Katy will be welcoming a new team to the first round of the Southland Conference postseason tournament as the Wildcats finished with a 9-9 conference record good enough for the seventh seed.
ACU will go head-to-head with the University of New Orleans in its first-round matchup Thursday. The Privateers finished slightly better than the Wildcats this season with an 11-7 Southland record putting the team right above ACU in the sixth seed.
Going into Thursday’s game, The Wildcats had the upper hand on New Orleans in scoring this season averaging the conference third-best 69.6 points per game, while the Privateers averaged the fourth-best 66.6.
Earlier in the season, the women captured a victory in the one and only meeting between the two teams by a score of 80-70. Five different Wildcats reached double-digit scoring, and sophomore guard Dominique Golightly earned a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Breanna Wright and senior center Taudenciah Oluoch also notched 14 points.
Head Coach Julie Goodenough said her team is focused on this chapter of the season.
“We ended our first season on Saturday, and now we’ve jumped into the second season,” Goodenough said. “You gotta go into postseason play with a great attitude of confidence and bring your greatest level of competition, and that’s what we expect from our players.”
The rest of the Southland tournament is set up in favor of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, Lamar and Stephen F. Austin. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, McNeese, New Orleans and ACU will all play in the first round Thursday. The winner of the first round games will move on to face Nicholls and Central Arkansas in the second round Friday.
Finally, Lamar and SFA will await the winners of the second round, which will be both team’s opponent in the semifinals Saturday. The championship game will then be Sunday.
All and all, the Wildcats will have to play a total of three games to make the championship while Lamar and SFA only have to play one; however, Wright said the team isn’t worried about losing steam during the tournament.
“Everyone’s tired, so as a team we know where we need to be and where every other team is,” Wright said. “We’re taking extra steps to recovery and holding each other accountable, so things should be different coming into this tournament.”
The game is scheduled to tipoff at 1:30 p.m. in the Merrell Center. Coverage of the game can be seen on ESPN3 or heard on 98.1 FM.