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McNeese State head women’s basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams. (American Press Archives)

McNeese State head women’s basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams. (American Press Archives)

McNeese basketball teams take center stage

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:46 AM

By Albert Burford / American Press

The McNeese State men’s and women’s basketball teams put on their first public showcase of the season Friday, as they each played an intrasquad scrimmage at the annual Sneak Peek event.

Seniors Arianna James and Cecilia Okeye led the Blue Team for the Cowgirls, scoring nine and eight points, respectively.

“The Cowgirls played hard and worked well together,” said McNeese assistant coach Benjamin Law. “Our seniors are showing some leadership. We think they’ve got a bright future this season.”

The younger Gold Team was anchored by five-point performances from sophomore Jayln Johnson of Jennings and Sulphur freshman Hannah Cupid.

“For our youngsters, it was a great opportunity for them to get out and experience a college crowd,” Law said. “We were really excited about the community and the fan support that came out to Memorial Gym this weekend. They were a little bit nervous. They didn’t really play as well as they had been practicing this last week, but it’s good to get those nerves out of the way as we prepare for our home opener against Wiley.”

The Cowgirls open their season Nov. 8 against Wiley College at Burton Coliseum.

On the men’s side, senior forward Adrian Fields’ 12 points led his team. Junior guard Kevin Hardy also chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds on the night. Senior guard Kevin Garrett led the opposing side with 10 points of his own.

“We’re improving every day,” said Cowboys coach Dave Simmons. “Our guys look good one day, then of course the next day, you can’t find them. But we’re getting better, that’s the main thing.”

The Cowboys are preparing for their first game of the season Nov. 8 against second-ranked Michigan State. For now, though, they are working on figuring out their own team.

“We’re just trying to get team chemistry,” Simmons said. “We lost two starters last year. Of course when you lose your point guard, it’s a very integral part of your team. He’s been driving your car for the last couple of years. We’re just getting some continuity within the guys. We’re trying to find the combination of not necessarily the best players on the floor, but the best unit that works together. With our scrimmages, we just mix them up a lot. We look at a lot of different combinations and hopefully, we’ll be ready Nov. 8 to meet that big challenge.”

McNeese has just two home games before the start of Southland Conference action. The Cowboys moved their second of those games up two hours.

They will host Dillard University at Burton Coliseum at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, a change from the original 6 p.m. tipoff.

Posted By: J Reed On: 10/24/2013

Title: McNeese basketball teams take center stage

GO Ben Law!!!

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