The East Central University women’s basketball team will tip off its 2021-22 season tonight at Texas Women’s University.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Kitty Magee Arena in Denton, Texas.

Coach Matt Cole’s club is coming off a COVID-19 shortened season during which it finished 10-9 overall and 9-8 in Great American Conference play. East Central was picked to finish seventh in the GAC Preseason poll. Southwestern got the nod at the preseason favorite, followed by Arkansas Tech and Southern Nazarene.

ECU has four returning starters on the 2021-22 roster.

Senior Madison Rehl is back after averaging 11.9 points per game. She shot 38.7% from the field and 38.9% from 3-point range. She also finished with 44 assists and 25 steals.

Rehl, a Deer Creek High School product, enters the season with 973 point career points.

Redshirt freshman Mackenzie Crusoe also returns after averaging 12 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She finished with 34 assists, 38 steals and shot 38 percent from the floor.

Seniors Hannah Ladd (8.4 ppg and 4.5 rpg) and Alexis Lyons (5.3 ppg and 4.0 rpg) are also returning starters for the Tigers.

ECU returns four other players and has five newcomers on the squad.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with all of our returners. They’re prepared, motivated ... all the things you like to see from a veteran group like we have,” Cole said. “We’re looking forward to playing a five-month season.”

Also on the ECU roster is freshman Emily Wilson, an All-Stater from Vanoss High School. Wilson averaged 15.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game as a senior and helped the Lady Wolves advance to the Class A State Tournament championship game.

“She’s a tall shooter who’s had a really good preseason,” Cole said.

Cole enters his eighth season as the ECU head coach and has compiled a 91-95 overall record.

The ECU women will enter the new season with an all-time record of 557-509 that spans 38 years.

East Central’s first home game is set for 4 p.m. Saturday when Arkansas-Fort Smith visits the Kerr Activities Center.

Trending Video

Recommended for you