MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State women's basketball team will open the season slate Thursday night on their home court, welcoming non-conference opponent Buffalo State College to the Mustang Valley for the first bout of the 2018-19 season.
The Mustangs, who were picked fourth in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) preseason poll as voted by conference coaches, return seven to the lineup this season, including three starters from a year ago who guided the team to their fifth straight NEAC tournament appearance after compiling a 12-4 record within conference play.
Charlotte Walker (Middle Island, N.Y.) is the lone senior on the Mustangs squad in 2018-19, returning after averaging 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds a year ago. The guard/forward over the course of her career has shot over .500 from the floor, and has proven versatile in the post for the Mustangs, both in the offensive game, as well as defending the paint.
Alongside Walker, Morrisville State returns two of its leading scorers from a year ago in guards Tori Rockefeller (South Kortright, N.Y.) and Alexis Campbell (Buffalo, N.Y.) who combined for an average 27.3 points per game last season.
Rockefeller led the way for the Mustangs in scoring averaging 14.6 points per game across 26 games, nailing a season high 72 from long range as she shot .373 from beyond the arc. Her efforts across the season earned All-Conference recognition along with fellow Campbell, who was named the NEAC Rookie of the Year after a stellar freshman campaign.
Campbell averaged 12.7 points per game for the Mustangs at point guard, while contributing 3.76 assists per game, to go along with 1.61 steals as she was on the court for nearly 31 minutes per game.
Junior Savannah Hobbie (South Kortright, N.Y.) also returns to the Morrisville State lineup this season at forward, contributing power in the post behind her 5.3 rebound per game average and 1.61 assist per game average.
"Lex got a lot of playing experience in her first year and will contribute again this year as we strive to reach both personal and team goals with her in the point guard role," head coach Erin Skaradek said. "We also have returners Charlotte and Tori, who are on pace to reach 1,000 career points. Charlotte is coming off a great offseason and I'm looking forward to seeing what she will do on the court for us this year."
"Transfers Sierra Henry and Virginia Wheatley have brought two years playing experience at the junior college level to our team this year. Henry will look to contribute to the Mustangs perimeter game, while Wheatley will provide power in the post, adding size and strength in the paint."
Morrisville State will open with a 6 p.m. non-league battle against the Bengals Thursday night on their home court, before hitting the road for another non-conference outing at SUNY Delhi on Monday night.
The Mustangs will make their second straight appearance at the SUNY Brockport Tip-Off Tournament on the 16th and 17th, facing Houghton on Friday night before meeting their next opponent Saturday.
Geneseo rolls into town on the 20th for a home contests for the Mustangs, before hitting the road at nearby Hamilton College on the 28th for a final preparation for conference play that opens in December.
Morrisville State will face SUNY Polytechnic, second pick overall in the preseason poll after going 15-1 within conference play a year ago, to open the NEAC slate on Dec. 1st, following with a home battle against Route 20 Rival Cazenovia on the 5th.
Non-conference outings with Keystone and Utica on the Mustangs home court on the 8th and 15th will send Morrisville State into the semester break.
Morrisville State will resume action on January 7th with a non-league outing up north at SUNY Canton before getting back into the heart of the NEAC schedule on the 9th as they take on Cobleskill on the road.
The Mustangs head south for a double header with St. Elizabeth and Penn St. Abington on the 12th and 13th, returning to their home court to host preseason favorite Keuka College on the 16th. The Wolves went 13-3 against NEAC opponents a year ago, but captured the NEAC tournament title to make an appearance in the NCAA's.
Morrisville State will have a final road game in January at Wells on the 19th before finishing out the month with a three game home skid as they take on SUNY Poly on the 23rd, followed by Gallaudet and Cobleskill on the 26th and 30th, respectively.
They finish out their conference schedule in February, playing a total of six contests that are split evenly between home and road battles, beginning with Lancaster Bible College at Lancaster on the 2nd.
A three-game home streak will see Wells come to town on the 5th, followed by Penn College and Penn St. Berks on the 9th and 10th, wrapping up the 2018-19 slate with two straight on the road; one at nearby Cazenovia on the 13th, followed by Keuka on the 16th.
"We're looking forward to the conference schedule and seeing how our returners combined with newcomers can handle the pressure and be able to stay on track towards our team goals," Skaradek said.
For more information on Mustang women's basketball, visit the college's athletic web site at www.morrisvillestateathletics.com.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.