Women’s hoops ready for Mid-American Classic

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    By HEATHER REEVES

    A road victory is just what the doctor prescribed as the women’s basketball team is headed for some tough competition in Columbia, Mo., for the Mid-America Classic hosted by the University of Missouri.

    “We got a good road win on Monday and we’d like to carry that momentum to this tournament,” said Head Coach Trent Shippen.

    The Cougars begin the tournament facing the University of New Orleans Privateers. UNO is 1-3 for the season and finished 16-12 for the 1996-97 season. This gave the Privateers a third place finish in the Sun Belt Conference, their best finish since joining the league in 1991. UNO is used to facing tough competition. Nearly a third of the Privateers’ schedule was against NCAA Tournament teams and they defeated nationally ranked Louisiana Tech 66-63.

    BYU will need to keep its eyes on New Orleans forward Jenny Anderson and point guard Janet Fugiel.

    Anderson was the leading scorer for the Privateers, was named second team all-Louisiana and became the first sophomore since the 1986-87 season to lead the team in scoring and rebounding. Anderson averages 14.7 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. Her presence on the court will be a major factor in the game.

    Last year Fugiel started all 28 games as a newcomer to the squad and lead the team with 103 assists for the season. Stopping Fugiel’s passing game will be essential for a Cougar win.

    “We want to make sure we win the first game so we can position ourselves to be in the championship game,” Shippen said.

    Once the Cougars finish up with the Privateers they will move on to either Missouri or UNC Charlotte. BYU has played Missouri four previous years and Missouri has taken all four games, yet BYU faces a brand new opponent in UNC Charlotte.

    Missouri is headed into the tournament with several advantages over BYU. Advantage number one: BYU has never beat Missouri. Advantage number two: Missouri is playing on their home court. Advantage number three: Missouri’s current season record is 4-0 and the Tigers have not traveled from home to capture any of these wins, which enhances the home court advantage.

    The Tar Heels are bringing three starters from last year’s squad into the tournament and they’re bringing their 15-1 Atlantic Coast Conference record from last year with them.

    The Cougars are looking to go above the .500 level and start the rest of their positive season with this tournament. Captains Kari Gallup and Barbi Carmichael are the ones to lead the team into a victorious season. Gallup is shooting 100 percent from the line, putting her first in the WAC. Carmichael is second in the WAC with 62 percent field goal average. The Cougars first game against New Orleans begins at 6 p.m. on Friday.

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