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Cowgirls Open Season In California

Published On: Nov 14 2012 10:08:29 PM CST

ABILENE, Texas -

Hardin-Simmons’ women’s basketball team will open its season this weekend in the Redlands Tip-Off Classic in Redlands, Calif.

The Cowgirls will play Chapman on Friday at 7 p.m. CST and will play host to Redlands at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Redlands will have live video and live stats for both games at  http://livestats.prestosports.com/redlands/

Hardin-Simmons went 13-13 last year and finished fourth in the ASC West.

HSU returns three starters on the perimeter but must replace its two starting post players. Seniors Alexis Popelar (12.4 ppg and 4.0 rpg), Taylor Rose (2.5 ppg) and Coco Cartwright (7.1 ppg and 55 assists return). Also sophomore guard Joanna Daniel and Becca Chagnon are back to give the Cowboys experience back court help.

The Cowgirls also added three transfers for this season in guards Shaquana Wall and Candace Pollard from Sul Ross State and Jamie Heflin from Weatherford Junior College. All three are expected to step in immediately and Heflin is projected to start in the post.

Redshirt freshman Nikki Niehues is back after tearing her ACL last season and she is expected to see a lot of action and sophomore interior players Jessi Perez, Jaclyn von der Heide and Rachel Holik are all battling for time in the rotation down low. Sophomore post Taylor Klement has missed the preseason with a foot injury.

HSU also added four talented freshmen. Guard Lauren Thomas brings athleticism and 5-11 Shelby Hanna, 6-0 Alicia Finn and 6-1 Sara Vargas all will battle for time in the frontcourt.

The Cowgirls’ home and conference opener will be Nov. 29 against the University of Ozarks.

Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.