NATCHITOCHES, La. -- For the Northwestern State women’s basketball team, Wednesday’s game against Central Baptist College is more about a bigger-picture mind-set.
It’s equally about children.
When the Lady Demons host Central Baptist at 1 p.m., they will do so wearing gold shoelaces as part of the “Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer” initiative. Additionally, fans who bring a new, unopened toy as a donation will receive $5 admission to the game.
On the court, the Lady Demons (4-6) will try to snap a three-game losing streak while keeping their eyes on the future.
“We’re preparing to make a conference run,” second-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said. “We didn’t use Monday and Tuesday just to working on beating CBC. It has to be a mentality that we have to grow. We have to put the ball in the hole. We’re struggling right now. Every day is a chance to prepare to have a chance to play for a championship later in the year. Not only do you have to be in the present, but you have to also look at the bigger picture.”
As Northwestern State seeks consistency offensively, there have been breakout candidates emerge in each of NSU’s past two games, both of which came against Big 12 Conference opponents.
Freshman guard Jha’ne Wheeler poured in a career-high 15 points at No. 8 Texas this past Wednesday while sophomore forward Jocelyn Scott set a career high with 12 points at TCU on Sunday, sinking 5 of 9 shots in her most efficient performance in a Lady Demons offense.
“It doesn’t matter who steps up, we need to be more consistent on both ends of the floor, especially the offensive end,” Dupuy said. “Jha’ne stepped up at Texas. It was high volume, but we saw confidence that will hopefully continue to grow. She has to make a conscious effort to get better on the defensive end, which she will.
“Jocelyn hit some outside shots and put the ball on the floor to score Sunday. We’ll need that as we continue to go forward.”
The visiting Mustangs (6-4), an NAIA school playing Wednesday’s game as an exhibition, make their fourth visit to Prather Coliseum in as many years.
They are the fourth lower-division team to visit Prather this season. Northwestern State has won its previous three games against LeTourneau, LSU-Alexandria and LSU-Shreveport by an average of 31 points per game.
Wednesday also is the final non-conference game of the season for Northwestern State, and its final game prior to an eight-day Christmas break. When the Lady Demons return to campus on Dec. 26, it will be two days before they begin Southland Conference play at home against Nicholls.
“You want to play well,” Dupuy said. “You want to implement a game plan for 40 minutes, play the way you want to play, get up and down, get a lot of people involved. You want to have a good taste in your mouth before you leave for Christmas break.”
Wednesday’s game can be heard on 100.7 FM KZBL. Tony Taglavore, in his 10th season, will handle the play-by-play call of the game.