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TAMUC – Sports

Lion women post a fourth-place finish at Lady Rattler Invitational.

SAN ANTONIO – Battling unseasonably chilly conditions, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team picked up a fourth-place finish in the St. Mary’s Lady Rattler Invitational at the Dominion Country Club on Monday and Tuesday.

The wintry weather passing through Texas shortened the event to 18 holes of action over two days. The Lions shot a 309 (+21), finishing only five strokes behind Dallas Baptist (304, +16), who came into the event ranked No. 1 nationally.

Nine teams in the 15-team field came into the event ranked in the top 40 in the nation, including the Lions at No. 36. A&M-Commerce finished ahead of the Nos. 5, 12, 29, 33, and 35 teams in the country. The three teams ahead of the Lions on the leaderboard are ranked Nos. 1, 3, and No. 7 nationally.

“I’m very pleased with the way we played in a weather-shortened event where the conditions were extremely difficult,” said head golf coach Matt Ward. “It was cold, it was windy, the course was very dry, but they played really well. To come out and finish fourth in a field with eight teams in the top 35 in the country and you knock off five of them, you’re pretty pleased.

“We were only three shots out of second and five out of first. We certainly played better today than we did Monday. I think the girls felt a little more motivated and felt pretty good about themselves, so we went out and played well this morning and wrapped things up pretty good. This should hopefully help out our regional and national rankings a little bit. We proved that we can play with some of the best teams in the country with another top-five finish against probably the toughest field we will play in this year.”

All five Lion players finished in the top 25 on the individual leaderboard. Sophie-Charlott Hempel (Pirmasens, Germany) was the top finisher for the Lions at 76 (+4) in a tie for seventh place. She had two birdies and ten pars in a very consistent round. Sarah Wongsinth (Udon Thani, Thailand) had a team-best three birdies and placed 12th at 77 (+5).

Paige-Lee Garris (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Lauren Leslie (Fair Oaks Ranch – Clear Brook) tied for 16th on the leaderboard at 78 (+6), and Lauren Bentley (League City – Clear Creek) placed 25th at 79 (+7).

The Lions are back in action next Monday and Tuesday, hoping for warmer weather at the MSU Texas Invitational at Wichita Falls Country Club.

 Rank  Team  Total  Par
1.  Dallas Baptist  304   +16
2.  Indianapolis  306   +18
 West Texas A&M  306   +18
4.  A&M-COMMERCE   309   +21
5.  St. Mary’s  312   +24
6.  Arkansas Tech  314   +26
7.  St. Edward’s  319   +31
8.  MSU Texas  327   +39
 Tarleton  327   +39
10.  Cameron  329   +41
 UT Tyler  329   +41
12.  Arkansas-Fort Smith  332   +44
13.  Regis  334   +46
14.  Colorado-Colorado Springs  337   +49
15.  Texas A&M International  359   +71

A&M-COMMERCE   309    +21   4th
Sophie-Charlott Hempel   76    +4   t-7th
Sarah Wongsinth   77    +5   t-12th
Paige-Lee Garris   78    +6   t-16th
Lauren Leslie   78    +6   t-16th
Lauren Bentley   79    +7   t-25th



Lions roll to 87-66 win at Western New Mexico to finish the regular season.

SILVER CITY, N.M. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team played a nearly error-free ball game on the way to an 87-66 win over Western New Mexico University in the regular season finale at Drag’s Court on Saturday evening.

The Lions finish the regular season with a record of 21-7 overall and 13-5 in the Lone Star Conference. WNMU ends its season at 5-20 overall and 2-16 in league play.

A&M-Commerce tied with Angelo State for second place in the LSC standings and earned the second seed in the LSC Tournament based on conference tiebreaking procedures. The men’s LSC Tournament will be held next Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Comerica Center in Frisco.

The Lions’ first-round matchup is seventh-seeded UT Permian Basin at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.


On only giving up four turnovers in the game: “It’s fun to see your guys see success from a game plan. When you go on the road in college basketball, you have to take care of the basketball, and you have to rebound. We did a heck of a job doing both of those things tonight. To only have four turnovers in 40 minutes on the road, a heck of a job by our group.”

On everyone being able to score and contribute: “Everyone who played scored, which is a fun way to play basketball. And everyone had a rebound. That’s fun. You go through adversity all throughout the season. But to go into a locker room where everyone contributed and got to be a part of a big road win, that’s really exciting.”

On the prospect of playing UTPB in the LSC Tournament: “I’ve been in this league as an assistant and as a head coach now for two years, we know what this is. You go into the conference tournament, and you are going to play teams you are very familiar with. It’s about who is executing, who is being unselfish and who is controlling the paint and the ball. Hopefully, seeing our success tonight, we will understand the tempo we need to play at to be successful. That is the biggest thing we have to do to be successful against Permian Basin on Thursday.”

