(AGENPARL) – MONROE (LOUISIANA), gio 03 dicembre 2020
MONROE, La. – The ULM Warhawks open the 2020-21 season Thursday night with a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to battle the No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.
It marks the start of the second season at ULM for head coach Brooks Donald Williams. The Warhawks return six players from last year’s 3-26 team, while eight newcomers aim to make an immediate impact on the program in 2020-21.
Sophomore point guard Gara Beth Self leads the group of returners. The reigning Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year averaged 9.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals over 29.6 minutes per game. Self took over the starting point guard role in the final non-conference game of the season, and proceeded to average 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.5 minutes per game while starting all 18 SBC games.
Senior guard/forward Whitney Goins and senior center Diamond Brooks each return for their fourth season in the ULM program. Goins has started 75 games over the last three seasons and averaged a career-best 6.7 points per game as a junior in 2019-20. Brooks earned the full-time starting center role last season and significantly increased her averages, improving to 8.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Senior forward Kierra Crockett returns for her second season in Monroe. In her first season in the burgundy and gold, Crockett led the team in rebounding at 6.5 boards per game, which ranked 10th in the Sun Belt. She earned two double-doubles on the season, coming against Mississippi Valley State (13 points, 11 rebounds) and South Alabama (13 points, 11 rebounds).
Eight newcomers join the Warhawks in 2020-21. Junior transfer guard Kierra Brimzy will make her Warhawk debut Thursday after sitting out all the 2019-20 season while practicing at ULM. She averaged 14.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in her sophomore season at Tyler JC in 2018-19. Five freshmen will also look to make their collegiate debuts: center Hannah Edwards, forward Morgan Hill, guard/forward Tasionna McDowell, guard Kyren Whittington, guard Gracen Williams and guard Sadie Williams. Guard Qua Chambers was injured in the offseason and will miss the 2020-21 season.
The No. 16 Razorbacks have already played four games in 2020-21, starting 3-1. Arkansas won its first three games of the season, defeating Oral Roberts, 96-49, on Nov. 25 before taking the first two games at the Gulf Coast Showcase, beating Wake Forest, 98-82, and Florida Gulf Coast, 86-80. The Razorbacks lost their final game at the Gulf Coast Showcase against No. 12 Maryland, 115-96. Arkansas was voted fourth in the SEC Preseason Coaches Poll and fifth in the SEC Media Poll.
The Razorbacks are led by senior guards Chelsea Dungee and Destiny Slocum. Both players were named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List and the Wade Trophy Player of the Year Watch List. It is Dungee’s second consecutive season to be named to both preseason watch lists, while Slocum is on the watch lists for the third time after twice being named to the lists while playing at Oregon State. Dungee led Arkansas in scoring (16.9 ppg.), field goals made (171) and free throws made (146) last season. Slocum averaged 15.2 points, 4.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 45.2% from the field and 36.8% from 3-point range at Oregon State.
So far this season, Dungee leads the Razorbacks at 19.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Makayla Daniels is averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Slocum is third on the team with 16.5 points per game while also averaging 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Senior guard Amber Ramirez is the fourth Razorback to average double figures at 10.3 points per game. Senior forward Taylah Thomas leads Arkansas on the glass with 8.5 rebounds per game.
ULM’s game at Arkansas marks the second consecutive season the Warhawks have met an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. ULM lost its season opener last year at Ole Miss, 66-42, on Nov. 10, 2019. The Warhawks are 10-52 all-time against the SEC and have lost 24 straight games against SEC opponents (81-64 vs. Mississippi State, 2/15/94).