To give themselves home court advantage in a Red River Athletic Conference rivalry game, the Wiley College basketball teams are making Friday's game against Our Lady of the Lake University Marshall Independent School District Appreciation Night.
Marshall I.S.D. students and their parents will get in free. Wiley College students finished their semester last week and went home. The Lady Wildcats (8-1, 1-0 in RRAC), who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 poll, take on the No. 21 Lady Saints – who are the defending RRAC regular season and tournament champion at 5:30 p.m.
Wiley College is seeking its first victory against Our Lady of the Lake since the 2013 RRAC Championship game. The Lady Wildcats are 5-11 against the Lady Saints. Wiley is the NAIA leader in steals per game at 15.7 and ranks in the top 10 in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, offensive rebounds per game, scoring defense, total rebounds per game and scoring margin.
The Lady Saints (5-5, 2-0) opened conference play with victories over University of St. Thomas-Houston and Texas College. Alyssa Ward is their leading scorer with 16.75 points per game. She leads the RRAC in steals at 4.38. Last season, Our Lady of the Lake reached the second round of the NAIA Tournament.
The No. 11 Wildcats (11-1, 1-0) will look to extend their winning streak to seven when they face at the Saints, who are receiving votes in the Top 25 poll, at 7:30 p.m. Wiley College split with Our Lady of the Lake last season, with each team winning on its home court. In the overall series, Wiley has won three games. The Wildcats rank in the top 10 in the NAIA in field goal percentage, total defensive rebounds, assists and rebound margin. Wiley College is 3-1 against teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the Top 25 poll.
The Saints (5-2, 2-0) reached the Elite Eight in last season's NAIA Tournament. Joe Jackson, who is the reigning RRAC Player of the Week, is Our Lady of the Lake's leading scorer (19.5) and rebounder (6.43).
The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats will play their final game before Christmas Break on Saturday against Huston-Tillotson University. The women tip at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 p.m.