Aggie women to battle at Texan Classic

For Immediate Release

November 7, 2019

Cameron University Athletics

Kenton Means – Sports Information Director


LAWTON, Okla. — The Aggie women begin the new season at the Texan Classic in Stephenville, Texas this weekend where they will face Colorado Mesa on Friday and Adams State on Saturday.

Game Information | Game Notes | Tournament Page:
11/08 – Cameron vs. Colorado Mesa | Stephenville, Texas | 2:30 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Video
11/09 – Cameron at Colorado-Colorado Springs | Stephenville, Texas | 2:30 p.m. | Live Stats | Live Video

Starting 5: 
1. Entering their fourth season under head coach Emma Andrews, the Aggies return just five players from a team that went 8-20 overall and 5-15 against the Lone Star Conference, narrowly missing out a spot in the league tournament.
2. Last season’s LSC Freshman of the Year, Maighan Hedge returns after averaging an impressive 15.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game and posting a 40/40/80 shooting line during her first year on campus.
3. Senior Ava Battese was one of the top three-point shooters in the Division II a year ago; she made three or more treys in 12 games and broke the program record for three pointers made in a career (now 221).
4. Colorado Mesa is the reigning RMAC Champions and were voted to finish in the top spot once again in this year’s preseason poll thanks to returning All-RMAC player and 2019 tournament MVP Sydni Brandon.
5. Adams State, like the Aggies, were picked to finish 14th in their conferences preseason poll, and they bring back leading scorer Stephanie Ruiz (11.8 ppg) and Zakiya Beckles, who averaged 7.0 points last season.

About the Aggies: 
The Aggies are looking to get back to postseason play after posting an 8-20 record last year. Coach Andrews will have the task of replacing five seniors from a year ago with a roster comprised of six returners, two JUCO transfers, and six freshmen. Reigning LSC Freshman of the Year Maighan Hedge is back after leading CU with 15.0 points and 3.0 assists per game last season. She is joined by senior Ava Battese, who after averaging 10.8 points per game and knocking down 78 three pointers last season is looking to take her game to the next level. Returning from an injury that had her out all last season is senior Amaka Nwakamma, who averaged 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.1 steals in 2017-18. Andrews also added transfer Logan Collyer from Harrah, Okla. and freshmen Michaela James and Kami Porter to her back court rotation. Cameron has a pair of freshmen wings in Stephanie Peterson and Karley Miller, who will look to replace the holes left by last year’s senior class. Returning forwards Whitney OutonJazmin Luster, and McKenna Spikes will look to lead the group down low that added JUCO transfer Hannah Jones, redshirt-freshman Julie Shalkowski, and freshman Sophia Diakomina to the mix. Coach Andrews has made defense the focus this offseason and during fall camp as the Aggies gave up 77.8 points per game last season, which was last in the LSC. They will continue to have a high-powered offense that scored 70.5 points per contest a year ago led by Hedge and Battese, but will need to sure up their ball handling as they turned the ball over 17.6 times per outing last season.

Scouting the Mavericks: 
Colorado Mesa enters the season as one of the toughest teams to play in the South Central Region. After going 27-4 a year ago, CMU was ranked No. 11 in the D2SIDA Preseason Poll and were receiving votes in the first WBCA  top-25 of the year. They were also picked to repeat as the Rockey Mountain Athletic Conference Champions and return three starters from last year’s team. Leading the way will be senior Sydni Brandon, who averaged seven points, four assists, and seven rebounds during the 2018-19 season. CMU’s focus is on defense, as they held opponents to just 51 points per game last season with a +12 scoring margin. The Mavericks will look to junior forward Kesley Siemons and junior guard Kylyn Rigsby to help Brandon continue the success of last year. Siemons is coming off a 6.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 blocks per game season, while Rigsby was second on the team with 8.9 points per outing last season.

Scouting the Grizzlies: 
Adams State is looking to rebound from a 2-24 record last season, and are looking to do so with a team that consists of 11 upperclassmen. Stephanie Ruiz is their top returner, as the junior guard averaged 11.8 points and made over 50 three pointers a year ago. Also back is senior Zakiya Beckles, who averaged 8.0 points in 21.3 minutes of action per game last year. The Grizzlies will need to sure up things on both sides of the ball as last season they averaged just 55.0 points per game while giving up 67.8 to their opponents, who shot over 43 percent from the floor against them. ASU will face the host team Tarleton on Friday, before playing the Aggies on Saturday.

Who Has Next:
Following the Tarleton Texan Tip-Off Classic, the Aggies will head to Hays, Kan. for games against Nebraska-Kearney on Friday, Nov. 15, and Fort Hays State on Saturday, Nov. 16. That weekend will be another tough test for the Black and Gold as FHSU is ranked No. 7 in the WBCA Preseason Top-25.

Kenton Means

Sports Information Director – Cameron University

2800 W. Gore Blvd., South Shepler 512

Lawton, OK 73505

Office – (580) 581-2303

Cell – (580) 583-2210

Fax – (580) 581-5537