LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College women's basketball will tip off the 2018-19 campaign with a pair of neutral-site contests at the annual GSC-SSC Challenge this weekend on the campus of Saint Leo University. The No. 17 Moccasins, who were picked to win the Sunshine State Conference in the annual SSC Preseason Coaches Poll, will take on Gulf South Conference foes Lee (Nov. 9) and Shorter (Nov. 10) on opening weekend.
Florida Southern returns four starters from a team that went 25-5 a year ago and won both the SSC regular-season and tournament titles. In their fifth season under head coach Betsy Harris, the Moccasins will rely heavily on a trio of seniors (Mercedez Claybrone, Anja Fuchs-Robetin, Camille Giardina), as well as a mix of experienced returners and talented newcomers, as they look to advance to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth-straight season.
DATE: Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 | 1 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Marion Bowman Activities Center (Saint Leo, FL)
LIVE VIDEO: SunshineStateConference.TV (free)
LIVE STATS: MocsLive.com
SERIES RECORD VS. LEE: Florida Southern leads, 4-2
SERIES RECORD VS. SHORTER: Florida Southern leads, 2-0
HOME OPENER: Nov. 19 vs. Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
• Florida Southern enters the 2018-19 season with four starters back from last year's squad that finished 25-5 and won both the Sunshine State Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
• The Moccasins will be led by the all-America duo of Anja Fuchs-Robetin (18.6 ppg) and Camille Giardina (19.9 ppg). In all, the Mocs return nearly 77 percent of their scoring from a year ago and are expected to be bolstered by the debut of Julia Jenike. After transferring from Division I Florida Atlantic, Jenike sat out last season with an injury, but is fully healthy and expected to make an immediate impact after finishing third on the team in scoring (7.2 ppg) as a freshman at FAU in 2016-17.
• Florida Southern was picked to win the Sunshine State Conference after receiving 10 first-place votes in the SSC Preseason Coaches Poll. That means the Mocs were a unanimous selection to win the conference title as 11 coaches cast their ballot, and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
• The Mocs enter the year ranked No. 17 in the WBCA Coaches Poll and No. 15 in the D2SIDA Poll. The Florida Southern Athletic Communications office will use the WBCA poll as its official poll for rankings throughout the year, but the Mocs are the only team from the SSC to appear in either preseason poll.