Andrews adding height, depth to CU lineup
Emma Andrews may be a rather young head coach but she sure seems to have the Cameron women's basketball program going in the right direction and she's about as classy as they come.
Recently she lost Jamie Bonnarens, her leading scorer who left the Aggie program to test the NCAA Division I waters at Colorado State.
Bonnarens had been the team's leading scorer the past two seasons and the Cache product had given more area fans a reason to turn out to watch the Aggies.
But Andrews was quick to support Bonnarens' moved.
"Hey, I don't blame her," Andrews said recently at a CU baseball game. "That's great that she's getting a chance to see DI."
Of course, Andrews had that same opportunity at Fresno State and she was able to play in the NCAA Tournament and that's another big thrill.
Normally the Lone Star Conference teams are loaded with players who go the other way, from DI to DII, but this is one of those rare occasions it's going the other direction.
Part of the reason that Andrews is OK with the move is that she has two proven starters coming back into the mix next season.
Natalie Halbleib averaged 11 points and nearly eight rebounds during the 2016-17 season but suffered a knee injury in the off-season. She was with the team this past season helping teach the younger players and be a cheerleader on the bench.
She's mobile and will be able to provide plenty of leadership.
Another former player coming back into the program is 6-4 post Savanna James, the Wasilla, Alaska, product who averaged 14.8 points and 7.9 points as a junior during the 2016-17 season. She hit a sizzling 56.9 percent of her shots from the field and the talented post also hit 43.9 percent from long range.
This writer has visited with James and she's thrilled about coming back to Cameron to finish her degree work and play basketball again.
"I can't wait to get back there and play," James said. "I've really missed everyone."
And now Andrews has landed two other players to bolster the lineup, one a juco transfer and the other a top Texas prep standout and both have good size.
McKenna Spikes, a Vernon, Texas, native, comes from Western Texas College where she started 20 games and averaged just shy of five points a game. She also grabbed four rebounds a game.
"We are very excited to add McKenna to our roster," said Andrews. "She will bring needed experience and a competitive attitude to the team. We love her toughness both on and off the court."
The campus, the coaching staff, and the opportunity to play just over an hour away from her home town were just a few reasons Spikes choose to sign with the Aggies.
"I chose to sign with Cameron because I really liked the school, coaching staff, and the closeness to home," answered Spikes when asked about her decision to come to Lawton.