New-look women’s basketball team to open season with Halloween exhibition

The women's basketball team huddles around Gus before a game last season. They went 13-17.

McClain Baxley

The 2017-2018 women’s basketball team features a whole new starting lineup and several potentially exciting games throughout the schedule.

They will be in action in Hanner Fieldhouse taking on Fort Valley State on Tuesday, Halloween night, at 6:30 p.m.

Putting it all together

Last year’s 13-17 team was a very mixed team, but its’ two leaders were seniors Angel McGowan and Patrice Butler, both averaging more than 14 points a game. Last year’s team showcased several key players that weren’t seniors and will be expected to take their roles to the next level.

Sophomore Alexis Brown was a solid player off the bench last season, but is now suddenly one of the most valuable players on the court. In her freshman campaign, Brown shot 45 percent from the field and averaged two rebounds an outing.

Another key piece to this year’s squad is senior Sierra Butler who averaged nearly 6 rebounds a game along with 53 forced turnovers. This team has the ability to all come together and put their diversity of skills together to have a strong season.

Strength of schedule

While there isn’t a high expectation of this team making the NCAA tournament, the strength of schedule is one that is towards the top in non-Power 5 teams. The season opens on the road at North Carolina A&T, but then the schedule turns it up a notch.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Eagles travel to in-state rival Mercer to take on the Bears. Last year’s team from Macon posted a 25-7 record before losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first round of the WNIT. Speaking of the Tide, they will be in Hanner Fieldhouse on Sunday, Nov. 19 to take on the Eagles. This Alabama team hails from the SEC, the best conference in the country for women’s basketball.

To round out non-conference play, GS will travel to UCF and host Kennesaw State the second week of December. UCF went to the second round of the WNIT and beat Georgia Southern by 20 in last year’s matchup. The rest of the season is Sun Belt games highlighted by the February 17 home battle with Georgia State.

Exhibition details

The game against Fort Valley State will not count towards either team’s overall record, but it is the first chance for fans to see the team in a game setting.

Live stats can be accessed here.

Ticket information can be seen here.