Ladyjacks To Play Henderson St. In Exhibition Saturday
Nov. 4, 2011
NACOGODCHES, Texas - Fans will get their first look at the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks basketball team Saturday, Nov. 5, when it opens the 2011-12 basketball season with their first and only exhibition game. The Ladyjacks will host Henderson State at 6 p.m. at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
After a year under his belt at Stephen F. Austin State University, second-year head coach Brandon Schneider will look to lead the Ladyjacks basketball team to new heights following a 12-18 2010-11 season and first round exit in the conference championship tournament. The Ladyjacks will undergo a hefty roster change this season with only four returnees and nine newcomers.
Headlining the returning roster is senior guard Tammara Marion, a preseason first-team all-conference selection this year after averaging 16.1 points (third best in the Southland) and 3.3 rebounds per game in 2010-11. The most reliable outside shooter on the team last season, Marion connected on 72-of-198 three-point attempts for a clip of .364, both of which led the team. The Houston, Texas, native also shot a career-high percentage from the charity stripe by knocking down 88-of-100 free throws (.880), a mark that ranked second in the conference and 14th in the nation.
Also returning is senior guard Courtney Conwright, who was one of only two Ladyjacks to start all 30 games last season. The DeSoto, Texas, native is coming off a season in which she averaged 8.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Conwright also led last year's team with 39 steals.
Last year's starting center Amina Sawyer also returns after playing in all 30 games last season, starting 21 of those. The senior led the team and finished fourth in the Southland with 1.4 blocks per game, along with 4.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game. Sophomore forward Sha Turner is the youngest returnee after playing in 25 games last season as a true freshman. The Duncanville, Texas, native averaged 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and will help provide some size to the Ladyjacks backcourt in 2011.
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of the Ladyjacks' 2011-12 season will be the incorporation of one of, if not the top, recruiting classes in the conference, which includes six freshmen and two transfers.
Two of the incoming prospects - Daylyn Harris, Ashley Bettis - are ranked as top-40 recruits in Texas according to multiple publications, while Tierany Henderson, Brittney Matthew, Iemah Wallace-Perry and Porsha Roberts bring plenty of success from their high school careers as well.
Harris, a small forward, is part of a Lady Lions' team that was ranked in the TABC top-25 to begin the 2010-11 season. She averaged nearly 20 points per game as a junior and has earned all-state honors each of the past two seasons. Stephen F. Austin went deeper into the Houston area to pluck away Channelview's Ashley Bettis, a combo guard who averaged 14.7 points per game as a junior.
Matthew set single-season scoring record for either boys or girls as a freshman, averaging 19 points per contest. Wallace-Perry averaged 14.2 points, 2.3 assists and 2.6 steals per game as a senior.
The two transfers are sophomore Annette Davis (Kansas) and junior Wykeia Sanders (Western Texas JC). Davis played in 15 games for the Jayhawks averaging 15 minutes per game. Sanders, a post originally from Minden, La., spent a pair of years at WTC and averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds as a sophomore for the Lady Westerners as a sophomore in 2010-11.
The Ladyjacks will open the regular season Friday, Nov. 11 when they travel to Monroe, La. to take on Louisiana-Monroe. The game is slated to tip off at 7 p.m.