Ladies Host Western Illinois to Open Mid-Con Play
Friday, January 5, 2007


Files associated with this release:
Game Notes


Jelena Aleksic is shooting
51.7 percent at home this season

 

Date: Jan. 6, 2007

Opponent: Western Illinois (3-10, 0-0 Mid-Con)

Site: Gold Dome (3,000)

Game Time: 4:30 p.m. CST

Radio/Internet: KSCL 91.3-FM/www.SportsJuice.com

Play-by-Play: Doug Greenwald

Series Record: Western Illinois leads 6-0

TIPPING OFF

Centenary (4-10, 0-0 Mid-Con) heads into Mid-Continent Conference play, hosting Western Illinois (3-10, 0-0 Mid-Con) Saturday in the conference opener at the Gold Dome. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.

Part of doubleheader with the Centenary men’s basketball team, the Ladies head into Saturday’s game coming off their best month as a team since the 2001-02 season. In the month of December, Centenary captured three wins, going 3-3 (.500) for the month and building towards conference play.

LADIES OPEN FOURTH SEASON OF MID-CON PLAY

Under new head coach Steve Curtis, Centenary looks for renewed success when it enters conference play this weekend against Western Illinois.

Struggling in its first three seasons of conference play, the Ladies have a 3-39 record against current Mid-Con teams, something Centenary looks to improve upon under Curtis.

When opening the conference schedule at the Gold Dome, Centenary has a 1-1 record, capturing a 70-63 win over Chicago State Jan. 3, 2004 in Shreveport.

As a team, the Ladies have a 1-2 record in conference openers.

CENTENARY VS. MID-CON

IUPUI

0

6

Oakland

0

6

Oral Roberts

0

6

Southern Utah

2

4

UMKC

1

5

Valparaiso

0

6

Western Illinois

0

6

Totals

3

39

FOUR GO FOR DOUBLE FIGURES, LADIES DEFEAT MCNEESE STATE

Balanced-scoring and a ferocious close helped Centenary capture a 75-59 win over McNeese State at the Gold Dome Dec. 30.

Over the final 10 minutes of the game, the Ladies limited McNeese State to just four points, outscoring the Cowgirls 23-4 to close the game and earn a 16-point victory.

Sophomore Cierra Bush led Centenary with 18 points, adding seven rebounds and five assists. Bush’s solid game vaulted the sophomore guard to Mid-Continent Conference Co-Player of the Week honors, the first time this season a Centenary player has been chosen as POW.

Joining Bush in double figures was Bethany Joseph (14), Jelena Aleksic (13) and Holli Wilkins (12).

For the game, Centenary shot 46.4 percent from the floor and hit 31.6 percent of its shots from beyond the arc.

BUSH CONTINUES TO EXCEL

Sophomore guard Cierra Bush has averaged 21.7 points per game over the last three games, setting a new career high for points (27) in the loss to Southern Miss Dec. 20.

Bush has had games of 20, 27 and 18 points in the last three games for the Ladies, leading Centenary in scoring in two of the three games.

Leading the team with a 5.7 rebounds per game average, Bush is averaging 9.7 ppg. and 2.3 apg.

WIN OVER MCNEESE SETS NEW HIGH

The 16-point win over McNeese State last weekend set a new season high for margin of victory for Centenary.

Breaking the previous high for this season of 14 points, Centenary was led by four scorers in double figures and a strong 23-4 close over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The Ladies look to use last weekend’s victory over the Cowgirls to springboard the team into conference play at the Gold Dome Saturday.

MAGIC NUMBER

Forty percent may be the magic number for Centenary this season.

When shooting at least 40 percent from the floor this season, Centenary has a 4-1 record, only falling to Louisiana-Monroe Nov. 30.

In all four of their wins, the Ladies have hit at least 40 percent of their shots, shooting a season-high 52 percent against Sam Houston State Dec. 17.

As a team, Centenary is shooting 37.1 from the floor this season, standing seventh in the conference in team field goal percentage.

LADIES SURPASS WIN TOTAL

Prior to the ball dropping on 2007, Centenary had already surpassed its win total from the 2005-06 season.

With its win over McNeese State Dec. 30, the Ladies captured their fourth win of the season, surpassing last season’s win total prior to the start of Mid-Continent Conference play.

Under the new direction of first-year head coach Steve Curtis, the Ladies look to continue to grow when they enter conference play Saturday against Western Illinois.

AT HOME THIS SEASON

Centenary holds a 3-3 record at the Gold Dome this season, carrying a 2-1 home record for the month of December.

The Ladies are averaging 65 ppg. at the Gold Dome in six games, allowing an average of 64.7 ppg.

In the six home games, Centenary is shooting 40.6 percent from the floor, hitting 29.4 percent of its three-point shots.

Leading Centenary in scoring, seniors Holli Wilkins and Jelena Aleksic are averaging 16.7 ppg. and 14.6 ppg., respectively.

Aleksic leads the team from the floor, hitting 51.7 percent of her shots at home.

LADIES TOPS AGAINST THREE

Centenary leads the Mid-Continent Conference against the three, holding opponents to 29.3 percent from three-point range.

This season, only four teams have hit more than five three-pointers in a game against Centenary.

In two games this season, the Ladies have held its opponent to just one three-pointer in the game, something Centenary looks to continue when it enters conference play this weekend.

FIVE IN MID-CON TOP 10

Statistically, five Centenary players are amongst the top 10 in the Mid-Con entering Saturday’s game against Western Illinois.

Holli Wilkins leads the Ladies with 13.2 ppg. and standing sixth in the Mid-Con in scoring.

Wilkins, the all-time steals leader at Centenary, is second in the conference in steals this season, averaging 2.43 takeaways per game. In addition, she is third in the Mid-Con in three-pointers (2.07 per game) and seventh in assists (3.00 apg.).

Sophomore Cierra Bush is eighth in the Mid-Con in steals (1.64) and tied for ninth in offensive rebounds (1.86), while senior Jelena Aleksic is 10th in scoring (11.2 ppg.).

Freshman guard Bethany Joseph stands ninth in three-point percentage (.368) and fellow-freshman Leslie Forest stands fourth in blocked shots (0.93).

AGAINST WESTERN ILLINOIS

Centenary trails the all-time series with the Westerwinds, failing to capture a win in its first six games (0-6).

In the lone conference-opener against Western Illinois, played Dec. 31, 2005 in Macomb, Ill., Centenary fell 83-37 to the Westerwinds.

SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS

Western Illinois enters Saturday’s game coming off a 70-36 loss to national power Texas A&M Tuesday.

Junior Stephanie Lovingood leads the team in scoring, averaging 10.2 ppg. and 6.2 rpg. The 6-foot-1 forward has led the team in scoring in 7-of-13 games.

At guard, sophomore Sarah Miller is averaging 8.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 2.2 apg., leading the Westerwinds in minutes played this season.

As a team, Western Illinois is averaging 57.2 ppg. in 13 games, standing seventh in Mid-Con in scoring.

Against Sam Houston State Dec. 31, the lone common opponent between Western Illinois and Centenary, the Westerwinds captured a 58-50 victory.

WILKINS BECOMES LEADER

Needing just one steal to move into sole possession of the steals lead at Centenary, senior guard Holli Wilkins picked off a pass early against McNeese State to record her 187th career steal.

Wilkins moved out of a tie with former Ladies guard Julie Danieles for the top spot in career steals at Centenary.

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.

LADIES SNAP STREAK

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.

UP NEXT

Centenary continues its three-game homestand when its hosts Valparaiso at the Gold Dome Monday.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m.