WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Lady Tops face unknown team

J. Michael Moore

Type in “Houston Jaguars” on an Internet search engine and you can understand the Lady Toppers’ dilemma.

It’s two days before the Jaguars roll into town for an exhibition game, and Western knows little, if anything, about them.

The best Mary Taylor Cowles and her staff can do is get a couple of box scores or news stories from a year ago.

But that means little in the long run.

The two squads face off at 4 p.m. Saturday in Diddle Arena in a game situation, but the stats won’t count.

It’s the only exhibition game for the Lady Toppers before they face Louisiana Tech Nov. 23 to open the season. Cowles said scheduling only one game was not a conscious decision, just bad luck for her efforts to pull together a stronger regular season line-up.

“Obviously, I like to use an exhibition game to see what kind of progress that we made,” Cowles said. “I think the girls are looking forward to competing with someone other than themselves.”

Cowles said she’s seen a Jaguars’ box score, but aside from that, she has no roster or game film to prepare by. She just knows what her team needs to do to win in general.

“No. 1, we have to box out and not allow people to get offensive board after offensive board,” Cowles said. “We have to make sure that we take care of the ball and give ourselves an opportunity every time that we’re on offense.”

Now it’s time to see if the plan works.

Senior guard Kristina Covington is looking forward to Saturday to see where everyone fits in on the team.

“You have to work with the things you do as a team,” Covington said. “You also realize what your job is as a member of the team.”

Covington said it doesn’t matter that the Lady Toppers know very little about their opponent. The Jaguars beat Oklahoma State last year, so she expects quality competition.

The game will also mark the curtain’s rise for newly renovated Diddle. For the first 5,000 fans at the game, there will be replica hard hats waiting.

Reach J. Michael Moore at [email protected]