GCAC Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Philander Smith Lady Panthers

Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Philander Smith Lady Panthers
By GCAC Sports Information Director

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –

2019 Record: 26-7 (10-4 GCAC)

2019 Finish: Third Place (Won GCAC Championship / #7 Seed in NAIA Tournament)

Head Coach: Brandon Greenwood (15th Season / 143-124 Overall, 55-64 GCAC) *

* Records since joining GCAC in 2011

Top Returners:

·       Ineka Clark (Sr, F, Pine Bluff, Ark.)

·       Rakia Lane (Jr, G, Little Rock, Ark.)

·       Larena Walker (Sr, G, Star City, Ark.)

 Key Players Lost:

·       Terralyn Dominick (All-GCAC First Team / GCAC All-Defensive Team / GCAC Tournament MVP / GCAC All-Tournament Team / sixth in NAIA in steals per game / seventh in NAIA in steals / top-20 in NAIA in points per game and points scored / one of only 14 players in NAIA with a triple-double / led GCAC in points scored, free throw percentage, three-pointers and three-pointers per game / seventh in GCAC in double-doubles)

·       Ciara Pettis (All-GCAC Second Team / GCAC All-Tournament Team / fourth in GCAC in points per game / fifth in GCAC in points scored / fourth in GCAC in field-goal percentage / sixth in GCAC in free throw percentage / tenth in GCAC in steals)

·       Amesha Hamlet-Brown (Fifth in GCAC in blocks per game / sixth in GCAC in blocks / top-15 in GCAC in rebounds, defensive rebounds per game and rebounds per game)

Top Newcomers:

·       De’vena Smith (Sr, F, Baton Rouge, La.)

·       Kamryn Anderson (Fr, G, Dallas, Texas)

·       La’Tavia Kemp (Fr, G, Dallas, Texas)

The Philander Smith College women’s basketball program is coming off its first ever GCAC Championship and NAIA Tournament appearance, avenging its four conference defeats to Rust and Talladega in the conference tournament.

Coach Greenwood entered the 2019-20 season with an even 117 wins and 117 losses overall since joining the conference in 2011 but now sits 19 games over .500 with a 26-7 record last year. He has led the Lady Panthers to winning campaigns in six of the past seven seasons.

The Lady Panthers – top-20 in points per game (76.39) and blocks (112), top-15 in field goal percentage allowed (.353), steals (373) and steals per game (12.03), eighth in turnover margin (7.10) / fourth in three-point field goal percentage allowed (.263)

Philander has a two-pack of seniors returning to Mims Gymnasium in Ineka Clark and Larena Walker while junior Rakia Lane is back in Little Rock as well.

Clark earned a spot on the GCAC All-Tournament team and was among the top-20 shot blockers in the NAIA at 46 on the campaign. She was second in the conference on a blocks per game average as well with 1.53 a night.

Lane hit the tenth-most triples in the GCAC a season ago with 41, ranked among the top-15 in the league for points per game (11.97), total points scored  (359), threes per game (1.37) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.02) plus placed inside the top-20 for assists (55) and assists per game (1.83).

Walker was seventh in the conference with 19 blocks for a 0.63 average to go along with top-15 marks for steals (48), steals per contest (1.60), rebounds (172) and rebounds per game (5.73).

PSC landed a highly-touted community college prospect in De’vena Smith as well as a pair of former high school teammates; Kamryn Anderson and La’Tavia Kemp.

Smith was a one-woman wrecking crew at Southern Arkansas Tech in 2019-20, leading the conference in points per game (21.9) and free throws made (107) to go along with finishing third in rebounds per contest (8.6) and fifth in total steals (33).

Anderson and Kemp led Lancaster High School to a second place finish in Texas’ 13-5A District with a record of 15-6 as seniors.

The green and yellow scheduled home-and-home contests with LSU-Shreveport, Texas A&M-Texarkana and North American University plus road tilts at Harris-Stowe State and #18 Lyon College.

The women’s basketball previews will continue tomorrow with the Rust Lady Bearcats.

About Willie Alex Hines 913 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.