Ladies Face No. 1-Seeded Oakland Saturday at Mid-Cons
Friday, March 2, 2007


Files associated with this release:
Game Notes


Bush leads Centenary in scoring
in two games against Oakland

DATE: March 3, 2007

OPPONENT: Oakland University (17-11, 12-2)

SITE: Hammons Arena (5,000)

TIP-OFF: 12 p.m. (CST)

RADIO: KSCL 91.3-FM

TALENT: Doug Greenwald (play-by-play)

SERIES: Oakland leads 8-0

STREAK: Oakland +8

 

Centenary makes its first appearance in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament in program history Saturday, traveling to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2007 Mid-Con Championships.

 

The Ladies face Mid-Con Regular Season Champions and tournament No. 1 seed Oakland University at Hammons Arena Saturday at noon, looking for the upset of the tournament favorites.

 

Saturday will be the ninth-ever meeting between the Ladies and the Grizzlies, with Centenary searching for their first-ever win over Oakland at the most opportune time.

In the two previous meetings with Oakland this season, Centenary has fell to the Grizzlies by an average of 16 points.

 

The two teams play back-to-back games for the first time in series history, as Centenary traveled to Rochester, Mich. to face the Grizzlies Monday.

 

In Monday’s game, Centenary fell 73-53 to Oakland, with the Grizzlies led by 24 points by all-conference first teamer Nicole Piggott.

 

Oakland took full advantage of 27 Centenary turnovers in Monday’s win, outscoring the Ladies, 40-6, in the paint.

 

Oakland finished with 20 steals in Monday’s 20-point win.

 

BUSH, WILKINS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS

Sophomore guard Cierra Bush and senior guard Holli Wilkins made history Wednesday, both named to the 2007 All-Mid-Con team.

 

For the first time in program history, two Centenary players earned all-conference honors, headlined by Bush being named second team all-conference. This season, Bush finished in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding and blocks, breaking out in her sophomore season. She led the Ladies in rebounding in 13 games this season.

 

Wilkins earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. Named honorable mention All-Mid-Con as a junior, Wilkins again was named honorable mention all-conference. She led the Ladies in scoring in 10 games this year, standing amongst the conference leaders in assists, steals, blocks and free-throw percentage.

 

TWO IN A ROW

For the first time in the four-year series between Oakland and Centenary, the two teams meet each other in back-to-back games.

 

With the Grizzlies leading the all-time series (8-0), Centenary looks to earn redemption for Monday’s 20-point defeat in Rochester, Mich. In the game, Oakland clinched the regular season conference championship, led by 24 points by forward Nicole Piggott.

 

Making their first appearance in the Mid-Con Tournament, Centenary looks to upset the No. 1 seed in the championships Saturday afternoon.

 

FOURTEEN OF EIGHTEEN

Struggling around the basket against the inside game of Oakland, Centenary was forced to take shots from the perimeter Monday in Rochester, Mich.

 

Taking 24 three-point shots, Centenary his a program-record 14 three-point shots against Oakland, led by three three-pointers by Cierra Bush and Bethany Joseph.

 

The 14 three-pointers were part of just 18 made field goals by the Ladies in Monday’s loss to Oakland.

 

AGAINST THE GRIZZLIES

This season against Oakland, Centenary is shooting 35.8 percent from the floor, hitting 48.9 percent of its three-point attempts.

 

The Ladies are led in scoring by sophomore Cierra Bush in this season’s two games against Oakland. In two starts, Bush is averaging 12.5 ppg., also leading the Ladies with a 7.5 rpg. average. Senior Holli Wilkins is averaging 10.5 ppg. against Oakland this season to stand second on the team in scoring.

 

In two games against Oakland, Centenary is averaging 57.0 ppg., while allowing an average of 73.0 ppg.

 

For Centenary to find any success against the Grizzlies, the team must reduce the number of overall turnovers. In two games this season, the Ladies are averaging 26 turnovers against the Grizzlies.

