ULM vs. MILLSAPS (EXH)

Tuesday, Nov. 1 • 6:30 p.m. CT • Monroe, La. • Fant-Ewing Coliseum (7,000)

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MONROE, La. —

The ULM women’s basketball team will play host to Millsaps College Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. CT for an exhibition game at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in advance of their 2022-23 campaign. ULM begins its 49th season of women’s basketball on Monday, Nov. 7, with its season and home opener vs. Louisiana Christian.

“We are excited to suit up against somebody else under the lights,” said fourth-year Warhawk women’s basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams. “We have a combination of returners and newcomers who are anxious to take the court together. We have a great deal of excitement about this group and look forward to our fans getting to know them.”

Millsaps is coached by former Majors’ men’s basketball student-athlete Justin LeBlanc (2006), who helped guide the team to four SCAC Tournaments during his playing career. In 2018-19, he earned SAA coach of the year accolades as he led the women’s team to one of the most successful seasons in school history with a 22-5 record and SAA regular-season championship.

“Millsaps is very well-coached and plays extremely hard,” Williams said. “Coach LeBlanc always has his teams well-prepared. We know we will see a variety of defenses and a well-executed offense which will help prepare us for upcoming opponents.”

The Warhawks play Tuesday’s exhibition game and their first four games at home in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. ULM plays only two road games in the month of November, going to UCF for a Tuesday, Nov. 22, contest and to Starkville for a Tuesday, Nov. 29, game at Mississippi State. In December, ULM stays in “the Boot” with five games in Fant-Ewing and two away within the state borders.

Junior guard Gara Beth Self has been one of the most consistent players for the Warhawks. In her third season of competition in 2021-22, she saw action in all 29 games and had the most starts, 25, of any ULM player. She had her highest season assists total with 61 in her first year with the Warhawks (2019-20), good for second on the team behind Amber Thompson. She was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year that season and earned honorable mention All-Louisiana recognition as well. In 2020-21, she was second on the team in both scoring average (6.2 ppg) and total assists (52). Last season, she connected on 21 3-pointers, good for second on the team, and added 37 assists for 140 so far in her career.

True freshmen Amaya Ford, Katlyn Manuel, Aasia Sam and Bre Sutton made their marks on the Warhawk stat sheet last year as they combined for an average of 21.3 points per game in their first collegiate seasons. Ford posted her first career double-double (15 pts, 10 reb) in her first career start last November vs. Southern Miss. Manuel had 24 blocks in her first season, including 10 over a span of three games in non-conference play in December 2021. Sam came off the bench to score in double figures in the final two games of the regular season with 11 points vs. Georgia Southern and 13 points, six from the free-throw line, vs. Georgia State. Sutton finished 2021-22 with 37 steals, the second-best total on the squad.

The Warhawks welcome back center Diamond Brooks for a sixth season as Brooks was granted a medical hardship waiver after suffering a season-ending injury in the 2021-22 opener. At ULM, Brooks has scored double figures in 20 games and pulled down double-digit rebounds four times. Newcomers for ULM include transfers in guard Olivia “Little Bit” Knight, guard Amani Brown and center Emma Merriweather in addition to freshmen Sha’Miya Butler and Myca Trail.

“It’s that time of year when we get to see where we are and make some adjustments prior to the season opener,” Williams commented. “We have depth that we haven’t had before, so we are hoping to get a good look at player combinations.”

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