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UL's Ty'Reona Doucet (35), shown here last season against Little Rock, is expected to return from an "upper body injury" to face UTA this weekend in the Cajundome.

It’s been a rocky road for the 2020-21 UL women’s basketball program this season.

It began with a team-wide quarantine, followed by a series of game cancellations and then being on the road for a month against really good competition.

The result so far: a 2-5, 1-1 record.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in the Cajundome, coach Garry Brodhead’s club has a golden opportunity to blaze a comeback trail against the Texas-Arlington Mavericks.

UTA is 5-3 and 3-1 in Sun Belt West standings under new coach Shereka Wright, who replaced new Texas Tech coach Krista Gerlich.

“I really like their team,” Brodhead said of UTA. “They’ve got some pretty good returners from last year, and they’ve got a couple shooters. They’ve just kind of got to get used to the new system.”

Under Gerlich, the Mavs were “big time high-low” constantly trying to pound the post.

“It looks like they’re playing a little bit more zone, and it’s more of a dribble drive against man-to-man,” he said. “They still have some really good shooters and their post play is not bad.

"I think they’re just getting accustomed to the new style of play. You could see at the beginning of the year, it was a little bit slow for them, but against (UL-Monroe) and against Little Rock, they really stepped up and looked a lot better in those four games.”

While Brodhead waits to see how much zone Wright will play against his Cajuns, he is focused more on his team.

“It’s still about us,” he said. “How are we going to shoot the ball? How are we going to take care of the ball? And rebound, because they still have a little bit of size. I think the matchup is good, though. I really do, and I like being at home.”

Brodhead likes what he has seen lately. Last weekend’s trip to Arkansas-Little Rock was canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the Trojans’ program.

So on Friday, the team held a typical scrimmage against a “lightning team” made up of coaches, managers, etc.

“It’s a really good team,” Brodhead said. “We’ve never been able to beat them. We were actually up by 15 most of the game.”

The primary focus in the scrimmage was settling on rotations for future games.

“We’re going to be really cautious in how we sub. We’re going to sub more for the defensive side like we used to, than for the offensive side,” said Brodhead, who admitted making some poor substitutions in the last loss at Texas State. “We kind of got away from putting people in on the defensive side that weren’t ready or the wrong lineups on the defensive side. We’re going to be a little bit more careful on how we sub from that standpoint.”

UL has more options than ever, ranging from leading scorers Brandi Williams (14.0 points, 2.9 rebounds) and Ty’Reona Doucet (10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds) to such mainstays as Skyler Goodwin (9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds), Jomyra Mathis (7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds) and Kim Burton (6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds) to promising newcomers Destiny McAfee (4.9 points, 1.3 rebounds), Tamera Johnson and Bre’ Porter.

“We’re really ready for the next game,” Brodhead said.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.