On having home-court advantage in Frisco: “We will have a great crowd. Our fans are unbelievable. They travel to the conference tournament. We appreciate that. We’ll see what we can do to try and win a championship this next weekend.”


– A&M-Commerce turned the ball over only four times, including a turnover credited when the Lions dribbled out the shot clock late in the game. Conversely, TAMUC forced the Mustangs to turn the ball over 17 times.
-The Lions held a 43-30 rebounding edge, including 16 offensive rebounds. This resulted in the Lions taking 19 more shots than the Mustangs. A&M-Commerce shot 42.9 percent (33-of-77) in the game.
– Five Lions scored in double figures, led by 20 points and seven rebounds by Wayne Stewart (Philadelphia, Pa.) off the bench.
– Willie Rooks (Houston – North Forest) notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also added three assists.
– Trey Conrod (Kilgore) scored 12 points with six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
– Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall) and Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) each scored 11 points.


The home team was on the positive side of the scoreboard for most of the first half, leading by as many as nine points at 20-11 with under 12 minutes left on the clock. A Rooks fastbreak layup with 8:30 to play cut the lead to one possession at 26-24, and the senior made a pair of free throws at the 6:45 mark to give the Lions their first lead at 31-30.

The lead went back and forth for the next few minutes, then A&M-Commerce went on a 10-0 run to close out the half, holding Western off the board for the final 3:43. Conrod made a layup, quickly stole the ball, then raced down the floor for a thunderous dunk. The final six points of the half came on a pair of Grandstaff three-pointers. The Lions took a 47-39 lead into the dressing room at the break. The eight-point margin came on the Lions’ 8-0 advantage in points from turnovers.

Conrod scored a jumper a few seconds into the second half to give the Lions their first double-digit lead at 49-39. The Mustangs would get no closer than eight points the rest of the night. A 7-0 run by A&M-Commerce was punctuated by a Rooks three-point play, pushing the lead to 15 points at 62-47 with 12 minutes to play.

The Mustangs were able to whittle the deficit back down to eight points at 67-59 with 6:30 to play, but the Lions denied the home side the opportunity for a second upset. Eight straight A&M-Commerce points were emphasized by a Stewart three-point play, a Stewart three-pointer, and a Terrell slam.

That Lion surge took the wind out of the Mustangs’ proverbial sails, and the Lions were able to push the lead to as many as 24 points in the final stages, taking positive momentum into the LSC tournament.



Lions close out the regular season with 65-53 win at Western New Mexico.

SILVER CITY, N.M. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team held off a pesky Western New Mexico University squad and closed out the regular season with a 65-53 win at Drag’s Court on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Lions complete the regular season with a record 19-9 overall and 14-6 in the Lone Star Conference, which is good for a tie for third place in the final league standings. WNMU ends its season at 10-17 overall and 6-14 in LSC action.

The 14 conference victories for the Lions ties the program record for league wins in a year with the 2016-17 team.

Based on LSC tiebreaking procedures, the Lions are the fifth seed in the LSC Tournament, which will be held Friday through Sunday at the Comerica Center in Frisco. The Lions will take on fourth-seeded Eastern New Mexico at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinal round. The two teams split the regular season series, with each team winning on its home floor.


On getting two road wins this week: “These last two wins were big. You look at our record this year, the majority of our wins came at the Field House. To come and get two on the road, it doesn’t matter who you play, it’s always tough. I’m really proud of how these girls stepped up. They really played well.
On top of that, we had some adversity in the game. We were shorthanded and playing at elevation. But I thought we played well, even though we were shorthanded. Maddison Glass, Mykiel Burleson, and Princess Davis stepped up and played big. I think that’s huge for us going into the conference tournament. Whatever hits us, we know we are going to be good. We may be feeling this same fatigue come Saturday or Sunday. It is good for us to persevere today.”

On the play of Bryant down the stretch: “Alexis Bryant came through with a huge second half. She was finishing through traffic. If she missed a shot, she got the rebound. She was getting defensive rebounds and was rotating. She really stepped up and had a huge second half for us.”

Looking ahead to next week: “It’s the last game of the night. We need our fans to get there. It needs to be a home-court advantage for the Lions this week. If you are not doing anything, or if you are doing something, get work off and drive down to Frisco Friday night. We need it to be loud for the Lions.”


– Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) notched a double-double to close out the regular season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end of the floor.
– She led four Lions in double-figure scoring. Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower) and Princess Davis (Shreveport, La.) each scored 11 points. Glass added four rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Davis had five rebounds and three assists.
– Chania Wright (DeSoto) scored 10 points and had three steals.
– The Lions shot 35.9 percent (23-of-64) from the floor and limited WNMU to 32.1 percent (18-of-56).
– A&M-Commerce forced the Mustangs to turn the ball over 20 times in the game. The Lions also held a 44-37 rebounding advantage.

