Women's basketball preview

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 15, 2006
WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby women’s basketball team will open its 2006-07 schedule by participating in the four-team Irving Oil Invitational, hosted this weekend by Babson College. The Mules will face Babson on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in Waltham, while Bates and Geneseo round out the four-team tournament. Sunday’s games are set for 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

“I am anxious to start our season,” said second-year head coach Lori Gear McBride. “The players have worked extremely hard in preparation for the season ­ probably as hard as they have ever prepared ­ and we are all excited to begin playing.”

The Mules return 12 players from last season, including eight who earned starting assignments during the 05-06 campaign, led by junior forward Katie McCabe (Watertown, Conn.), who led the team in scoring (12.6 ppg.) and rebounds (6.9 rpg) last season. Also back are senior guard Tracy Nale (Waterville, Maine), the team’s second-leading returning scorer at 8.3 ppg, and sophomore guard Courtney Williams (Norwood, Mass.), who averaged 4.6 ppg. in her first season with the Mules.

“Everyone has shown vast improvement in preseason practices,” said McBride. “We won’t be the deepest team in the country, but we are well-conditioned and disciplined.”

Among those who figure to see increased time this season are sophomore forward Lauren Duval (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and junior guard Kathleen Nicholson (Tuftonboro, N.H.). Duval (3.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg.). Duval had productive stretches during her rookie season, while Nicholson battled back from knee surgery and appears to have regained her form from two seasons ago.

In Gear McBride's first season, the Mules finished 10-15 - a four-win improvement from the previous season - and returned to the postseason after a one-year absence. Babson finished 14-11 last season, posting a 7-7 mark in league play. Senior forward Suzy Ward returns after leading the team in points (13.5/game) and rebounds (7.7/game) a year ago.

Following the tournament at Babson, Colby will head to New Jersey on Thanksgiving weekend for games against William Paterson and Montclair State University.

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