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NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK: LADY HORNETS POST BEST HBCU GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE; TEAM GREETED BY ALUMNI IN DOTHAN

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NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK: LADY HORNETS POST BEST HBCU GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE; TEAM GREETED BY ALUMNI IN DOTHAN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Alabama State women’s basketball team claimed its second championship of the season this week.

Days after winning the 2015 SWAC Tournament Championship, and the NCAA Tournament bid, the Lady Hornets posted the highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) among all HBCU women’s basketball teams.

According to a report on HBCUDigest.com, the Hornets posted a 91 percent GSR rate, three percent higher than last year’s GSR of 88 percent, in which Alabama State shared the best rate with Howard’s women’s basketball team. Alabama State was the only HBCU to meet or surpass the NCAA’s GSR average of 87 percent for women’s basketball teams.

The most recent GSR data reflect the graduation outcomes of student-athletes who started school in 2007 and if they completed degree requirements in six years. A team’s GSR does not include transfers from the program who were academically eligible when they transferred.

“Academics is one of the things I really stress to the ladies in our program,” Alabama State head women’s basketball coach Freda Freeman-Jackson said.  “I make sure we give progress reports to our team, and that we are going to study hall on a regular basis.  The administrators are doing a really good job having the things necessary to be successful in the classroom, as well as on the court.”

Players who had big games in last week’s tournament are among the best in the classroom as well. All-tournament performers Jasmine Peeples (3.5 GPA – pursuing Master’s Degree), Britney Wright (Tournament MVP – 3.6 GPA), Danielle Ewert (3.9 GPA), and Kayla Tucker (3.7 GPA) all boasts high marks academically.

“I am so happy and honored as a coach to see my team work hard, both in the classroom and on the court, and getting it done,” Freeman-Jackson said.

Team Greeted By Alums In Dothan: Following their final practice in Montgomery Thursday, the Lady Hornets departed for Tallahassee. On their way to the Sunshine State for Saturday’s NCAA Tournament game at #2 Florida State, Alabama State was met by more than a dozen Hornet Alumni in nearby Dothan.

The 15th-seeded Lady Hornets face #2-seed will Florida State Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the game live on ESPN2 or online at ESPN3.com. Bamastatesports.com will have a live radio broadcast of the game, beginning with the pre-game show at Noon.

“I was really happy and elated to see the reception when we got off the bus,” said Freeman-Jackson.  “We are happy  the alumni took time out of their schedules to come and see us and give such warm greetings.  We really appreciate them for all they do for the women’s basketball program and the entire Alabama State University.”

ASU Board Chairman Locy Baker was among the audience to congratulate the women’s basketball team on winning the Toyota SWAC Tournament and celebrate the upcoming NCAA Tournament appearance this Saturday.

“We are so proud of this team and we congratulate them on a job well done,” said Daisy Baxter, President of the Dothan Alabama State University Alumni Chapter. “We love our teams and our school, and we couldn’t be any prouder of these young ladies and coaches.”

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