After an incredible run and turn around season last year, the question around the Cumberland Women's Basketball Program entering this season was, how would they handle high expectations and the loss of All-American Alicia Cox? The season is still young, but the short-term answer is by starting the year 7-0.
The fast start now has the Dukes of Cumberland County College ranked as the NJCAA's fifth ranked team in the nation in all of Division III. This is the highest any collegiate program at Cumberland has been ranked ever. Last season, Head Coach James Boney had his team make an appearance at nine, but that was short lived, as the Dukes lost their next game.
That was then and this is now. Boney believes that he has a more balanced team this year, and the numbers don't lie, showing four Dukes averaging double-digits in scoring through the first seven games. Freshman Artaeja Loatman is leading the Dukes in scoring with 15.6 ppg, and sophomore Kyra Lunsford, an All-Conference selection last year, is second with 14.3 ppg. Freshmen Jodi Kelley and Courtney Nock are adding 12.1 and 10.6 points apiece.
The Dukes will look to continue the hot start this weekend as they travel to Sussex County Community College on Saturday. A win at Sussex would set up a battle of nationally-ranked teams, #5 Cumberland at #10 Brookdale on Tuesday Dec. 10th, starting at 5pm.
Check out the latest NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball Poll and other basketball news by clicking here.