The 2012–13 women’s bas­ket­ball season marked the program’s most suc­cessful cam­paign since joining the Colo­nial Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion in 2005. The team won 17 games and posted its first win­ning record in 13 years. Though last season’s top two scorers have grad­u­ated, head coach Daynia La-​​Force is con­fi­dent the team has a strong foun­da­tion of lead­er­ship and skill to build on that success.

The Huskies’ goal is to improve its post­season play. Last season, the team lost to Hof­stra in the opening round of the CAA tournament.

It’s time for our pro­gram to take the next step,” said La-​​Force, who earned her first CAA Coach of the Year award last season. “That means being able to start the season playing well but also finish playing well, some­thing that we haven’t been able to do con­sis­tently. It will be real test of our matu­rity throughout the season.”

La-​​Force is excited to unleash the Huskies’ speed, depth, and ver­sa­tility, starting with the season opener Friday night at Boston Uni­ver­sity. North­eastern edged BU, 73–62, in their matchup last season.

Head coach Daynia La-Force has high expectations for the Huskies this season, after the team posted 17 victories last season.

Head coach Daynia La-​​Force has high expec­ta­tions for the Huskies this season, after the team posted 17 vic­to­ries last season.

The team’s home opener is sched­uled for Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Matthews Arena against Rut­gers. The Scar­lett Knights fea­ture eight returning letter win­ners along with highly touted freshman point guard Tyler Scaife.

North­eastern returnees include lone senior Jewel Tun­stull and junior co-​​captains Amencie Mercier and A’lece Mark, but La-​​Force envi­sions con­tri­bu­tions from all 11 players. That depth, she said, will be crit­ical on the defen­sive side of the ball, as the Huskies plan to uti­lize their speed and ath­leti­cism to press and pres­sure ball-​​handlers early and often. “Our per­sonnel changed this season,” she said. “We’re quicker and scrap­pier, but we’re also smaller. We need to defend all 90 feet … and we’ll use our size and skills to our advantage.”

Head coach Danyia La-Force said that senior Jewel Tunstull, center, is a candidate for CAA Player of the Year.

The Huskies’ lone senior Jewel Tun­stull was named to the Pre­season All CAA first team. Head coach Daynia La-​​Force believes she’ll be in the run­ning for CAA Player of the Year.

Up and down the roster, players are primed to make an impact in a variety of ways.  Tun­stull, a center, whom La-​​Force described as a CAA Player of the Year can­di­date, is quick for her posi­tion and can score and rebound in the paint. Mark, a 5-​​foot-​​7-​​inch guard who will play the 1, 2, and 3 posi­tions, is aggres­sive at both ends of the floor, while her pas­sion and hard work, La-​​Force said, can “ignite her team­mates.” Sopho­more Tiffany Montagne’s ability to get to the rim and shoot threes has made her a con­sis­tent scorer in team scrim­mages, while for­ward Samantha DeFreese will move to her more nat­ural fit on the perimeter. Sopho­mores Onia Webb, Sade Iriah, and Kazzidy Stewart are also expected to con­tribute quality minutes.

Solid team chem­istry will com­ple­ment the Huskies’ on-​​court play. “We’re a family,” said Mark, who noted that the Huskies eat break­fast together every morning at Rebecca’s Café. “I feel like that will really help us this season.”

La-​​Force hopes this chem­istry will help the team con­quer adver­sity and avoid the lapses in focus and pro­duc­tivity that crept into the Huskies’ play last season.

We must do the little things in order to keep our oppo­nents from gaining the con­fi­dence to get back into games,” said La-​​Force, pointing to things like boxing out, taking good shots, and rebounding offen­sively. “Last season we lost at least five games we should’ve won. It both­ered us, and it will keep us hungry this season.”