The LadyKats will hit the road Thursday to take on the Louisiana-Monroe Lady Indians.
The two teams last met in Huntsville on Jan. 23, where the Indians came out victorious 60-50.
Stephanie Trachier shot 67 percent, 8-for-12, from the field to score a career-high 24 points, and Shauna Singleton grabbed 10 rebounds, but it just wasn’t enough to combat the Indians in the first ULM game.
The Indians only shot 34 percent, 19-for-56, from the field, but the LadyKats had an even worse shooting night, hitting just 28 percent, 16-of-57, of their shots.
“If you look at the box scores, the stats for both teams were pretty much the same,” head coach Erika Ritter said. “It’s very important for us to come out and play at the beginning of the game, with a lot of emotion and a lot of energy, and really not play down to our competition.”
Trachier herself was a big threat to the ULM defense, but the Indians didn’t have any certain players who posed a threat. In fact, only two Indians, Michelle Biley with 11 and D’Wayna Freeman with10, finished with double-digit points.
“If they’re not scoring inside, they’ll be able to score from the outside,” Ritter said. “I think we’ve been playing pretty good defense as a whole, it’s just that we haven’t really allowed too many offensive rebounds.”
Ritter believes for her team to succeed Thursday, they have to take control of the game from the beginning and force ULM to play its game.
“We need to come out and force it to be an up-tempo game,” Ritter said. “It’s very easy at ULM to get lulled into a very lackadaisical game, and it’s very important that we avoid that.”
The LadyKats will also have to adapt to the ULM style of play and use it against the Lady Indians.
“They do have a full-court press that they run very well, and we need to use that to our advantage,” Ritter said. “And I think it is to our advantage, because we usually are better when we can get the ball and go and score off of transition.”
The LadyKats got a bit of a scare Saturday when Katrina Barclay left the game in the first half with what appeared to be a torn knee ligament. Fortunately, it doesn’t look to be that serious, and Barclay is already back, practicing with the team.
“We haven’t had her into the doctor yet,” Ritter said. “But our trainers believe that she didn’t tear anything. She has been practicing and is expected to play.”
On Saturday the LadyKats take on fourth place Northwestern State. The Kats upset Northwestern on Jan. 25 in overtime 77-69.
Trachier led the way for SHSU with 16 points and Crystal Jackson pulled down 16 boards. The LadyKats outscored the Demons 15-7 in OT thanks to 80 percent shooting from the field.
Northwestern State boasts the conference’s leading scoring offense with 72.7 points per game and is led by Ansenior guard Angela Davidson, who averages over 13 points per game.
The game in Monroe will begin at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m.
The LadyKats will return to Huntsville for the final game of the regular season Wednesday to take on McNeese State at 5:30 p.m.