One to Watch: Lady Trojans' Alicia Cash

In women's college basketball this season, very few conclusions remain foregone: a hungry team like North Carolina can upset a powerhouse like Connecticut; two teams Texas was favored to beat, Georgia and UCLA, instead surprised the Lady Longhorns; Texas Tech's own Lady Raiders came breathtakingly close Sunday against Stanford. <p>

At 7 p.m. Thursday night in the United Spirit Arena, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock's Lady Trojans will try to capitalize on the topsy-turvy trends of the season despite a 1-4 record – a record that doesn't mean they should not be taken seriously. As Tech's head coach Marsha Sharp noted, "They're going to be coming in here with nothing to lose."

With everything to gain, the Lady Trojans first need a team leader. Alicia Cash has the credentials. She has the experience. Last year Cash broke three school records for single-season scoring success: 451 points 183 field goals made, and 16.7 average points per game. She had the best defensive rebound average in the Sun Belt Conference at 7.04. She hasn't let up, launching 58 attempts from the field and 29 from the free throw line to score 78 points so far this year. Her average is 15.6 points a game for the 1-4 Lady Trojans. She has hit four of nine from beyond the arc.

Cash, a 6-1 forward, hails from Houston. In three games this year she has led the team in rebounding, with six boards against UT-Arlington and Southern Mississippi and 11 against Illinois-Chicago. She had five against Texas Southern, tying with Love, a 5-11 sophomore from West Memphis, Arkansas.

If this year's Lady Raiders are a young team, the Lady Trojans are even younger. Cash is the sole senior on the squad. Five of the players who have seen action in every game Arkansas-Little Rock has played this year are freshmen: guards Demetrice Preyer, Jessica Brown, Andrea Keys, and Courtenay Brown and center Lydia Gonzales.

Rounding out the team are 6-1 forward Tamara Humphrey, from Duncanville, a junior; sophomore Jocelyn Love, a 5-11 forward from West Memphis, Arkansas, who matched Cash's 14 points in the Lady Trojans' last outing against Southwest Missouri State; sophomore guards Kim Davis and Heather Morris, and freshman guard Rachel Smith.

Cash and Love led the Arkansas team in scoring against Southwest Missouri State with 14 points apiece. Cash scored a season-high 29 points two nights earlier against Texas Southern, giving Arkansas-Little Rock its first and only win of the season, 76-72. Opponents are averaging 71.4 points against the Lady Trojans.

Love is helping the Lady Trojans' cause as well; in the UT-Arlington game she scored 16 points, tying Courtenay Brown to lead the team. Against Southern Mississippi she scored 18, and against Illinois-Chicago she put up 17 points to lead the team. Against Texas Southern she and Cash split the rebounding high mark with five boards each. Help for the duo comes from freshmen Jessica Brown and Courtenay Brown, who are averaging 5.4 and 5.8 points per game each.

The Trojans' coach is Joe Foley, in his second year with the program. This is the teams' first meeting.

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