Women's Basketball Season Preview

Women's Basketball Season Preview

IT STARTS NOW
A new era begins for the Dean women's basketball program as Alycia Gervais takes over at the helm of a program coming off a regular season conference title and a berth in the postseason in 2017-18.

BACK IN THE DAY
A former highly-decorated student-athlete at Daniel Webster, Gervais was a two-time all-region selection by D3Hoops.com, two-time NECC Conference Player of the Year (2011, 2012) and four-time all-conference honoree who led the Eagles to the program's first-ever NECC Tournament Championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament berth (2011). 

SHE'S A PEACH
The Bulldogs return five letterwinners from a season ago, led by 2017-18 NECC Defensive Player of the Year in Jamaya Cleveland (Greensboro, Ga.). She averaged 5.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals in 24 games. 

POLL POSITION
Despite finishing tied for first in the regular season standings a season ago, Dean was picked to finish fifth in this season's preseason coaches' poll. Defending champion, Becker, who the Bulldogs defeated twice last year, were picked to finish first.

HOME COOKIN'
The Bulldogs went an impressive 9-1 at home last season. The only loss they suffered was a 65-63 buzzer-beating loss to Eastern Connecticut. 

A QUICK GLIMPSE
After Thursday night's season-opening contest against Smith, the Bulldogs will only play one other home game during their first seven games. Included in those initial road games are a pair of contests at the Emerson College Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

LEADERS OF THE BAND
A trio of student-athletes have been named captains for the 2018-19 season. Sophomore Nicole Romero (Winchendon, Mass.) joins seniors Cleveland and Iindia Pina (Carver, Mass.) it was announced by Gervais.

FRESH FACES
The Bulldogs welcome eight new faces to the program for 2018-19. Allison Buckley (Guilford, Vt.), Stephanie Conrad (Bedford, N.H.), Nicole Defosses (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Alexis Ford (Claremont, N.H.), Kayleigh Merrell (Wilmington, N.C.), Sitaara Muhammad (Brockton, Mass.) Makayla Rudder (Springfield, Mass.) and Lauryn Wilks (Hartford, Conn.) help makeup a 14-player roster from nine different states.  

A NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW
One of the fresh faces to the Bulldog roster is Makayla Rudder. Rudder played at perennial Massachusetts state power, Springfield Central where she played for the Division I state championship twice, winning the prize with her Golden Eagle teammates in 2016-17.

THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
Dean finished second in the NECC in scoring defense a season ago, allowing just 57 points per game. They held 11 different opponents below 50 points, including a stretch of six straight games to end the regular season. 

RAY OF SUNSHINE
Iindia Pina appeared in 18 games a season ago for the Bulldogs and her impact was evident. She averaged 8.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Dean was 12-6 with her in the lineup and she had one of the best games of her career in a win over Becker where she finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists.