Ladies Return to Action, Hosts McNeese State Saturday
Friday, December 29, 2006

Jasmine Bothwell and the Ladies look
to even its record at home Saturday



Date: Dec. 30, 2006

Opponent: McNeese State (2-9)

Site: Gold Dome (3,000)

Game Time: 2 p.m. CST

Series Record: McNeese State leads the all-time series (3-2)


Centenary (3-10) returns to the court and to the Gold Dome when it hosts McNeese State University (2-9) Saturday at 2 p.m.

In Saturday’s game, the Ladies look to improve its home record to 3-3 this season with a win over the Cowgirls.


Centenary could not overcome a poor first half in its loss to Southern Miss Dec. 20, trailing the Lady Eagles by 17 at the intermission.

The Ladies committed 15 turnovers in the first half resulting in 14 Southern Miss points. In addition to Centenary’s turnover problems, the Lady Eagles shot 43.2 percent from the floor, compared to 30.8 percent for the Ladies.

Centenary improved its play in the second half, outscoring Southern Miss 34-29 after the intermission. Despite the improved play, the Ladies could only cut the deficit to 12 points, falling 73-61 to the Lady Eagles.

Leading all scorers with 27 points, Centenary sophomore Cierra Bush notched a career high for points in the loss to Southern Miss. Registering her second-straight game with 20 points, Bush has raised her scoring average to 9.1 ppg.

For the game, Bush finished 12-for-16 from the free-throw line, showing a knack for getting to the basket throughout the contest.


With her steal against Southern Miss, senior guard Holli Wilkins moved into a tie for the all-time steals lead in Centenary women’s basketball history.

Hindered by early foul trouble, limiting her minutes against the Lady Eagles, Wilkins moved into a tie with former Centenary guard Julie Danieles with 186 career steals. With just one more steal, Wilkins will become the all-time steals leader in Ladies' history.

Wilkins already owns the Ladies’ record for steals in a single season, registering 82 steals in her junior year and finishing in the top 10 nationally in takeaways.


The Ladies head into Saturday’s game against McNeese State with a .500 record against teams from the Southland Conference this season.

Having relative success against the conference, Centenary is 3-3 this season against teams from the Southland.

At home this season, the Ladies have defeated Nicholls State (Nov. 18) and Lamar (Dec. 5), both from the Southland Conference.

Three Centenary players boast double-digit scoring averages in games against the Southland Conference this season, headlined by senior guard Holli Wilkins.

Wilkins is averaging 15.0 ppg. in six games against the Southland, averaging 4.3 apg. and 2.3 spg.

With Wilkins, senior forward Jelena Aleksic is averaging 12.2 ppg., while sophomore guard Cierra Bush is averaging 10.8 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. against the Southland Conference.

As a team, Centenary is averaging 65.2 ppg. in the six games against the Southland Conference, shooting 39.2 percent from the floor and 31.9 percent from three-point range.


Centenary is 2-3 (.400) lifetime against McNeese State, last playing the Cowgirls during the 2003-04 season.

In the last contest against McNeese State, played Nov. 25, 2003 in Lake Charles, La., Centenary fell 80-69 to the Cowgirls.

In the last game at the Gold Dome for the Ladies against McNeese State, played during the 2002-03 season, Centenary earned a 76-69 win.


McNeese State heads into Saturday’s game on a five-game losing streak, falling to national-powerhouse LSU, 83-28, in its last game.

During the five-game span, the Cowgirls are allowing an average of 74 points per contest, scoring an average of 45.6 points per game.

On the road this season, McNeese State has an 0-6 record.

The Cowgirls are led by three players with double-digit scoring averages.

Junior Psyche Bess is averaging 10.5 points per game to lead McNeese State, although only playing in two of 11 games.

Behind Bess, freshman guard Shonice Sprouse has started in 5-of-11 games this season for the Cowgirls, averaging 10.1 points per game. This season, Sprouse leads the team with 18 made three-pointers, shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

As a team, McNeese State is getting outrebounded by almost a 10 rebound margin in its 11 games, averaging 31.2 boards per game.

The Cowgirls are averaging 50.7 points per game while shooting 35.8 percent from the floor.


In the five games at the Gold Dome this season, Centenary has a 2-3 record, averaging 63.0 ppg.

From the floor, the Ladies are shooting 39.4 percent at home this season, shooting 29 percent from three-point range. From the line, Centenary is outshooting its opponents, hitting 68 percent of its free throws.


In the 84-70 win over Sam Houston State, Centenary ended its road losing streak stretching over five seasons.

Not earning a road win since the 2002-03 season, the Ladies’ road losing streak spanned 55 games. Prior to the win over Sam Houston State Dec. 17, Centenary last defeated an opponent on the road Dec. 7, 2002, winning over St. Francis (NY) College.


The starting five of Jelena Aleksic, Cierra Bush, Monique Jefferson, Sara Judice and Holli Wilkins have accounted for 556 of 759 points scored this season for the Ladies.

The five starters have registered 73.3 percent of all points scored this season.


Four Centenary players stand amongst the statistical leaders in the Mid-Con this season, headlined by senior guard Holli Wilkins.

Wilkins ranks in the top 10 in the Mid-Con in six statistical categories, standing in the top five in four. She is fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 13.3 ppg.

Wilkins is third in the Mid-Con in steals (2.2 spg.) and second in three-pointers, averaging 2.1 three’s per game. She is fifth in the conference in free-throw percentage (.746) and seventh in assists (2.9 apg.).

Sophomore Cierra Bush stands fourth in the Mid-Con in free-throw percentage (.750) and seventh in steals (1.8 spg.), while standing 10th in defensive rebounds (4.0 rpg.)

Senior Jelena Aleksic stands 10th in the conference in points (11.1 ppg.) and freshman Leslie Forest is fourth in the Mid-Con in blocks (1.0 bpg.).


Recently raising her game to a new level, sophomore Cierra Bush is averaging 23.5 points in the last two games for Centenary, adding an average of 9.5 rebounds per game.

With her points and rebounds, Bush is also averaging 3.5 steals per game in the last two contests for the Ladies.

This season, Bush is averaging 9.1 ppg., 5.6 rpg. and 2.1 apg.

She has the lone double-double this season for Centenary, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Sam Houston State Dec. 17.


Showing mass improvement from years past, Centenary can complete the month of December with a 3-3 record with a win over McNeese State Saturday.

With a young roster, the .500 record would illustrate how different a team Centenary is under first-year head coach Steve Curtis. Making strides as they head into the conference season, the Ladies have not had a month with a .500 or better record since the 2001-02 season, in which Centenary went 4-1 for the month of November.


Centenary continues its three-game homestand at the Gold Dome when its hosts Western Illinois in a Mid-Con Conference game Jan. 6.

Holding serve at home is pivotal for the Ladies in the conference season and the contest against Western Illinois would be a good measuring stick for a young Centenary team.

Game time is set for 4:30 p.m. and is part of a doubleheader with the Centenary men’s basketball team.