Western started the game off hot on its home floor, jumping out to a 5-0 lead on the opening two possessions of the contest. The Lions chipped their way back into things, tying the game at 8-all with three and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Layups by Delyssa Miller (Arlington) and Davis to close out the first quarter put the Lions up 15-11 after the opening period, and A&M-Commerce would never relinquish the lead.

A&M-Commerce scored the first seven points of the second quarter, holding the Mustangs off the board for nearly three minutes to start the period. A Davis layup at the 7:22 mark of the period capped a 12-0 run that spanned the quarter break and gave the Lions a 22-11 lead. WNMU scored seven straight points to close the gap to four points but could get no closer in the waning stages of the second quarter. The Lions took a 31-26 lead into the halftime break.

Coming out of the break, the Lions once again roared quickly to a more significant lead, going on an 8-2 surge to go back up by double digits at 39-28 on a Davis fastbreak layup just over three minutes into the half. The Mustangs refused to go away and would narrow the deficit all the way down to two points at 41-39 with an 11-2 run before the Lions stopped the push. A&M-Commerce closed out the quarter on an 8-3 rally, taking a 49-42 lead into the final period.

Bryant put in a second-chance layup on the fourth quarter’s opening possession to put the Lions up nine, and Western responded with two straight buckets to cut that lead quickly down to five points. The lead held at five until Wright canned a three-pointer and Bryant hit a pair of free throws to put the Lions up 60-50 with just over five minutes remaining. The lead would briefly dip back into single digits, but the Lions were able to convert on free throws down the stretch to earn the 12-point win to finish off the regular season.



No. 2 Lions drop both ends of the doubleheader against A&M-Kingsville.

KINGSVILLE– The No. 2 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team lost both games against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday afternoon. The Lions lost the first game 10-7 and the second game 3-1.

The losses bring the Lions to 17-6 on the season and 6-3 in the Lone Star Conference. The Javelinas improved to 19-2 and 7-2 in conference play.

The Lions return home for their next LSC series. They will host Eastern New Mexico in a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 4:00 p.m. The teams will then play a single game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Tickets to the series are available at, by calling (903) 468-8756, by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office in the Field House or by purchase at the gates of the John Cain Family Softball Field.


“We just didn’t put together a complete performance in any game this weekend. When our pitching was going, our hitters couldn’t get a hit. Then we got the hitters going, and we didn’t get good pitching. It’s a team effort when we win, and it’s a team effort when we lose. Everybody had a part in it this weekend. We will regroup back in Commerce and get ready to face Eastern New Mexico this coming weekend.”


– Vanessa Muro (Oak Hills, Calif.) had one hit and three RBIs.
– Kayla Kilcrease (Kerens) had two hits, scored two runs and had two RBIs.
– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had a single, scored a run and had an RBI. Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) also had an RBI.
– Ciera Nunez (Amarillo – Randall) had a hit and scored twice. Kimber Neal (Humble – Atascocita) also scored twice.
– Hebler pitched 3.2 innings. Katie Dean (Whitesboro) pitched 2.0 innings, and Alexis Velasquez (Amarillo – River Road) pitched 0.1 innings.


The Javelinas brought a pair of runs across in the first inning and added another in the second to take a 3-0 lead.

The Lions battled back to score three of their own in the top of the third. Four consecutive walks brought in a run. Muro then hit a single to bring two more runs across. The game was tied at 3.

The Javelinas then scored seven in the bottom half of the inning, including two home runs to push their lead to 10-3.

The Lions fought back in the fifth inning. After a single from Kilcrease and a double from Hill, Muro brought in another run on a ground out. Hebler then had a sacrifice fly to bring in Hill. The Lions added two more in the sixth inning. Neal reached, and Nunez singled. Both scored on the double from Kilcrease. The Lions trailed 10-7 after six.

That was as close as they could come as the Lions could not complete the comeback in the final inning.


– Kinsie Hebler hit a solo home run to center in the second inning. She also had a double in the game.
– Jodie Hill and Vanessa Muro also had hits in the game. Hill also stole a base.
– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar Consolidated) pitched a complete game.


The Javelinas struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the first off of two singles and a sacrifice fly. The Lions answered back in the second inning. Hebler took a pitch deep to center, and it cleared the fence. After two complete, the game was tied at one.

The Lion defense held the Javelinas scoreless in the second and third innings and then the offense had a chance. Muro singled, and then Hebler doubled to put two runners in scoring position. The Lions could not bring the runs in, however.

A&M-Kingsville then struck again in the fourth inning with a two-run homer. The Lions had base runners on in the fifth and sixth innings but could not get them around.



Josh Manck
Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce
Committed to a “Best In Class” student-athlete experience.
Office: 903.886.5131 | Mobile: 817.487.5136 |
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3011 | Commerce, TX 75429
Physical Address: 2600 Neal Street | Commerce, TX 75429
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Marcus Jensen
Director of Athletic Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce
Office: 903.468.3027 | Mobile: 801.624.8529
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Committed to a “Best in Class” student-athlete experience.