The McNeese State Cowgirls will be the second Southland Conference team in a row that Texas plays. The Cowgirls bring a 5-3 record to the Frank Erwin Center this Wednesday night. Texas, ranked 3rd in the latest AP and Coaches polls, is 8-0. McNeese State had a two game winning streak snapped Saturday with 66-63 loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Texas holds a 5-0 edge in the series with the last game taking place on December 1, 2005. Texas is the second top five team the Cowgirls will have faced since playing Texas A&M on November 26. Allison Baggett (# 1, 5-9 Jr. G) was named to last season’s first team Southland Conference (SLC) team. She started this season being named to the SLC preseason first team. She leads the Cowgirls in scoring (17.1 ppg), minutes & average minutes (234/29.3 mpg), FGs made & attempted (55-150, 36.7%), 3pters made & attempted (11-37, 29.7%), FT% (88.9), and ranks second in steals with 9 and blocks with 2. Jayln Johnson (# 3, 5-5 Jr. G) is second in scoring with an average of 8.8 ppg. Three players have at least 41 FG attempts: Johnson (16-42, 38.1%), Haily Jenkins (# 24, 5-9 Soph. G; 13-42, 31.0%) and Victoria Rachal (# 33, 5-7 Soph. G; 11-41, 26.8%). Talisa Boyd (# 34, 6-0 Sr. F) is first in FG% (55.6%) and fourth in FGs attempted (20-36). Five Cowgirls have hit double figures in 3pt attempts. Baggett (11-37, 29.7%) and Amber Donnes (# 23, 5-9 Soph. G; 5-22, 22.7%) are the main threats to shoot from BTA. Jenkins at 6-15. 40.0%) is the most accurate of the five. Johnson has more than double the number of FTs of the next closest player. Johnson has made 35 of 44 FTs (79.5%) while Ann Nwosah (# 44, 6-0 Fr.P) has hit 16-20 (80.0%). McNeese State has three players with at least 4 rpg: Boyd (5.8 rpg), Frederica Haywood (# 25, 6-1 Fr. F) at 5.0 rpg and Mercedes Rogers (# 21, 6-0 RS Fr. F) with 4.3 rpg. Four others average at least 3 rpg. Johnson (2.5 apg), Rachal (1.5 apg), Donnes (1.3 apg) and Baggett (1.3apg) have 52 of the team’s 72 assists. Rogers and Haywood lead McNeese State with 10 steals each. Baggett is second with nine. The Cowgirls are not a big shot blocking team with 10 blocks to the team’s credit. Jerica Bolin (# 14, 6-3 Fr. P) leads the way with four blocks. Baggett, Nwosah and Jasmyn Carswell (# 5, 6-0 Fr. F) each has registered two blocks. The Cowgirls have had the same starting lineup for the past three games, two wins and a loss. The starting lineup that has gone 2-1 in the last three games consists of: Baggett, Johnson, Rogers, Donnes and Boyd. Baggett is the only player to start all eight games for McNeese State. Johnson and Boyd have seven starts. Eight others have between one and five starts. The Cowgirls have lost Dede Sheppard (# 4, 5-8 Fr. G) for the season due to an injury in the second game of the season. That still leaves them with 15 active players on the roster. Ten have played in all eight games to date. Two have seen action in seven games. Three others have gotten into between two and five games. Only Baggett (29.3 mpg) and Johnson (25.1 mpg) average over 20 mpg. Nine others average between 11 and 18 mpg. The team is young with only two seniors and two juniors and four sophs to go with seven frosh and one redshirt freshman. While the Horns continue to have three players in double figures, only two are playing at this time. Kelsey (13.1 ppg) and Nneka (12.0 ppg) are the two leading scorers for Texas. Ariel, at 10.6 ppg, is out indefinitely due to an ankle injury. Three Horns are making over 50% of their FGs, contributing to the team’s 45.8% FG% which is tied for third in the league. Kelsey leads in FGs made and attempted and FG% at 50-82 for 61.0%. Nneka is second in FG% at 59.0% on 36 of 61. Brianna’s 54.7% comes from hitting 29 of 53 FGs attempted. Only Nneka, Lilley and Diani have yet to attempt a 3. Of those taking at least ten 3pters, Brooke leads the way with 12-28 (42.9%). Brady is second with 6-18 (33.3%). Those two combine for 18 of the 31 treys made by Texas (58.1%). Nneka continues to lead in FTs attempts with 41. She has hit on 24 (58.5%). This is Nneka’s one weak spot this season so far. Even though she has missed one game, Ariel still leads in FTs made with 27. She also has the highest FT % at 87.1%. She, Brady (16-19, 84.2%) and Tasia (12-15, 80.0%) are the ones we want on the FT line. Surprisingly, Kelsey, for all the banging inside, has only been to the FT line eight times (made five for 62.5%). None of our posts are doing a very good job at the FT line with Kelsey’s FT% topping the posts with Nneka second