Women's Basketball Looks to Even Mid-Con Record, Hosts Valparaiso
Sunday, January 7, 2007




Bethany Joseph and Centenary
face a tough test Monday against Valpo

Date: Jan. 8, 2007

Opponent: Valparaiso (7-7, 1-0 Mid-Con)

Site: Gold Dome (3,000)

Game Time: 7 p.m. CST

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

Play-by-Play: Doug Greenwald

Series Record: Valparaiso leads 6-0

TIPPING OFF

The Centenary women’s basketball team (4-11, 0-1 Mid-Con) looks to even its conference record when it faces Valparaiso (7-7, 1-0 Mid-Con) at the Gold Dome Monday.

In Monday’s game, the Ladies look to remain competitive in the Mid-Con standings early into the season.

LAST GAME: LADIES FALL BY NINE TO WESTERN ILLINOIS

An even game by many aspects fell in favor of the visiting Westerwinds as the Ladies fell 67-58 to Western Illinois Saturday at the Gold Dome.

The Westerwinds outscored Centenary both inside the paint and beyond the arc in Saturday’s game, led by 16 points by sophomore Nicole Myers.

As the Ladies would tie the game at 38-38 early in the second half after trailing by six, Western Illinois would hit timely three-point shots to extend the lead to double-digits, extending Centenary’s conference losing streak to eight games.

Jelana Aleksic led Centenary in scoring with a game-high 18 points, adding six rebounds in 37 minutes of play.

With Myers’ 16 points, sophomore Amanda Walker hit 3-of-6 three-pointers and scored 12 points.

As a team, the Ladies shot 44 percent from the field, hitting 38.5 percent of their three-point chances.

A telling statistic, Western Illinois outscored Centenary, 20-5, in bench scoring.

WILKINS MOVES INTO THIRD PLACE

Scoring 13 points in the loss to Western Illinois Saturday, senior guard Holli Wilkins moved into third place in career points at Centenary.

Passing Van’esha Brabson (888) on the all-time list, Wilkins has 899 career points.

She leads Centenary in scoring this season, averaging 13.2 ppg.

ALEKSIC EXTENDS STREAK

Senior forward Jelena Aleksic extended her scoring streak to 29 games with her 18 points Saturday against Western Illinois.

Aleksic has at least one point in her last 29 games, dating back to Jan. 4, 2006.

Aleksic is averaging 11.7 ppg. and 3.5 apg. this season.

AGAINST VALPARAISO

Centenary trails the all-time series with the Crusaders, winless in six lifetime meetings.

The Ladies fell 91-44 in the last game between the two teams, played Feb. 6, 2006 in Valparaiso, Ind.

Contributing to the lopsided loss was Centenary’s shooting from the field. For the game, the Ladies shot 26.7 percent from the floor (16-60), compared to 62.7 percent shooting by the Crusaders.

SCOUTING VALPARAISO

The Crusaders head into Monday’s contest having knocked off preseason Mid-Con favorites Oral Roberts, 57-54, Saturday.

Winners of their last three games, Valparaiso is led in scoring by senior forward Betsy Rietema, who is averaging 13.5 ppg. The 6-foot-1 forward adds 6.5 rpg., leading the team with 3.1 apg. and 1.8 spg.

Against Oral Roberts Saturday, Rietema had a game-high 16 points in 33 minutes.

Also averaging double-digits this season for the Crusaders, senior center Tamra Braun is scoring 10.1 ppg. and a team-leading 8.2 rpg. Braun had a double-double against Oral Roberts Saturday, scoring 13 points and adding 10 assists.

In 14 games, Valparaiso is averaging 60.4 ppg., hitting 39 percent of its shots.

This season, the Crusaders have a 3-3 record on the road.

BUSH NAMED MID-CON PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Sophomore guard Cierra Bush became the first Centenary player to earn Mid-Con Player of the Week this season, sharing weekly honors with Elisha Turek of Oral Roberts.

In earning player of the week honors, Bush led Centenary with 18 points and five assists in the Ladies 75-59 win over McNeese State Dec. 30.

In earning weekly honors, Bush averaged 21.7 ppg. in three games, raising her season scoring average to 9.7 ppg.

JUDICE SETS CAREER HIGH

Junior forward Sara Judice grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in the loss to Western Illinois Saturday, adding seven points and two assists.

This season, Judice is averaging 6.3 ppg. and 5.0 apg. in 12 appearances.

AT HOME THIS SEASON

Centenary holds a 3-4 record at the Gold Dome this season, averaging 64 ppg. in the seven games.

Leading the Ladies in scoring at home is the senior duo of Holli Wilkins and Jelena Aleksic. Wilkins is averaging 16.1 ppg. in the seven games, while Aleksic is averaging 15.2 ppg. and shooting 52.1 percent from the floor.

In seven games, Centenary is shooting 41 percent from the field, allowing 65 ppg.

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 heading into conference play.

FIVE IN MID-CON TOP 10

Heading into this weekend, five Centenary players are amongst the top 10 in the Mid-Con statistically.

Holli Wilkins leads the Ladies with 16.1 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).

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 starts a two-game roadtrip when it travels to Southern Utah for a conference game Saturday.