Ladies Capture First Win of Season, Defeats Nicholls State
Saturday, November 18, 2006

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Box Score

Jelena Aleksic led Centenary
with 22 points Saturday

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Three players in double figures led the Centenary women’s basketball team (1-2) to its first win of the season, defeating Nicholls State University (0-3), 79-66, Saturday at the Gold Dome.

Helping first-year head coach Steve Curtis pick up his first win with the Ladies program, Centenary held a 48-30 edge in rebounds in Saturday’s game against the Lady Colonels, using its height advantage to push the ball inside the paint.

"We felt like they would really have trouble guarding us inside, Curtis said following the win. "They’ve given up some points inside (in their earlier games).

In the post, Ladies senior forward Jelena Aleksic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Centenary with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. With both an inside and outside game, according to Curtis, Aleksic helped contribute to Centenary’s 36-26 advantage in points in the paint, using her height in the low block for the Ladies.

As Nicholls State traveled only seven players to Saturday’s contest, ending the game with four players due to foul trouble, Centenary looked to use its depth and capture their first win of the season.

As the two teams traded leads to start the game, Centenary used a 10-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room.

At the start of the second half, Aleksic started to catch fire, scoring six points in the first three minutes of the second half to help extend the Ladies’ lead to nine after the first media timeout.

Ahead for majority of the second half, the Ladies continued to get second-chance opportunities with offensive rebounds, spearheaded by 10 total rebounds by junior Laura Way (Mt. Pleasant, Pa.). Way added seven points in 22 minutes.

Left open for jump shots after Centenary continued to reversed the ball, freshman Bethany Joseph (New Iberia, La.) scored a career-high 17 points, with 11 of those points coming in the second half.

With six minutes remaining in the contest, a Joseph three-pointer extended Centenary’s lead to 10 points, not looking back for the remainder of the game.

Playing a career-high 23 minutes and going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, Joseph gave the Ladies a much-needed boost in bench points. In the previous two games, the Ladies have been outscored greatly in points from non-starters, and Curtis rewarded Joseph’s hard work in practice with minutes in Saturday’s game.

"She just comes to practice every day and just keeps working and working," Curtis said. "She has a great grasp of the offense and, this morning, I decided that I’m playing Bethany today. And she’s earned it."

Sophomore Cierra Bush (Campti, La.) contributed with 13 points in the win, efficiently shooting 5-of-6 from the field. Bush led all players with four steals in the contest, helping the Ladies to a 12-8 advantage in takeaways.

Improving its shooting from the floor, the Ladies shot 41.3 percent in the win.

Centenary enters a very treacherous stretch of the season, playing its next four games on the road, starting with Tuesday’s contest at New Orleans. Following Tuesday’s game, Centenary plays in the Sheraton Roundball Classic, played at Birmingham-Southern, Nov. 24-25.