PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - A new era for the Prairie View A&M women’s basketball team is underway, and the Lady Panthers are ready to hit the court running in their first regular season game of the year hosting Jarvis Christian Friday in the PVAMU Rec. Center for a 5 p.m. tip.
Live video streaming will be available at pvpanthers.com/sportsnetwork. Friday’s game will be PV’s Purple Priday night. #PVNation is asked to wear your favorite purple outfit or t-shirt to Friday’s game.
“I am excited about the season opener, being that it will be my first game as the head women’s basketball coach here at PVAMU,” Pugh said. “The kids have been really practicing hard with intensity, and everyone is really excited about getting this season going. We have been getting a lot of hype about it, and we are just ready to get out on the court and show people what we can do.”
After closing in on .500 mark last season and winning 15 games, the Lady Panthers advanced to the SWAC Tournament semifinals last season.
Prairie View A&M will have a nice mixture of experience and youth on its 2018-19 roster as PVAMU will look to win a SWAC title and advance to the NCAA tournament under first-year head coach Pugh.
Highlighting the list of returners is second team All-SWAC and preseason first team SWAC performer Shala Dobbins, a senior guard who joined the PVAMU team last season. Dobbins a 5-6 native of Tulsa, Okla. led the Lady Panthers in scoring and was 13th in the nation averaging 21.7 ppg. She led the nation in free throws made (296) and free throws attempted (367), setting an NCAA single-season record for free throws made. Dobbins was also fifth in the SWAC in assists (3.5), tied for sixth in steals (2.3), and also averaged 4.2 rebounds per game. Dobbins scored a season high 40 points against Arkansas Pine Bluff, the most any SWAC Player has scored since 2012. She also scored 20 plus points or more in 20 games.
Returning alongside Dobbins will be Jhyrah Cobb, who was named the 2018 SWAC Freshman of the Year and a preseason SWAC first team selection. The 6-3 sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas averaged 5.2 points a game, and was fourth in the SWAC in both rebounds (7.4) and blocked shots (1.7). Cobb had season highs of 12 points on three different occasions, and tallied 21 rebounds and eight blocks against Jackson St.
Dominique Newman will also be returning. The 5-7 Manassas, Virginia native is able to knockdown the threeas well as score in the paint. She averaged 11.2 points a game, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 2.3 assists. Fellow senior La’Neique Nealey, a 5-9 Madisonville, Texas native, finished the season averaging 6.8 ppg, 7.3 rebounds (fifth in the conference) and tallied 21 blocked shots (seventh in the conference).
“We are returning Shala Dobbins, a preseason first team all-conference player,” Pugh exclaimed! “Jyhrah Cobb, a preseason first team all-conference player and those kids has done a really good job at practice. I think La’Neique Nealey will be surprising a lot of people. Dominique Newman can most definitely shot the basketball and defend the ball.”
The six newcomers to the Lady Panthers roster include a familiar face to the SWAC, Artavia Ford. The 6-3 Fort Worth, Texas transfer from Texas Southern will be looked upon to guard the perimeter. Candidates that will be vying for time at the guard position are true freshman Keaynna Tolbert and seniors Erin Willis, who sat out last season, and Sierra Shepherd, fifth year player from North Florida University.
PVAMU added some height to their roster with transfers Passion Burrell (5-11), Ke’asia Williams (5-9), and freshman Faith Isabell (5-9).
“Artavia will get the starting nod at the post,” Pugh said. “Also, Sierra will see time at the guard position. These kids provide a ton of leadership for us. They lead by example on the court. We are going to expect them to go and get us some buckets. I think with their consistency and solid play that they have been showing in practice, I feel we will be fine.”
General admission is $5.00 dollars, all students with valid PVAMU ID will be admitted free. For additional ticket information, visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in the Athletic Administration building at (936) 261-3970 or visit pvpanthers.com/tickets.
LaTonia Thirston | Assistant Sports Information Director
Prairie View A&M University
P O Box 519 – MS 1500
Prairie View, TX 77446