Lady Tigers hope to improve on 6-0 start
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Jan. 21, 2002
LIVINGSTON, Ala. The University of West Alabama Lady Tigers are off to an unprecedented start in the Eastern Division of the Gulf South Conference.
First-year head coach Amanda Marks has her team in first place in the GSC East with an unblemished 6-0 record. Tonight, the Lady Tigers try to make it seven straight when they host Alabama-Huntsville in a divisional game at Pruitt Hall at 5:30 p.m.
Marks, who played at North Alabama and was the head coach for five seasons at Calhoun Community College, credits her players for rising to the occasion in conference play.
Really, it's been the players who have stepped up," she said. "Tausha Evans, our freshman guard from Philadelphia, was named GSC Player of the Week last week. She scored 31 in our (79-75) win over North Alabama.
Marks says, however, that the key victory was one back in early December.
On Dec. 28, the Lady Tigers suffered a hard loss to three-time GSC champion and two-time NCAA Division II Southern Region champ Delta State, 74-41 in Columbus in tournament. Since then, West Alabama has rebounded winning its next seven games.
They will enter tonight's game with UAH with an impressive overall record of 13-2 and are vying to stay among the top six in the NCAA South Division II poll. The top six teams are invited to the regionals.
Huntsville comes in with a 2-3 record in the conference.
The top four teams from the east and west divisions advance to the GSC Championships set for the BanCorp Coliseum in Tupelo.
West Alabama Athletic Director Dee Outlaw says this is the best Lady Tiger team he's seen in his 21 years at the Livingston-based school.
Evans, a 5-foot-1 guard out of Neshoba Central, leads the Lady Tigers with 14.2 points per game. She is an 80.8 percent free throw shooter and also leads the team with 26 made three-pointers.
Senior point guard Thelma Hearn, who prepped at Central Academy in Macon, is next with 10.3 ppg., and is the team leader in assists (76) and steals (55).
The post play is led by Pete (8.3 ppg., 5.8 rebounds) and forward Kim Cooper (9.5 ppg., 6.1 rpg.). Small forward Nikki Jones adds 9.1 points and has made 20 three-pointers.
As a team, West Alabama is shooting 72.8 percent from the line and is averaging 68.1 points per game.