After going 2-0 on its toughest road trip of the conference schedule, McNeese State returns home to see if it can really get something cooking with Stephen F. Austin paying a visit to the Lake Charles Civic Center.
“To have consistency, we just go back to a mind-set of we’re 0-0 and go back to work,” said Cowgirls coach Brooks Donald Williams. “It’s really what we’ve always done, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
The Cowgirls (10-9, 5-3 Southland) knocked off Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts last week, the latter win coming on a last-second tip-in by forward Arianna James.
“What a great confidence booster for her,” Donald Williams said. “One of the coaches asked when her last game-winner had been, and it had been since seventh grade or something. She’s such a solid kid. She doesn’t get the limelight all the time. She knows her role, which is to get more offensive rebounds. And boy, she got the most important one.”
Improved play inside by James and Cecilia Okoye was instrumental to both road wins, and Donald Williams said that play will be consistent as the season goes forward.
“Cecilia’s gotten better every game. It’s been a little up-and-down at times, but she’s consistently gotten better every game,” Donald Williams said. “Her help opens everything up for Ashlyn and Caitlyn (Baggett). Arianna’s probably been more consistent all year. She’s just a blue-collar hustle kid who gets it done.”
The Ladyjacks (9-10, 4-4) and Cowgirls met on Jan. 5 in Nacogdoches with McNeese winning 74-57. The Cowgirls opened red hot, taking a 41-9 lead at one point.
Donald Williams said she does not expect things to be so easy this time around.
“They’re extremely dangerous. They’ve won three in a row,” she said. “We have to move on from what happened at their place. We played great. But I have no doubt they will be ready to respond (tonight) at 5:30.”