With a four-game winning streak on the line, Northeastern A&M’s Lady Norse host the Eastern State College Lady Mountaineers in a 6 p.m. Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference game Monday in the NEO Fieldhouse.
Coach Jim Rowland’s Lady Norse are 10-6 on the season after Thursday’s 77-70 victory over Murray State College.
The Lady Norse (4-2 in the OCAC) make the long trip to Altus Wednesday for a 6 p.m. conference clash with Western State College.
“We have to realize we haven’t accomplished anything thus far,” Rowland said. “We have to come out every night and establish the defensive intensity that we had in the first semester.”
“I think our offense is starting to come around even though we had a couple of stagnant periods in the Murray State game,” Rowland said. “But, it's our defensive intensity that's going to carry us through.”
Entering his 19th season in three different stints with the Eastern State Lady Mountaineers, coach Andy Mace has compiled a 5-9 season mark and a 0-5 record in the conference.
The Lady Mountaineers suffered a 109-50 loss to Carl Albert State College last Thursday in Wilburton.
“They've got a couple of players that can really shoot the basketball,” Rowland said. “With eight sophomores, they have the experience to beat anybody at anytime.
“So we're really going to have to buckle down and guard because this will be a carbon copy of the Murray game if we don't take charge,” Rowland said. “We can't allow them to stay close or they will take advantage of that like Murray did.”
Eastern is expected to start sophomores Caitlin Cawhorn (5-4 of Sallisaw), Bianca Sands (5-7 of West Point, Ga.) and Kelsey Howard (5-8 of Konawa) at guards with veteran Shantoya Fisher (6-0 of Oklahoma City Millwood) and freshman Marissa Medrano (6-4 of Greenville, Texas) down in the blocks.
Freshman point guard Shea Bowden leads the Lady Norse with a 13.3 scoring average with 49 assists and 24 steals.
Joining Bowden in the Lady Norse backcourt are sophomore Kashei Hopkins and freshman Ashton Pittman.
Hopkins is averaging 5.1 points with 22 assists and 20 steals while Pittman has an 11-point scoring mark with 16 assists and 20 steals.
Comprising the Lady Norse front court are freshman Ashley Jordan and veteran Jelina Cerina.
Jordan is scoring 2.6 points per game while grabbing 6.1 rebounds per contest.
Cerina leads NEO with a 9.9 rebounding mark while averaging 12.2 points.