Story contributed by Dave Beyer, McM Sports Information Director
ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University’s women’s basketball team will play its final home contests of the 2013-14 season this week, when it hosts St. Mary’s University on Thursday (Feb. 20/5:30 p.m.) and Texas A&M International University on Saturday (Feb. 22/1 p.m.) at Kimbrell Arena.
It will also be the final opportunity for War Hawks’ faithful to see seniors Jaryn Koenig, Tory Salazar and Keshia Collns in action at home. The trio will be honored between games of Saturday’s doubleheader with the men’s team (as will the three men’s senior players).
Koenig, who came in last season as a junior transfer from Weatherford College, was a member of the Heartland Conference All-Scholastic Team during her first campaign and assumed a mantle of leadership this season. Despite nursing some injuries in 2013-14, she has played in 16 of 21 games for McM, averaging better than 15 minutes per appearance. She tallies 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Salazar, also a Heartland All-Scholastic honoree, is a fourth-year player who came to head coach Veronica Snow’s squad by way of Jersey Village High School in the Houston area. Salazar has been one of the team’s most dependable players over her four seasons in the Maroon & White, playing in 99 of a possible 102 games. Salazar, who has been hampered by a nagging foot injury this year had played in 98-consecutive games until being forced out of the lineup last week for three games.
Collins (Midland, Texas/Midland H.S.) has, somewhat quietly, put together one of the finest careers in McMurry women’s basketball history. She has – arguably – been the greatest all-around player. Collins is the only player in school history to have surpassed each of the following plateaus during a career at McM: 1,000 points, 500, rebounds, 250 steals and 75 blocked shots.
Collins will have the chance to finish her career as the No. 2-ranked player in both career scoring and rebounds, while already occupying the second spot on career steals. Currently, she has 1,382 career points (which ranks third and is 52 points from the No. 2 spot), as well as 659 career rebounds (which is fourth all-time for McM; needing two more boards to move up to No. 3 and 29 to take over No. 2). Her 277 career “thefts” trails only former McM great Ogonna Merritt’s 414 steals. She also has 83 career blocked shots.
This week’s gauntlet begins with St. Mary’s University, a team that McM lost to earlier this season in San Antonio by a 69-51 margin. The Rattlers enter the weekend 15-8 on the year and 10-7 versus the Heartland Conference. The SMU is currently tied for fifth place in the league standings.
Thursday’s game is also a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness as a part of the WBCA’s “Play 4 Kay” program and all fans are encouraged to wear pink. There will be collection buckets in the lobby for donations, as well as a several silent auction items up for grabs!
The War Hawks dropped a narrow, 54-50, game in Laredo to Saturday’s foe - Texas A&M International - during the first half of the HC race. The Dustdevils are 18-5 overall and 14-3 in the Heartland Conference, averaging 74.0 points per game on offense. TAMIU is the Heartland’s second-place team entering this week’s slate of competition.