Asheville meet for the 47th time in the two school's history. The Catamounts hold a 34-12 advantage over the Bulldogs and have won the last three meetings. WCU is 16-6 at UNCA and Western Carolina Head Coach Karen Middletonis 3-0 against the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina returns four starters from the 2011-12 campaign and a total of nine letter-winners. Western Carolina is anchored by a pair of redshirt seniors, guard Diamond Hunnicutt and forward Janae' McKinney, junior forward Alex Abraham and sophomore Ali Laneround out the returning starters for the Catamounts. The team is also peppered with a total of 10 season veterans and four touted newcomers.
Hunnicutt had a solid redshirt junior campaign with a season-best 102 rebounds and averaging 4.3 points per game. McKinney led the team in rebounds with 125 and also topped the team averaging 4.0 rebounds per game.
Abraham had a break-out season during her sophomore year, upping her scoring average from 1.4 as a freshman to 5.1 as a sophomore. She more than tripled her scoring output as a sophomore with 147 points and scored in double figures five times in 2011-12. Lane was named to the 2012 Southern Conference All-Freshmen Team, playing in all 31 games and starting 29. She averaged 5.1 points per game and led the team in assists with 54.
Four newcomers will join the squad for 2012-13 as freshman forward Bianne Mack will redshirt this season due to injury. The Catamounts will have three freshmen and a junior college player as additions to the roster this year.
Junior college transfer Hana Hadencomes from Mineral Area Junior College where she averaged 7.6 points per game, shot 40 percent from the floor, hit 41 three-pointers and shot 72 percent from the free throw line. She also dished out 6.4 assists per game, which ranked her seventh in the National Junior College Athletic Association.