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Date Posted: Sat, February 19 2005, 12:56:02
Author: 87
Subject: Lady Mavs vs ULM Tonight

From the Monroe Paper, could be a tough night...

SLC's best awaits Lady Indians

By Paul J. Letlow

UTA at ULM women

Tipoff: 5:30 p.m.

Radio: None

Site: Fant-Ewing Coliseum

Records: UTA 15-7, 10-1 in SLC; ULM 15-7, 8-3

Series: ULM leads 29-17

Loose balls: ULM guards Gerline Guillaume and Stephanie Williams are both battling illness this week and their playing status for today is unknown. ... PG April O'Neal has made nine 3-pointers in her last three games. ... UTA won the first meeting in Arlington 58-44. UTA made 15-of-18 free throws in that game. ULM made just 8 of 19. ... ULM is 7-1 at home this year. ... The Mavs have at least one 3-pointer in 96 straight games.

When Louisiana-Monroe opened Southland Conference play with two wins and three losses, the Lady Indians were simply giving up too many points.

In the first five SLC games, ULM allowed 71.6 points per game.

"We started out conference, we gave up over 70 points in our first four games," ULM coach Mona Martin said. "Even though we won two of them, I came back and told the girls that we weren't playing defense."

Now riding a six-game winning streak, ULM (15-7, 8-3) is allowing 49 ppg in its last six outings. The difference is reflected in the SLC standings, where ULM has risen to second place.

Incoming today is first-place Texas Arlington, the last team to beat ULM back on Jan. 22. Tipoff at Fant-Ewing Coliseum is 5:30 p.m.

That 58-44 loss for ULM came almost a month ago in Arlington. Since then, things are clicking for the Lady Indians.

"Since the beginning of the season, it's like our whole attitude has changed," Martin said. "That's a big key for us, on the road or at home. We've got to play good defense."

In the last week, ULM has knocked off third-place Northwestern State and second-place Texas State on the road. The Lady Indians dismantled Texas State 86-49 on Wednesday night to pay back an 83-78 loss to the Lady Bobcats in Monroe.

"Our offense is finally coming around, but it's more because of what we're doing on the defensive end," Martin said. "We're getting some easy buckets. We're getting more inside/outside game."

Texas State handed UTA (15-7, 10-1) its only blemish with a 67-59 win in San Marcos on Feb. 5. Guard Terra Wallace leads the Mavs with 14.7 ppg while forward Rola Ogunoye averages 14.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg. Ogunoye scored 21 points in the first meeting with ULM.

"They are a lot like us in that they are athletic and quick," Martin said. "Their post players are the same size as ours. The biggest thing we have to do is contain the guards and stop the post."

A scary thought for ULM foes is the gradual return to health of All-SLC forward Nina Randle. Hampered by a nagging ankle sprain for much of the season, Randle delivered a vintage performance with 18 points and seven rebounds at Texas State.

"It was the old Nina," Martin said.

A flu bug hit the team this week, which has Martin concerned. Guards Gerline Guillaume and Stephanie Williams are both battling illness and their playing status for today is unknown.

"We've got a lot of sickness on our team," Martin said. "We don't know if G.G. will be able to play. Stephanie might not play. We've got to stay healthy. If we can do that, I think we still have a chance to win the conference. But this game is very important."

Originally published February 19, 2005

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