Women's Basketball Looks to Return to Winning Ways at Home
McMurry University women's basketball will play just its third home game of the season on Thursday evening when it hosts Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Tipoff at Kimbrell Arena is slated for 5:30 p.m. as the front end of a women's-men's doubleheader versus the Aggies.
The game – as well as the men's contest following at 7:30 p.m. – can be heard live in the Abilene area on KZQQ 1560-AM, as well as on all of the stations of the War Hawk Radio Network. Fans worldwide can listen live via the internet by going to: www.hprnetwork.com and following the links to listen live. A live video link is also available by going to: www.mcmurryuniversity.skyboxlive.com and following the link to basketball.
The War Hawks (6-10) will be playing on their home floor for three-consecutive contests, after an early schedule that had them on the road for 14 of their first 16 games. McM is coming off of a 72-60 loss at HC leader St. Mary's on Saturday.
The first half was extremely competitive between the War Hawks and Rattlers as the frame saw seven lead changes and eight ties in a 30-30 game. In the second half, the game would be tied just one more time as the two teams exchanged buckets to open the frame. Tied at 32-32, St. Mary's went on an 11-0 run that spanned just four minutes, to jump out to a 43-32 lead with 16:03 left in the contest. The War Hawks would cut the difference to as few as four, but that is as close as McMurry would get.
Junior Keshia Collins leads McMurry in scoring at 12.9 points per game, which ranks 12th in the Heartland scoring parade. Collins is also seventh in rebounds (6.8 r.p.g.) and tops the league in steals at 3.2 “thefts” per game.
McM teammate Rikeita Thomas is 22nd on the circuit in scoring at 9.3 p.p.g.
Senior M.J. Vickers made her first two starts of the season last weekend, after joining the hoops team following volleyball season. In her first start (versus Texas A&M-International), her buzzer-beating three-point basket provided the margin of victory, 59-56, last Thursday. Vickers is averaging 5.6 p.p.g. and 4.5 r.p.g in her eight games played.
OPSU is coming off of a big win on Saturday in which it snapped six-game losing streak with a win over Arkansas-Fort Smith, 66-62, at home. The Aggies' four wins have all come either at home (3) or at a neutral site (1), carrying a 0-7 burden when playing on an opponent's home floor.
Whitley Coca has carried the OPSU team on her back offensively. Coca is second in Heartland Conference scoring at 16.1 p.p.g. and has topped her team in scoring in 12 of 16 outings. She is also second in HC assists at 4.2 helps per game.
Meagan Bell is among the Heartland's top three-point shooters, hitting better than 40 percent of her attempts (26-64) and averaging 1.5 makes per game.
In the rebounding department, Shayla Mathis (6.3 r.p.g.) and Sharice Papaleo (5.9 r.p.g.) rank Nos. 10 and 13, respectively, in the league.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.