The Wichita State Shockers and the Sam Houston State women’s basketball teams will collide Thursday night at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum for their second matchup since each team’s conception.
Wichita State is driving into Huntsville on a three-game win streak with the Bearkats coming off of a loss at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. SHSU is planning an offensive-heavy game against the Shockers.
Bearkats head coach Brenda Nichols stressed the positives the team maintained throughout the season.
“Our players challenged a very athletic team and handled the pressure extremely well,” she said. “They came with their boxing gloves on [against Alabama-Birmingham.]”
SHSU will have to keep those boxing gloves nearby for WSU as senior forward Michelle Price has set the Shockers ablaze this season. Her best game came against Kansas State where she posted a career best 25 points while reeling in 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the 69-46 contest.
“She’s a beast on the boards,” Nichols said. “We will do our best to contain her and box her out.”
Junior guard and forward Alex Harden has dropped 15 points per game for the Shockers’ offense this season. Price has headed the stats board with a comfortable lead above all scorers with 11 points in the Southeast Missouri State match, contributing to WSU’s healthy 21-point victory.
However, the Bearkats also have a well-stocked offensive arsenal to neutralize Price.
Junior post Angela Beadle racked up a career-high 30 points while snatching 16 rebounds in the overtime thriller against Rice University last week.
As the Bearkats’ strongest force inside the paint, Beadle has maintained strong numbers under the rim, averaging 17 points per game and 10.6 rebounds.
Senior guard Jasmine Johnson complements Beadle on the perimeter as she has orchestrated a smooth-running offense for the Bearkats this season with 15.7 points per game. Johnson has assisted on 43 plays this season, opening the floor up for junior guard Jazmin Wiley at the corners with senior forward Nyha Carter bringing up the rear inside the paint.
Wiley drained two crucial free throws at the end of the Rice game, lifting SHSU to a 73-69 lead.
Carter also connected on two late free throws against the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the final seven seconds to allow the Bearkats to pull out the win.
Both ball clubs are evenly matched, and they will bring high offensive production.
With Price being the main attack for WSU, SHSU will look to quiet her by shutting down the driving lanes, junior guard Summer Fife said.
“We plan on containing them with a 3-2 and a 2-3 zone,” she said. “It forces them to have to shoot from the outside.”
Fife has seen exponential time on the hardwood throughout the season as one of the Bearkats’ targeted sharp shooters.
Nichols said she wants the team to take the aggressiveness from the loss and bring it to the floor against Wichita State.
“We have to come out fighting from the get go,” she said. “Not wait till the end.”