 

THREE ROOKIES DON STARTING FIVE

In Monday night’s game against Oakland, Centenary started three freshman for the first time this season.

 

Against the Grizzlies, rookie guards Jasmine Bothwell, Samantha Gillespie and Bethany Joseph took the floor to start for the Ladies, combining for 18 points in the loss.

 

This season, the trio have combined to start 17 games.

 

HALFTIME LEADING TO WIN

One precursor to the outcome of the game for the Ladies may be the score at the half.

 

When leading at intermission this season, Centenary has a perfect 5-0 record, never dropping a halftime lead.

 

Thus far, the Ladies have yet to make up a halftime deficit, something the team looks to change this weekend.

 

WILKINS GOES OVER 1,000

With her seven points against IUPUI Feb. 24, senior guard Holli Wilkins became the third player in Centenary history to score 1,000 points in their collegiate careers.

 

Leading the team in scoring this season, Wilkins now stands with 1,005 points in her four seasons, among the Mid-Con leaders in points in overall games.

 

In her final year with the Ladies, Wilkins has led the team in scoring in 10 games.

 

ON NEUTRAL COURTS

The Ladies have played on just one neutral court this season, standing with an 0-1 record.

 

In the lone game on a neutral court, the Ladies fell to Samford 60-36 at Bill Battle Coliseum, in Birmingham, Ala., Nov. 25.

 

BUSH FILLS IT UP

Sophomore Cierra Bush finished the regular season tied for fourth in the conference in games with 20 or more points.

 

In a breakout season for the sophomore guard, Bush registered five games of 20 or more points. The season ended with Bush being named to the all-conference team.

 

WILKINS DIALS THREE

Senior guard Holli Wilkins has attempted more than 60 three-pointers than any other Centenary player this season.

 

With 158 three-point attempts this year, Wilkins has hit 46 for a three-point field goal percentage of .291. She has hit 10 more three-pointers than the next closest Ladies player.

 

She is sixth in the Mid-Con in three-pointers per game (1.42).

 

SENIORS GO OUT ON TOP

Playing their final game at the Gold Dome, seniors Jelena Aleksic, Tracee Byrd and Holli Wilkins went out with a win, defeating Southern Utah, 72-67, Feb. 12.

 

Wilkins, leading the Ladies in scoring with a 12.2 ppg. average, scored 16 points in her final home game to lead the team in scoring. Playing all but one minute against the Thunderbirds, Wilkins added six rebounds, five assists and four steals.

 

In addition to Wilkins play, fellow-senior Jelena Aleksic had 12 points in her final home game, grabbing six rebounds. Sophomore Cierra Bush had 12 points for the Ladies.

Fittingly, the first and last basket made by Centenary was made by a senior, with Aleksic making the first basket of the game for the Ladies and Wilkins cleaning up with the final Centenary basket.

 

The win ended an 11-game losing streak for the Ladies.

 

WILKINS BECOMES LEADER

Recording a game-high five steals against McNeese State Dec. 30, senior guard Holli Wilkins became the all-time steals leader in Centenary history, passing former Ladies guard Julie Danieles for the top spot.

 

Wilkins remains amongst the steal leaders in the conference, averaging 2.3 spg. this season and standing third in the Mid-Con. The senior guard broke the single-season steals record in Ladies history in her junior year, registering 82 steals to finish eighth nationally.

 

Wilkins has an opportunity to lead the conference in steals for the second consecutive season.

 

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.

 

JEFFERSON AMONG NINE

Centenary freshman guard Monique Jefferson stands in rare company in the NCAA this season.

 

With 324 schools in Division I, only nine teams started true freshman point guards in their first game of the season.

 

True Freshman Starting Point Guards

Kristen Dalton- Lehigh

Nikki Davis - Alabama

Quenese Davis - San Diego State

Allison Holiday - UNLV

Carla Jacobs - Cincinnati

Monique Jefferson - Centenary

Rae Lin D’alie - Wisconsin

FahKara Malone - Purdue

Maria Moeller - Ohio State