Here at Grambling State University, coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs has won six tournament titles.
Now in her first season back as the head coach for the Lady Tigers, she has an opportunity to capture her seventh.
Despite a disappointing overall record of 8-22 in the regular season, Bibbs is confident the Lady Tigers chances in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
“The tournament is up for grabs for any team in there,” said Bibbs. “It’s a mental thing. We have to be mentally ready to go in because we have to win four games in order to win a championship.”
Grambling finished its regular season on a high note by winning three of its last four games.
They will hold the ninth seed in the 10-team tournament that will be played at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. They will face the eight seeded Alabama State, in which they spit the two games this season, in the first round on March 12 at 8 p.m.
Bibbs said that both teams are evenly matched and it will be interesting to see how her team will perform on a neutral sight because when the teams played, each team recorded a win on their home floor.
In the two match ups, neither team won by double digits and neither scored over 68 points.
In the Lady Tigers’ recent 68-64 win against the Lady Hornets in the Hobdy Arena, the game was similar statically.
Grambling shot 38.2 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from behind the arch. They also turned the ball over 15 times.
While the Lady Hornets shot 37.7 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from long distance and turn the ball over 20 times.
Compared to their first game, which was a 68-60 loss on the road in Montgomery, Ala., the Lady Tigers shot only 29.3 percent from the field 13.6 percent from behind arch going 3-22 and turned the ball over 24 times.
In Alabama State’s win, they made eight more shots than the Lady Tigers resulting in a 43.1 shot percentage from the field. They also only made three shots from long distance.
Although Grambling only led in the early moments during their loss to Alabama State, the Lady Tigers missed nine free-throws in an eight point loss.
Besides the fact that the Lady Tigers were on fire to close the season, another thing that favors them is the outstanding play of Joanna Miller.
Miller was named SWAC’s player of the week three times and is currently the reining SWAC player of the week.
This week the 5’8″ California native guard averaged 28.5 points 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assist leading GSU to an undefeated record beating Alabama A&M and Alabama State.
In the two games played against Alabama State, Miller is averaging 25 points 2.5 assist and 5.0 rebounds.
One noticeable statistic that appears on Grambling’s box score when these two teams face each other is that there is always one other player to score double figures along side Miller. In the first game, Kamiya Burwell pitched in 13 points and in their recent win, Cierra Ceazer added 23 points.
Bibbs stated that during their preparation for the SWAC tournament, she will be making corrections to some things that has hindered the Lady Tigers’ success. But in all, Bibbs feel her team will be just fine.
“I feel good about the tournament,” said Bibbs. “It’s an experience that some of our players hasn’t had on this level, so we’re going to go in and just try to the best job we can to win it.”