Returning veterans pacing women’s basketball in conference

Nicholls State University’s women’s basketball team is working on improving their communication to step up their play in Southland Conference.

After seven games, the Colonels stand at 4-3 in the Southland Conference, with games this week against the University of New Orleans and the University of Incarnate Word. The Colonels have five home games remaining, and six on the road before the conference tournament.

“The chemistry among the players is in a place that is making us better, both offensively and defensively, but that is always going to be a work-in-progress.” DoBee Plaisance, head coach, said. “The big piece is communication and how close we become as a team, the better that communication piece is going to be.”

The Colonels’ immediate goal is to win the regular season championship. According to Plaisance, making it to post-season play was the main goal of the women’s basketball program before her tenure.

“Now the expectations are to make to post-season play with a regular season championship already in hand,” Plaisance said.

Nicholls was downed by University of Central Arkansas at home Saturday. The Colonels had the lead for most of the game until the mid of the third quarter, where they finished down by five points (65-71).
“We have been very close in a number of games,” Plaisance said, “but in certain areas we just weren’t good enough.”

The loss put an end to Nicholls’ four-game streak victory over UCA. Despite the defeat, senior forward LiAnn McCarthy scored her season-high 26 points and freshman guard Cassidy Barrios contributed with 20 points.

Previously, Nicholls achieved its third consecutive win in Southland Conference over Northwestern State (70-61), connecting on 14 3-pointers for the third time in the program’s history. Nicholls shot 40.7 percent for the game and had 17 assists on 24 field goals.

Junior guard Taylor Morrison achieved a career-high with 18 points and led the Colonels from the 3-point line. McCarthy scored four 3-point shots and added 16 points. Redshirt junior guard Hope Pawlowski had 12 points and Marina Lilly led the team with 11 rebounds. The Colonels also finished the game with a season low of nine turnovers.

Sophomore guard Tia Charles, one of the team captains, is back in the fold after being injured and contributed to the game with nine points and two steals.

Coming off of the game against UNO on Wednesday, the Colonels will take on University of Incarnate Word on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas and again at home the Wednesday after.

“Every time I walk on a floor, I expect to win and it doesn’t matter who I am playing,” Plaisance said. “If we play hard, if we play smart and are disciplined, it will be a good night for the Colonels.”
The Colonels are focusing their practices on improving their defensive game.

“We cannot have drop-offs or letdowns. Rebounds are one of our weaknesses, so we have to step up and win this game.” Hope said.

Plaisance said Morrison and McCarthy are stepping up and showing vocal leaderships on the court.

“I think that in comparison to the last game against UCA, I am going to have to focus on the defensive side of things,” McCarthy said. “We all have to focus on defense and communication.”

Nicholls won’t be playing with guard Emani White on the court, but Plaisance said she has been a good vocal support on the sidelines. White is battling lupus and is going to be out for the rest of the season.

“We pray to God that she will be back next year,” Plaisance said.