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UWA Lady Tigers headed to familiar territory

LIVINGSTON – With the University of West Alabama women’s basketball team qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history, Head Coach Amanda Marks and the Tigers will see a familiar opponent on the other bench in the opener on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (cst) in Winter Park, Fla.

The Christian Brothers University Lady Buccaneers, on the strength of a 23-6 record, earned a trip to the NCAA Tourney for the first time since joining Division II and will face the Tigers for the third time in 2003-2004. The two teams split in the regular season with CBU handing the Tigers a 79-59 loss in the opener on Nov. 15 before the Tigers rebounded two weeks later, defeating the Lady Bucs 76-72 in an overtime thriller in Livingston.

“Having already played them [Christian Brothers] twice, we know that we will be facing a very formidable opponent in the opening round of the Regional,” said Marks. “They are extremely athletic and pressure you for 40 minutes on both ends of the floor. They have outstanding post players and also shoot well from long range.”

Sophomore guard Veronica Lee leads the talented West Alabama backcourt. Lee, native of Columbia, Miss., leads all Tigers, scoring 14.5 points per game to go along with 63 assists and 49 steals. Junior college transfer Yolanda Thomas has been solid in the middle for UWA, scoring nine points per game and leading UWA with a 6.8 per game average on the boards. She is also far and away the best shot blocker for the Tigers with 55 (second best mark in the GSC).

Senior Margo Porter has also been consistent for the Tigers, and is currently third on the team in scoring (9.4 ppg) and leads all West Alabama players from the free throw line, shooting 87.5 percent.

Senior guard Sarah Condra leads the Lady Bucs and the entire GSC with 97 three-pointers made, while scoring 14.4 points per game. Tamika Rogers has also played well for CBU, averaging 10.9 points per game, while teammate Jackie Moore leads CBU, averaging 6.3 rebounds per game while scoring 9.5 points per night.

“We are definitely excited about making the trip to the Regional Tournament, and are looking forward to the challenge of being involved in a tournament with the best teams in the South Region,” closed Marks.

West Alabama (21-7) and Christian Brothers (23-6) are set to meet in the final game of the first session at host Rollins College at 7:00 p.m. (cst) on Friday, Mar. 12. All of the exciting action can be heard on WZNJ 106.5-FM (Demopolis).