Area Division I basketball squads tip seasons tonight

BACK FOR MORE:  Senior guard Candice Parramore transferred to Northwestern State from Grambling for last season, earning All-Southland Conference honors. She’s back as the Lady Demons open the season at home tonight. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)


Both Louisiana Tech basketball teams are home tonight, along with the Grambling men, and women’s teams from Northwestern State and LSU, as the NCAA Division I hoops seasons begin.

The headline matchup in the first week is Friday night in Grambling, when the Tigers play host to Colorado in an extremely rare instance of a Power 5 conference team visiting a low-to-mid major program. But first, they’ll warm up by hosting UNT-Dallas tonight at 7 in the Fred C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

In Lubbock tonight, Northwestern State’s men open for the first time this century without Mike McConathy as head coach. Former Missouri State assistant Corey Gipson has gutted the roster and will make his head coaching debut at Texas Tech in an 8 p.m. ESPN+ contest. The Demons make their home debut Thursday in a noon contest against Ouachita Baptist, and host Illinois State Saturday night.

At Prather Coliseum, the Lady Demons, featuring former Grambling standout Candice Parramore, tip at 5:30 against LeTourneau in the first ESPN+ basketball production from Natchitoches.

The Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston will host a season-opening doubleheader tonight with the Lady Techsters welcoming Central Baptist at 5:30 and the Bulldogs, under new coach Talvin Hester, entertaining Mississippi College at 8, with both games carried on 

The Techsters, picked second in Conference USA since they return all five starters from last season’s 21-win squad, host Arkansas State Thursday at 11:30 a.m., then visit ULM next Sunday. The Bulldogs get their first big test next Monday in Lubbock at Texas Tech, where Hester was an assistant last year.

The LSU women will tip off against Bellarmine tonight in Baton Rouge and host Mississippi Valley Friday as Kim Mulkey’s Tigers get tuned up against overmatched foes this week.

The LSU men make their debut at home Wednesday night, with UMKC visiting, and host Arkansas State on Saturday.