After opening the season with a 3-3 record in non-conference action, the LaGrange College women's basketball team is ecstatic to begin the USA South portion of its schedule with a 2 p.m. showdown at Berea Saturday.
"We have done some good things in our first six games, and we have identified areas where we need improvement," said LaGrange College Women's Basketball Head Coach Jasen Jonus. "One of the great things about our team is the willingness to learn, listen and be challenged every day. We all know Berea is a great program and it is going to take a complete team effort to pull out a win Saturday."
The Panthers are in search of their first victory in program history against the Mountaineers. Berea, which leads the all-time rivalry with a 6-0 record, swept the season series in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Two of the last three meetings were decided by two points, including a 76-74 overtime thriller in Mariotti Gym on Feb. 2, 2020.
Gracie Brunel and Jalaya Lewis are off to fast starts in 2021-22, averaging a combined 32.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.1 steals and 5.0 assists. Brunel has scored in double figures during all six games and dropped a career-high 26 points at Birmingham-Southern Saturday. Brunel ranks fourth in the USA South in steals (3.8) and eighth in points per game (16.8).
Lewis has scored 17 or more points four times this season, including recording a career-high 21 against Pensacola Christian Tuesday. The St. Simons Island, Georgia, native finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals, to go along with an 8-of-10 effort at the free-throw line, during a 73-68 triumph over No. 25 Millsaps Sunday.
THE JADA FACTOR:
Jada Strickland and Jada Brown rank first and second on the team with rebounding averages of 6.3 and 6.2, respectively. During an 80-72 season-opening win over Oglethorpe on Nov. 6, Strickland tallied her first collegiate double-double with career-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brown has scored double figures twice and grabbed seven or more rebounds on three occasions.
KEEP UP THE EFFORT MEGAN:
Megan English has contributed with a nice scoring punch, averaging 5.5 points and connecting on five treys. She has also done a great job on the boards, grabbing 5.5 per game and has drawn numerous offensive fouls.
KEEP IT ROLLING NEWCOMERS:
Freshmen Britney Chavez, Kendra Roberts, Bryanna Sanders, Ema Turner and Bobbi Whitaker have made a considerable and immediate impact. Turner posted a personal-best 10 points during a 66-57 victory over Emory on Nov. 10.
Roberts and Chavez recorded individual records of 10 and eight points, respectively, at Birmingham-Southern. Whitaker scored her first two collegiate points in the triumph over Oglethorpe. Sanders was outstanding in 19 minutes off the bench and played an enormous role down the stretch in the fourth quarter against Millsaps. She finished with a career-high 11 points and shot 3 of 5 on treys, while tallying four boards and two steals.
The Mountaineers are off to a 2-0 start, defeating Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 65-61, on Nov. 13 and outlasting Campbellsville-Harrodsburg, 70-66, on Nov. 16. Aaliyah Hampton is scoring 21.5 points per game and Destiny Combs is averaging a double-double with 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Assistant Sports Information Director Trevor Wenners can be reached at email@example.com.