Strength In Numbers: Rust Lady Bearcats Rely On Balance & Depth To Become Highest Ranked HBCU In NAIA

By Brian Baublitz Jr. Rust College Sports Information Director,


HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. – The Rust College women’s basketball program preaches “Strength In Numbers” as referenced on their warmup t-shirts and they have relied on their unrivaled depth plus the scoring balance has propelled the two-time defending GCAC Champions to the highest national ranking among all HBCU women’s basketball teams.


Without a single player that stands out from the rest, the Lady Bearcats have yet to receive a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference weekly award (Player of the Week) despite its 13-3 overall record and spotless 7-0 GCAC resume.


“I’m proud of what this group has accomplished so far. We had a lot of new faces coming into the fold this season, but the returnees and the recruiting class completely bought into the idea of playing a style that allows us to play 11-14 players on a nightly basis. Head Coach Eric Jackson Jr. said. “That takes a lot of sacrifice and selflessness. This team is unique in that way,”.


The Blue and White have had 18 different student-athletes play in a game during the 2022-23 campaign and the highest points per contest average on the team is Katie Blackmon at just 8.8, who also leads the club in rebounds a night with 8.5.


Only one of the 18 players (Blackmon) is playing more than half of an entire 40-minute battle as the other 17 ladies see less than 20 minutes on the court at a time.


The women from small town Mississippi have averaged 68.3 points, 41.7 rebounds, 12 assists, 11.3 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game while boasting a sparkling scoring margin (+4.9), rebounding margin (+6.6), and turnover ratio (+3.1) that has translated into its current eight-game winning streak dating back to before Christmas.


Rust College will look to continue its victorious run this coming Monday when it travels to Little Rock for a tussle with the Arkansas Baptist Lady Buffaloes at 5:30 p.m. inside the Buffalo Event Center.

About Willie Alex Hines 6495 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.