Wilkins Scores 30 to Lead Ladies to 80-68 Win over Lamar
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

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Box Score

Holli Wilkins hit five three-pointers
to lead the Ladies Tuesday

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Led by 30 points by senior guard Holli Wilkins, the Centenary women’s basketball team (2-8) defeated Lamar (3-5), 80-68, Tuesday at the Gold Dome.

Scoring one off of her career-high in points (31), Wilkins had one of her best all-around games of her Centenary career, dishing out seven assists and hitting five threes in the 12-point Ladies’ win.

"The 30 points was great for Holli and the team, but I was really please with her seven assists," Centenary head coach Steve Curtis said. "She’s really learning to pass it off when her shot is challenged."

As the two teams traded the lead in the opening moments of Tuesday’s game, a three by freshman guard Monique Jefferson (Birmingham, Ala.) gave the Ladies a 16-14 lead with 13:41 left in the first half, holding the lead for the remainder of the game.

Jefferson’s three was foreshadowing a big night from beyond the arc for Centenary, as the Ladies made a season-high nine three-pointers in the win over the Lady Cardinals, led by Wilkins’ five.

A total team effort in the win, with three players scoring in double figures, Curtis gave credit to Wilkins’ teammates for getting the senior guard open shots all evening.

"Everybody’s going to talk about Holli and her points," Curtis said. "But I felt that Sara (Judice) and Cierra (Bush), Mo (Jefferson) and Leslie (Forest) did a great job screening for her. As we learn to take better angles to screen and read defenses, we’re going to get better and better."

Taking a nine-point lead into the intermission, its largest halftime lead thus far in the season, Centenary scored seven-straight points to open the second half, extending the lead to 16 and forcing Lamar to take a timeout to regroup.

The Lady Cardinals were able to cut the Centenary lead to seven with under two minutes remaining in the second half, but were unable to get any closer to the Ladies, thanks to open layup conversions and good free throw shooting by Centenary.

Joining Wilkins in double figures for Centenary, sophomore Cierra Bush (Campti, La.) scored 12, grabbing eight rebounds. Freshman Bethany Joseph (New Iberia, La.) scored 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the floor.

Centenary shot 44.3 percent from the field, shooting 36 percent from three-point range.

With senior Jelena Aleksic (Belgrade, Serbia) missing Tuesday’s contest due to an undisclosed injury, freshman Leslie Forest (LaPlace, La.) and sophomore Julia Bowie (Lafayette, La.) stepped up in place of the senior forward. Playing a career-high 21 minutes and getting her first-career start, Forest chipped in with four points and a career-high six rebounds, developing in the center position. Bowie scored four points and grabbed three rebounds, showing great hustle and effort in reserve minutes.

The win over Lamar ended a six-game losing streak for the Ladies, getting the first win over the Lady Cardinals in program history (1-3). Looking to build off of Tuesday’s victory, Centenary continues its homestand at the Gold Dome Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana (5-3) at 2 p.m.

Tuesday’s win was somewhat bittersweet for the Ladies, as longtime Centenary College athletics fan Richard "Ace" Towery passed away Tuesday morning. A staple at both Ladies and Gents home events throughout the years, news of Towery’s passing hit the Ladies hard, but gave Centenary extra motivation to go out and win the contest, according to Wilkins.