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AROUND THE STATE / WOMEN

Miami

COACH: Ferne Labati (231-147, 14th season; 367-269).

2000-01 RECORD: 13-15, 6-10 in Big East Conference (tied for eighth place).

LAST SEASON: Nothing says "rebuilding" like an 81-43 loss to then-No. 2 Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish handed the Hurricanes their worst loss of the season.

RETURNING STARTERS: Chaniva Broussard, F, 6-0 So. (13.2 ppg., 5.6 rpg.); Alicia Hartlaub, F, 6-2 Jr. (8.9 ppg., 5.4 rpg.); Sheila James, G, 5-3 Sr. (10.4 ppg., 3.5 rpg.); Meghan Saake, G, 5-10 Jr. (6.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Vera Arsova, F, 6-3 Fr. (Macedonia); Martha Bodley, C, 6-3 Sr. (1.9 ppg., 1.2 rpg.); Kathryn Fowler, F, 6-0 So. (2.8 ppg., 2.6 rpg.); Melissa Knight, F, 5-11 Fr. (William Penn Charter School, Pa.); Yolanda McCormick, G, 5-8 Fr. (Monsignor Pace High School); Amanda Papuga, G, 5-10 Jr. (5.3 ppg., 2.1 rpg.); Fallon Phanord, G, 5-8 Fr. (Miami Krop High School); Shaquuana Wilkins, F, 6-2 So. (3.6 ppg., 2.3 rpg.); Hutashi Wilson, G, 5-6 So. (1.0 ppg., 0.9 rpg.); Yolanda "Lonnie" Whigham, G, 5-8 Fr. (Plant City High School).

OUTLOOK: Four starters and nine letter-winners return from last season's squad, setting the stage for a possible NCAA Tournament run for the first time since 1998. All-Big East freshman Broussard leads a veteran unit that includes James, Hartlaub and Saake. Watch out for junior guard Papuga, who should help make this one of the Big East's best backcourts.

INFORMATION: Call (800) 462-2637.

Central Florida

COACH: Gail Striegler (19-38, third season).

2000-01 RECORD: 10-18, 8-9 in Atlantic Sun Conference (sixth place).

LAST SEASON: The Golden Knights struggled and fell short of .500 in the conference.

RETURNING STARTERS: Adrienne Billings, F, 6-1 So. (9.4 ppg., 6.5 rpg.); Lanetra Cooks, G, 5-7 Sr. (9.1 ppg., 2.9 rpg.); Nicole Dunson, G, 5-8 So. (7.9 ppg., 2.8 rpg.); Marvelous Washington, G, 5-6 Jr. (6.3 ppg., 3.0 rpg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Takira Allan, C, 6-2 Fr. (Quincy Shanks High); Yvette Ash, G, 5-0 Sr. (2.4 ppg., 1.4 rpg.); Kristy Colligan, F/C, 6-2 Jr. (Frank Phillips College, Texas); Khaliah Guillory, F, 5-10 Sr. (7.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg.); Molly McGriff, G, 5-5 So. (1.0 ppg., 1.4 rpg.); Erin Paige, G/F, 5-11 Jr. (5.4 ppg., 4.6 rpg.); Ali Roberts, C, 6-3 Fr. (Pensacola Catholic High); Jessica Scala, G, 5-6 Jr. (Palm Beach Community College).

OUTLOOK: UCF is being picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Sun this season, but the team hopes to do better with three of last season's top scorers (Billings, Cooks and Dunson) returning. This team returns some veteran leaders with four seniors and two juniors back.

INFORMATION: Call (407) 823-4653.

Florida A&M

COACH: Debra Clark (first season; 111-85).

2000-01 RECORD: 14-13, 10-5 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (fifth place).

LAST SEASON: The school let former coach Claudette Farmer go after 11 seasons, a 190-124 record and three regular-season and two MEAC tournament titles. Clark takes over a program that finished in the middle of the MEAC last season.

RETURNING STARTERS: Phaedra Mashburn, F, 5-10 Sr. (15.7 ppg., 7.3 rpg.); Tene Miller, G, 5-7 So. (11.2 ppg., 2.9 rpg.); Tanise Thomas, F, 5-9 So. (7.7 ppg., 2.1 rpg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Deidra Bateman, F, 5-10 Jr. (4.4 ppg., 3.6 rpg.); Neisha Cameron, G, 5-7 Sr. (6.9 ppg., 2.1 rpg.); Candace Crawford, G/F, 5-10 Fr. (Westover High, Albany, Ga.); Dierdre Tyus, G, 5-8 Fr. (Jefferson Davis High, Ala.).

OUTLOOK: The rebuilding movement starts with Mashburn, a preseason All-MEAC selection. New coach Clark has a lot of young players to work with, as the Rattlers return seven sophomores alongside three seniors and two juniors.

INFORMATION: Call (850) 599-3230.

Bethune-Cookman

COACH: Sandra Booker (39-55, fourth season; 166-110).

2000-01 RECORD: 12-17, 7-11 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (ninth place).

LAST SEASON: The Wildcats overcame an 0-4 start with four consecutive wins, but the team could not stave off mediocrity for long, finishing ahead of Maryland-Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T.

RETURNING STARTERS: Lauren Forsthoff, F, 6-0 So. (9.9 ppg., 6.2 rpg.); Janice Haynes, G, 5-9 Jr. (6.1 ppg., 3.8 rpg.); Katrina Thaxton, G, 5-5 Sr. (6.3 ppg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Edna Lastrapes, G, 5-5 So. (4.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg.); Kim James, C, 6-2 Sr., (2.0 ppg., 1.5 rpg.); Sarah Johnson, G, 5-9 Fr. (Middlesex High, Va.); Sonia Jova, G, 5-6 Fr. (Pahokee High); Nikki Mason, G, 5-7 So. (Washington Marion High); Brandee Moses, F, 6-0 So. (Willingboro, N.J., High); Erica Pickett, G, 5-7 Fr. (Dayton, Ohio, Christian High); Latonya Reed, C, 6-1 Fr. (George Washington High, Ill.); Tamera Williams, C, 6-1 Fr. (Cajon High, Calif.).

OUTLOOK: When Booker called them "tough decisions," she wasn't kidding. Leading scorer Exzavia Cunningham, the 1999-2000 MEAC rookie of the year, and second-leading scorer Jashell Mitchell parted after last season. Point guard Thaxton will be counted on to lead the rebuilding.

INFORMATION: Call (386) 255-1401, Ext. 225.

_ Compiled by Jamal Thalji.

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