Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Tougaloo Lady Bulldogs

Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Tougaloo Lady Bulldogs

By GCAC Sports Information Director 

TOUGALOO, Miss. –

2019 Record: 8-23 (4-10 GCAC)

2019 Finish: Sixth Place (Lost GCAC Quartefinals)

Head Coach: Keith Barnes Sr. (Third Season / 15-40 Overall, 6-22 GCAC)

Top Returners:

·       Amari Pittman (Sr, G, Bay St. Louis, Miss.)

·       Jamesia Grice (Sr, F, Greenwood, Miss.)

·       Tania Young (Jr, F, Duck Hill, Miss.)

Key Players Lost:

·       Karry Callahan (Led NAIA in triple-doubles / tenth in NAIA in assists / top-15 in NAIA in rebounds and assists per game / top-20 in NAIA in double-doubles, steals, steals per game and offensive rebounds per game / fourth in GCAC in total rebounds / fifth in GCAC in rebounds per game / seventh in GCAC in blocks / ninth in GCAC in blocks per game / tenth in GCAC in assist-to-turnover ratio)

·       Melissa Creese (Tenth in GCAC in free throw percentage / top-15 in GCAC in assists and assists per game / top-20 in GCAC in steals and steals per game)

·       Jelisa Smith (Sixth in GCAC in three-point field-goal percentage and three-pointers / seventh in GCAC in three-pointers per game)

Top Newcomers:

·       Tyra Conerly (Jr, G, Columbia, Miss.)

·       Tierra Jones (Fr, F/C, Vicksburg, Miss.)

·       Naya Armstrong (Fr, G, Flora, Miss.)

The Tougaloo College women’s basketball program is searching for its first winning campaign since 2012-13, relying on a mix of veterans and new faces to put the Lady Bulldogs over the top.

The Lady Bulldogs were adept at cleaning up its missed shots last year, ranking in the top-15 for offensive rebounds per game in the NAIA at 15.23.

TC will bring do-it-all senior Amari Pittman back to campus in the spring along with fellow senioe Jamesia Grice and junior Tania Young.

Pittman, GCAC Newcomer of the Year and All-GCAC Second Teamer a year ago, ranked third in the conference for free throw percentage (.795), fourth in three-pointers per game (2.06), fifth in points per game (15.42) and seventh in three-point field-goal percentage (.282) as well as a top-20 showing in steals per contest (1.55).

Grice was the defensive catalyst for the Lady Bulldogs, rejecting the sixth-best blocks per game average (0.72) and ninth-most blocks (18) plus a top-20 mark in defensive boards a night (3.40).

Young made waves in the rebounding department among her GCAC peers, placing top-20 for total rebounds (139) and rebounds per game (4.79).

Tougaloo has brought some interesting pieces into the mix with junior Tyra Conerly coinciding with freshmen Tierra Jones and Naya Armstrong.

Conerly transferred in from Southeastern Baptist after leading the NCCAA’s Division Two in points per game with 24.7. She also placed tenth in steals per game (2.9), top-15 for assists per game (4.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.7), and top-20 for triples per contest (2.2).

Jones, an incoming freshman from down the road at Vicksburg High School, averaged 8.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and a steal per night while leading the Gators to a 20-11 record in 2019-2020.

Armstrong was a well-rounded asset for Madison Central High School a season ago, recording 4.7 points, 2.5 boards, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals.

The royal blue and scarlet red only have four non-conference bouts, home-and-home series’ with the Mississippi University for Women and Oakwood.

The final women’s basketball preview will take place tomorrow with the Xavier (La.) Gold Nuggets.

About Willie Alex Hines 321 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.