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Basketball ready for season openers

Nov. 19, 1999

By TRAVIS THOLEN

Sports Writer

Women's and men's basketball will take the hard court on Saturday for their season openers. The men tip-off at 5 p.m. against the Eastern Washington Eagles at the Ferrell Special Events Center. The women follow at 7:30 p.m. against the McNeese State Cowgirls.

Senior shooting guard Tevis Stukes is back after sitting out the second half of last season. With the arrival of new head Coach Dave Bliss, he decided to stay and develop himself as the go-to-man for the season. Stukes said he has relished his time with Bliss thus far, and every player is giving 115 percent.

'I have confidence in all the guys, and for the returning guys, it's like their second wind,' Stukes said. 'To get a win on Saturday would build our confidence.'

Two years ago, Baylor defeated the Eagles 67-51 in Waco in the only previous meeting between the two schools.

'They are a quick team, much quicker than the other teams we've faced,' Bliss said. Women's head Coach Sonja Hogg has a young team that is picked to finish 10th in the Big 12. With just two seniors, the team is inexperienced, but Hogg and the team will work with that.

'We'll simplify things by letting them use their own instincts,' Hogg said. 'They are young, and this way they know the options and can knock down the open shots.'

Mandy Hayworth is a senior guard who totaled 28 points in the two exhibition games and is the most experienced player on the team.

'We are very confident because we are a whole lot closer as a team and do not feel much pressure,' Hayworth said. Under Hogg, the Lady Bears have won four season openers in five years. Last season, Baylor beat the Cowgirls, 72-55 at Lake Charles, La.