Women's Basketball begins practice - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Women's Basketball begins practice

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by Pam LaFosse

 

LAKE CHARLES--  McNeese women's basketball team opens practice at 6 p.m. Sunday at Burton Coliseum for its first team practice of the season.  The Cowgirls have been going through individual workouts as well as weight room workouts.

     "We are thrilled to begin practice full go! I am so anxious to see how this team develops. We have great chemistry off the court and have had a very strong summer and pre-season.  Our strength coaches do a phenomenal job of getting them ready for practice and playing. I can't say enough about Alan Bryant and the job he has done with our girls the past several years. Their toughness starts in the weight room in the summers and amps up even more in the fall and certainly carries over to practice and games. We are so fortunate to have one of the best strength and conditioning staffs in our region. They set us up for a great practice season," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams.

     The Cowgirls return three starters from last season but will have to replace their top two scorers from the past two seasons in Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett.  The starters returning include the 2013 Southland Conference "Newcomer of the Year" in senior Cecilia Okoye.  Senior Arianna James and junior Alaina Verdin are the other two starters returning.  Letterwinners returning are senior NeTanya Jones and sophomores Allison Baggett and Jayln Johnson.

     "I love the make-up of our team. Obviously, we are without two very familiar faces who helped us win a lot of games here at McNeese. It's a strange feeling to be without Ash (Ashlyn Baggett) and Cait (Caitlyn Baggett) this pre-season, but it is also exciting to get a fun group of freshmen and returners who are working hard to continue what the twins started. They are hungry right now and it shows in their work. If they keep that hunger and excitement, we are in business."

     The Cowgirls will begin working towards their season and home opener against Wiley College on Nov. 8.  McNeese will also host Rice, UL-Monroe, Louisiana Tech and Southern (N.O.) in non-conference home games.  McNeese will play at Tulane, Texas Southern, Fairleigh Dickinson and Baylor and will take part in the Long Island Turkey Classic in non-conference road games.  

     "Our schedule is really tough this year. We have consistently played tough schedules in recent years to help prepare us for the conference season and this one is no different. We are anxious for Sunday to get here and we are going to take each day as it comes and just work on getting better as a team each day, each and every play."

     The Southland Conference season opener is Jan. 2 against Southeastern La.  McNeese will play home and home conference games against Southeastern La., New Orleans, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist and Nicholls.  McNeese will host Central Arkansas, Oral Roberts, Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian in home games only and will travel to Sam Houston State, Lamar, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin in road contest.

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