Senior guard Caitlin Moody leads the UMSL women's basketball returnees after averaging 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, while also connecting on 62 three-pointers.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis women’s basketball team begins its 38th season of intercollegiate play this weekend at the St. Edwards Classic in Austin, Texas. The UMSL Tritons will face the host school tonight (Nov. 11) at 5:30 p.m. before squaring off against Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Durant) on 4 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 12)

In the previous 37 season openers, the Tritons have posted a record of 25-12. UMSL defeated Harris-Stowe State University (St. Louis), 86-55, last season in the lid-lifter.

UMSL will face St. Edwards University (Austin, Texas) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University for the first time in program history.

… give the Tritons a season-opening victory for the fourth straight year.
… improve the Tritons’ season-opening record to 26-12.

UMSL returns eight letterwinners from last year’s 10-17 team, which posted a 5-13 Great Lakes Valley Conference record and advanced to the league’s postseason tourney for the second straight year.

Senior guard Caitlin Moody leads the returnees after averaging 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, while also connecting on 62 three-pointers. Senior guard Kelly Carter also returns to the court after red-shirting last season with a knee injury. In her junior campaign, Carter scored 8.4 points and dished out 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 44.6 percent from three-point range. Other key returnees include senior forward Kiki Robinson (4.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 spg), senior forward Normeka Holder (4.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg), senior forward Shayelle Dominguez (2.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg), junior guard Deaven Omohundro (2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.1 spg) and sophomore forward Kaitlin Sweatman (4.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg). Sophomore guard Phoebe Robertson (2.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg) rounds out the eight letterwinners.

UMSL welcomes the addition of seven newcomers, including three freshman and four junior college transfers. Freshman guard Alexis Lawrence was a four-year letterwinner at Bowling Green (Ky.) High School, where she averaged 14 points per game as a senior, shooting 46 percent from the arc. Freshman guard Kelsey Sikes was a four-year letterwinner at Timberland (Mo.) High School, where she averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Freshman forward Samantha Swarts prepped at Texas’ Faith Academy, where she was a three-time all-district honoree. Junior guard Angela Johnson comes to UMSL after two seasons at Jefferson College (Hillsboro, Mo.), where she averaged 8.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game last season. The three other junior college transfers all come from Mineral Area College (Park Hills, Mo.). Junior guard Molly Barnes averaged 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a sophomore, while shooting 50 percent from the field, while junior guard Emily Brumitt averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore after earning honorable mention all-conference honors as a freshman. Junior forward Devonna Smith spent last season at Mineral Area CC after one year at Saint Louis University. While at MACC, she averaged 7.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

Lisa Curliss-Taylor is in her fifth season as the head coach of the UMSL women’s basketball team, where she is 36-75 (.324). She came to UMSL from East Texas Baptist University (Marshall) where she spent four years. She is 93-123 (.431) in nine years as a head coach.

UMSL has been picked to finish fifth in the West Division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Preseason Poll, as determined by the league’s head coaches. The Tritons recorded 62 points, finishing two points behind Maryville University (Town and Country, Mo.), who was selected fourth with 64 points. Drury University (Springfield, Mo.) was tabbed as the preseason favorite, collecting 113 total points, including 12 first-place votes. Quincy (Ill.) University was picked second in the poll with 100 points and the final four first place votes, while Missouri S&T was third with 86. Rounding out the poll after UMSL was the University of Illinois Springfield (45 total points), Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Mo.) (23) and William Jewell College (Liberty, Mo.) (22). The University of Wisconsin–Parkside is the preseason favorite to finish atop the GLVC East Division. The Rangers garnered 104 total points in the poll and nine first-place votes, slightly topping Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights), which received 103 total points and the remaining seven first-place votes. The University of Indianapolis has been selected to finish third in the GLVC East Division with 82 total points. The Greyhounds are followed in the poll by Bellarmine University (Louisville, Ky.) and Kentucky Wesleyan College (Owensboro) who tied for fourth with 50 points each. Defending GLVC Champion Lewis is picked to finish sixth as the Flyers garnered 49 total points. The University of Southern Indiana (Vanderburgh County) (48 total points) and Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.) (26) round out the East Division rankings.

In four years under the direction of Lisa Curliss-Taylor, the Tritons have been known for their three-point shooting. In each of her seasons, UMSL has ranked in the program’s top 10 for three-pointers made in a season. Last year, the Tritons connected on 187 long balls, the fifth best single season total.

Senior Caitlyn Moody enters the 2011-12 campaign ranked fourth in program history in three-pointers attempted (425) and blocked shots (45) and seventh in field goals attempted (911) and three-pointers made (127). She also stands at 904 career points and is looking to become the 12th member of the 1,000 point club.

Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell