2019 Southland Women’s Basketball Tournament Begins Thursday

first_imgKATY, Texas – The 2019 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday afternoon at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Lamar claimed the tournament’s No. 1 seed after concluding regular-season conference play with a 17-1 record. The regular-season title marks the second straight for the Cardinals and the fourth in program history.Tournament play tips off Thursday at 11 a.m. CT with No. 8 Central Arkansas taking on No. 5 Sam Houston State, followed by No. 7 New Orleans vs. No. 6 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 1:30 p.m.No. 3 Nicholls and No. 4 Abilene Christian received single-round byes to the quarterfinal rounds, while No. 1 Lamar and No. 2 Stephen F. Austin each earned a pair of byes to the semifinal rounds.The 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball selection show is slated for 6 p.m. CT Monday, March 18 on ESPN. The opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament are set to be hosted on 16 non-predetermined campus sites.No. 1 Lamar Cardinals (24-5, 17-1 SLC)The Cardinals have, so far, lived up to their reputation after being the preseason selection to win the Southland Conference title. Lamar is currently riding a seven-game win streak, outscoring opponents by a 16.7 points margin for the season. Chastadie Barrs enters postseason play after becoming the third Cardinal player in program history to be named the Southland Conference Player of the year. Barrs also earned her fourth consecutive Southland Defensive Player of the Year honor and her fourth All-Defensive team nod after setting a NCAA Division I career steals record that currently sits at 639. The Cards have flown through their schedule scoring 78.1 points per game on the shoulders of senior guard Moe Kinard who averages 20.7 points per contest on a staggering 45.2-percent shooting mark. Lamar landed Kinard, Barrs and freshman Miya Crump to the all-conference squads.No. 2 Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (25-5, 16-2 SLC)Stephen F. Austin enters the conference tournament after securing a pair of First Team All-Conference selections in Chanell Hayes and Imani Johnson, and an all-Defensive honoree, Stephanie Visscher. The Ladyjacks maintained an offensive swagger throughout the season by spreading the ball and averaging a conference-best 17.7 assists per game. SFA has routinely flustered teams by limiting their opponents to a 35.3-percent field goal mark and a 35.4-percent three-point average. Defense has remained key for the Ladyjacks squad that has held teams to 56.7 points per game.No. 3 Nicholls Colonels (20-10, 14-4 SLC)Senior Cassidy Barrios has led the Colonels to a scorching seven-game win streak to conclude their regular-season slate. Nicholls is no stranger to working for their points as the squad stands third nationally with 509 made free throws throughout the season. Barrios, who was named First Team All-Conference and an All-Defensive Team selection, has made her presence known across the floor racking up 19 double-double performances this season. In its last seven games, Nicholls has overpowered opponents by a 13.14 scoring margin.No. 4 Abilene Christian Wildcats (20-9, 13-5 SLC)The Wildcats locked down a path to the Southland Tournament’s semifinal round with a 102-53 statement victory over Incarnate Word in the regular season-finale. ACU presents a balanced attack that ranks first in the conference for field goal percentage (46.1%) and rebounding margin (7.3). Sara Williamson, Dominique Golightly and Wright were named to the 2019 Southland All-Conference teams.No. 5 Sam Houston State Bearkats (16-12, 11-6 SLC)The Bearkats have mounted an incredible turnaround after finishing the 2017-18 season with a 1-17 conference record. Sam Houston State’s success this season can be credited in large part to first-year head coach and newly named Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Ravon Justice. Justice has coached her program to 11 Southland wins with four Bearkat players averaging double-scoring figures for the season. Jaylonn Walker headlined the Sam Houston State postseason superlatives, alongside Justice, as the Southland’s Newcomer of the Year and a Second Team All-Conference appearance. Walker leads her SHSU team with 15.3 points per game.No. 6 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (14-15, 8-10 SLC)Texas A&M-Corpus Christi locked down a pair of All-Conference Second Team selections in Alexes Bryant and Dalesia Booth. Bryant was also recognized with an All-Defensive Team spot after leading the Islanders with 63 blocks on the season and 2.33 per game. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has made a habit of smothering teams and forcing opponents into 20.3 turnovers per contest. The Islanders are led on offense by Booth, who is registering 11.6 points on 41.1-percent shooting. Bryant has cleaned the glass all year and leads her squad with 6.7 rebounds per game.No. 7 New Orleans Privateers (12-15, 8-10 SLC)New Orleans secured its third consecutive trip to the conference tournament last Thursday with a 46-45 victory at home against Southeastern Louisiana. Shania Woods was named Third Team All-Conference after leading the Privateers this season with 14.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. UNO makes its mark on opponents through second chance points as the Privateers rank 15th nationally with 16 offensive boards per contest.No. 8 Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (11-17, 6-12 SLC)Central Arkansas makes its way into the tournament as the No. 8 seed following a season filled with tenacious play. Defense has dictated the pace of UCA’s games as the Sugar Bears have mauled opposing offenses and held adversaries to 58.6 points per game. Kamry Orr, a Second Team All-Conference honoree, has been golden for Central Arkansas leading the team with 15.6 points and 3.6 assists for the season.last_img read more