Women’s Hysteria notes: Owens shines with Brown, Howard resting

Junior forward LaTeira Owens scored 12 of the Red team’s 18 points and had 10 rebounds at WKU’s Oct. 16 Hilltopper Hysteria.

Cole Claybourn

While Friday night wasn’t the first official practice for the Lady Toppers, who started practicing on Oct. 7, it was the first time that they were able to show the fans some of what they’ll see this season.

Owens puts up double-double

LaTeira Owens, a 6-1 junior, had 12 of the Red team’s 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, leading them to an 18-10 win over the White team in the 15-minute running clock scrimmage.

Owens didn’t dwell too much on her own stats, rather focusing on how the team meshed during their scrimmage.

“It felt good. We just wanted to play hard from the jump,” she said. “That’s the main thing from tonight. We just wanted to play hard, and I guess it showed.”

Means runs the point, Cowles impressed

Freshman guard Chaney Means started at point guard for the Red team, and started quite well according to Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles.

“Chaney has felt comfortable since the day we started, and I’ve been very impressed with her,” Cowles said. “She’s a basketball player that’s grown up with the ball in her hand and running the point. It’s no surprise how well adjusted Chaney had demonstrated herself.”

Means said she felt a little nervous being a freshman and going through her first Hilltopper Hysteria, but said those feelings didn’t last long once she started playing.

“It’s awesome just seeing the support that WKU has, and I saw a lot of students out there,” she said. “It’s cool to see the people that you go to class with supporting you.

“We have a lot of great upperclassmen, and they’ve helped me a lot — just learning the plays and everything,” she said. “As a freshman point guard, it’s tough mentally having to go through all of that. But I’m excited, and I can tell that I’ve gotten a lot better in just the few weeks I’ve had here.”

Freshman Ellen Sholtes also played the entire 15-minute scrimmage, contributing a sequence where she blocked a shot then followed it up with a lay-up on the other end.

Brown, Howard sit out to rest injuries

Neither sophomore forward Janae Howard nor senior forward Arnika Brown logged a minute on Friday.

Cowles said the Brown had a “slight” pull in her hamstring, but said she’s “fine” and should be back in practice this weekend.

“It’s only Oct. 15, so we didn’t want to chance anything and just give her the appropriate amount of time that our athletic training staff thinks she needs,” Cowles said.

Cowles said Howard’s injury came after suffering a bad fall in practice at the beginning of last week, and that keeping her out of the festivities Friday night was a precautionary measure as well.

“We just felt like it was best, being as early as it is in the season (to sit them),” she said. “But they’re nothing that we’re concerned with or fearing.”

Former player (Rich) Pharis back with new role

The freshmen weren’t the only ones experiencing new surroundings on Friday. Kenzie (Rich) Pharis was back in familiar Diddle Arena, but this time it was on the sidelines instead of a uniform. The recently married Pharris played four years for the Lady Toppers before becoming a graduate assistant this past offseason.

Cowles happy with turnout

According to WKU Media Relations, nearly 3,000 fans showed up to Hysteria to see the two teams for the first time this season.

“Our fans have bought in to this and really grown to enjoy it,” Cowles said. “That’s really what it’s all about — the fans. It’s a time to give them a sneak peak of the teams, and also just to signify that basketball season is finally here.”