at 58.5%.Nneka (8.6 rpg) and Kelsey (6.1 rpg) rank one-two in this category. Brianna is third at 5.0 rpg. While Celina tops the team in total assists with 23, she is tied with Brady at 2.9 apg. Empress adds another passing threat at 2.4 apg. The Horns are missing their top ballhawk as Ariel has 15 steals. Brooke with ten steals is second. Nneka has nine and Kelsey and Brianna each has seven steals. Nneka (14) and Kelsey (9) combine for 23 of the team’s 31 blocks (74.2%). Eight players have at least one start in the first eight games. Kelsey, Nneka and Empress have started all eight games. Brady has joined the starting lineup the last three games. In Sunday’s game, the starting lineup had Brooke joining Brady, Empress, Kelsey and Nneka. Kelsey’s 27.0 mpg leads a group of six players that are averaging at least 20 mpg. Four are averaging less than 20 but at least 10 mpg. Projected starters based on the last game: [pre] Texas McNeese State Nneka (6-1 Sr. F) Boyd (6-0 Sr. F) Kelsey (6-5 Soph. C) Rogers (6-0 RS Fr. G) Brady (5-11 RS Jr. G) Donnes (5-9 Soph. G) Empress (5-7 Jr. G) Baggett (5-9 Jr. G) Brooke (5-4 Fr. G) Johnson (5-5 Jr. G) [/pre] McNeese State had trouble with A&M’s posts, with the Aggies’ three top posts going 11-15 from the field. The going won’t be any easier against Texas. Nneka and Kelsey are the top scorers for the Horns and that is unlikely to change in this game. Even with the game plan the last few games being to collapse inside on the posts and force Texas to score from the outside. Nekia and Brianna have also been effective in the post off the bench. So far, Texas has had different players step up to hit from the outside to negate the collapsing defense. The pressure that the Texas guards can apply is likely to force more than the 16 TOs the Cowgirls had against A&M. Our guards rotate a lot every game. This should be no different. Our posts coming off the bench, Nekia, Brianna (who also plays on the wing), Lilley and Diani should be plenty of playing time against the outmanned Cowgirl posts. For Texas, the defensive focus will be on stopping or at least slowing down Baggett, McNeese State’s do everything guard. While Ariel will not be available to throw at her, Empress, Brianna, Brady and others should be able to harass Baggett all game. TEAM STATISTICS Texas (8-0) McNeese State (5-3) -------------------------------------------------------------- SCORING.................. 614 517 Points per game........ 76.8 64.6 Scoring margin......... +25.4 -0.5 FIELD GOALS-ATT.......... 234-511 183-513 Field goal pct.......... .458 .357 FG made per game. 29.3 22.9 FG att. per game… 63.9 64.1 3 POINT FG-ATT........... 31-100 28-117 3-point FG pct.......... .310 .239 3-pt FG made per game.. 3.9 3.5 3-pt FG att. per game….. 12.5 14.6 FREE THROWS-ATT.......... 115-176 123-182 Free throw pct.......... .653 .676 F-Throws made per game. 14.4 15.4 FTs attempted per game... 22.0 22.8 REBOUNDS................. 362 333 Rebounds per game...... 45.3 41.6 Rebounding margin...... +15.7 +2.8ASSISTS.................. 134 72 Assists per game....... 16.8 9.0 TURNOVERS................ 116 132 Turnovers per game..... 14.5 16.5 Turnover margin........ +4.8 +3.3 Assist/turnover ratio.. 1.2 0.5 STEALS................... 71 68 Steals per game........ 8.9 8.5 BLOCKS................... 31 10 Blocks per game........ 3.9 1.3 WINNING STREAK........... 8 -0- Home win streak........ 6 4 ATTENDANCE............... 20968 2644 Home games-Avg/Game.... 6-3495 6-441 [pre] Ave. Score by Period: 1st 2nd OT Total -------------------- ---- ---- ---- ----- Texas................. 39.6 35.6 1.5 76.8 McNeese State...... 29.5 35.1 - 64.6 [/pre] The only statistical edge McNeese State has is shooting FTs a bit better than Texas: 67.6% to 65.3%. Otherwise, Texas has a big edge in pretty much every statistical category. While the rebounding average is not far apart, 45.3 to 41.6 but Texas holds a rebounding margin of plus 15.7 compared to 2.8 for McNeese State. Horns should dominate inside, both scoring and rebounding. From the McNeese State website: Cowgirls Travel To No. 3 Texas On Wednesday This also has a link “Watch Live” at the top of the article which goes to WatchESPN if you do not get the LHN. From the Texassports.com website: No. 3/3 Women's Basketball preview: McNeese State Well, the FAQ link is currently not working. Maybe it will work on Wednesday. From Rick Cantu on the AAS: Texas vs. McNeese State: probable starters, notes Game time is 7 PM CST. It will be televised on the Longhorn Network. KVET 1300 AM will carry the game.