Lady Toppers to open C-USA play at Louisiana Tech

Junior Meral Abdelgawad defending Mercer redshirt senior Naomi Van Nes on Dec. 18, 2020. The Lady Topper lost 71-54 to Mercer. 

Drew Toennies

Following the postponement of the Lady Topper’s season opener against the Charlotte 49ers last Wednesday, head coach Greg Collins addressed the media about their matchup against Conference USA opponent, the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (6-2), (1-1, C-USA) this weekend.

Collins assured the team has been doing well with staying safe and healthy during the pandemic. 

“Social distancing, wearing your mask, washing your hands, even if you do all those things, it’s not a guarantee,” Collins said. “So, we’ve got to do everything we can and we have done that.”

Collins also revealed that Raneem Elgedawy has returned to Bowling Green.

“Raneem is doing well,” Collins said. “She’s on the campus going through her protocol. Right now, we just have to wait and see how things work out.”

According to Collins, this weekend will be tough because the Lady Techsters have maintained most of their players from last season’s roster.

“They got a great trio, some good kids playing inside Robert Simmons,” Collins said. “They gave us a tough game and they had a big win in the conference tournament.”

The Techsters have the largest turnover ratio with 20.8 against teams this season, while also having 291 defensive rebounds this season.

“They’re very active, very aggressive,” Collins said. “They do a great job of pressuring the passes. What we’ve been working on the most is making sure we take care of the ball and we make the easy pass.”

Collins also talked about what the team has been working on in practice over the break.

“I think the team chemistry is real positive,” Collins said. “We just need to execute better, play better, take care of the ball, shoot the ball better.”

Collins also said that he is confident in his team’s ability to shoot the ball well, but they have been working on not turning the ball over 22 times in a game. 

“The thing that we’re working on the most is making sure that we move the ball and get the ball in the best shooter’s hands,” Collins said.

Collins emphasized once again that so far in the season, the most notable leader on the team has been junior Meral Abdelgawad. 

“I think Meral Abdelgawad has stepped up into a leadership role,” Collins said. “She’s the one that is really reaching out to every player all the time, trying to encourage them, lift them up, and help them to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Lady Toppers (1-5) will tip-off conference play on the road against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. in Ruston, Louisiana. 

Women’s basketball beat reporter Drew Toennies at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.