Lady Toppers prep for ULM

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles, senior forward Dominique Duck and junior guard Hope Brown spoke with the media Monday afternoon about the Lady Toppers’ upcoming game at Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday.

Western (13-8, 7-3 SBC) was ousted from the Sun Belt Tournament last season by the Warhawks in a first-round game in Diddle Arena.

Senior forward Dominique Duck on consistency:

“I think we have a lot of momentum going for us, minus the Middle (Tennessee) game. We kind of regrouped after the Middle game and got a great win against North Texas, and we’re kind of just trying to keep that same energy and excitement going and keep the same positive attitude we’ve all had.”

On finding a way to maintain energy:

“We just need to come out ready to play ball when it’s tipped. I think that’s just one of the things we need to focus on going into practice today and the game Wednesday – just everybody being ready to play.”

Junior guard Hope Brown on Western’s postseason loss to ULM last year:

“It might have been my worst feeling. I couldn’t believe it when it happened, but like Dominique said, we have put in a lot of work, and we’re getting better every day, so going down there is going to be a great test.”

On what she remembers most about the Warhawks from that game:

“They climbed our back on the boards, and they play hard. We’ve got to come out ready to play no matter who we play, but this is one of the teams that does the little things just because they lack certain things.”

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles on getting consistent effort each night:

“That’s got to be something that we learn from. No matter who our opponent is, we’ve got to be disciplined enough mentally to approach every game the same way, no matter if we’re home or on the road.”

On using last year’s game as motivation:

“I’m glad our players remember last year’s game, because it’s what kept us from going to Hot Springs. They were a very good basketball team last year, and they obviously are again this year … so I think our game plan going in is that we’re very prepared for what they can do. I hope if nothing else then the motivation of what we allowed to happen last year here on our home floor at the end of the season is the main reason our ladies are looking forward to this matchup.”

On whether or not the loss last season is being mentioned:

“I think it’s something within the players that they understand. Yeah, I’ve brought it up, I’ll go ahead and admit it, because that was just a real devastating loss that went along with the rest of a very difficult season.”

On the Warhawks’ rebounding prowess:

“With their ability to shoot from the outside, when they do miss, there’s going to be lots of long rebounds, and we’ve got to do a great job of boxing out. That’s been very evident on film – how strong they are and how hard they go to the boards. We struggled with that last year, so that’s something we simply have to take care of.”

On ULM guard Jesse Carrier, who is averaging 11.3 points per game:

“We’ve got to put a hand in the face of their shooters. Carrier’s proven herself to us – we’re very familiar with her. Carrier’s a great, great shooting guard, so we’ve got to know where she is on the perimeter.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Visit after for a full recap.

-Zach Greenwell


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