McNeese basketball teams take center stage

By 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.