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TAMUC – Sports

 

Schedule update: Times for WT softball series altered.

CANYON– The No. 18 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team has announced a schedule alteration. All three games this weekend against No. 9 West Texas A&M will change times. The Lions will now face the Lady Buffs on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in a single game. The teams will then meet in a doubleheader starting at Noon on Saturday. All games will be played at Schaeffer Park in Canyon.

The Lions are currently 20-6 on the season with a 9-3 record in conference play. The Lions are coming off of a series sweep against Eastern New Mexico, where they outscored their opponent 27-1 in three games. The Lions are currently tied for second place in the LSC standings. WT has a record of 18-5, with an 11-1 record in conference play.

Further schedule updates will found on LionAthletics.com and the Lion Softball Twitter page (@Lion_Softball).

 

 

Lion women in fifth place after the first day at MSU Texas Invitational.

The Lions shot a 34-over par 322 on the par 72, 5,893-yard course, and are tied with Regis in a tightly packed field.

Sarah Wongsinth (Udon Thani, Thailand) is tied for sixth on the individual leaderboard, only two strokes back of the lead. She shot a 4-over par 76 Monday, overcoming a rocky start on the first hole with three birdies spread throughout the round.

Paige-Lee Garris (West Palm Beach, Fla.) played a consistent round and is in 24th place at 9-over par 81. Makena Thomas (San Antonio – Reagan) is one stroke behind her in 27th at 10-over par 82, and Sophie-Charlott Hempel (Pirmasens, Germany) rounds out the counting scores in 33rd place at 11-over par 83.

The tournament will conclude with 18 holes of action on Tuesday.

Rank Team Total Par
1. Oklahoma Christian 304 +16
2. Cameron 312 +24
3. MSU Texas 314 +26
4. Angelo State 318 +30
5. A&M-COMMERCE 322 +34
Regis 322 +34
7. Colorado State-Pueblo 324 +36
Tarleton 324 +36
9. Newman 328 +40
10. Metro State 335 +47
11. Texas Wesleyan 342 +54
12. Ranger College 343 +55
13. UT Permian Basin 351 +63
14. Northwestern Oklahoma State 360 +72
15. Truman State 361 +73
A&M-Commerce 322 +34 t-5th
Sarah Wongsinth 76 +4 t-6th
Paige-Lee Garris 81 +9 t-24th
Makena Thomas 82 +10 t-27th
Sophie-Charlott Hempel 83 +11 t-33rd
Lauren Leslie 85 +13 t-48th

 

 

Lions qualify for NCAA South Central Regional Tournament as fourth seed will face Dallas Baptist.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team is in the NCAA Division II Tournament and bound for the third consecutive year and eighth time in program history, as announced by the NCAA on Sunday evening. The Lions are the fourth seed in the South Central Region and will face fifth-seed Dallas Baptist in the first round in Canyon at West Texas A&M.

A&M-Commerce has a record of 23-8 on the year and advances to the 21st postseason in program history. The Lions and Dallas Baptist (23-10) will face off in the regional quarterfinal at a time to be confirmed on Friday, March 15. That quarterfinal will be followed by No. 8 New Mexico Highlands playing host No. 1 West Texas A&M. The winners of the two quarterfinals will play the regional semifinal on Saturday, March 16.

In a unique situation, the South Central Region will have split hosting duties, with No. 2 St. Edward’s hosting the other half of the bracket with No. 7 Angelo State, No. 3 Colorado School of Mines, and No. 6 Lubbock Christian. The two semifinal winners at each site will play the South Central Regional final on Tuesday, March 19, at the top remaining seed.

The regional quarterfinal matchup will be the second time the Lions and DBU have met this season. A&M-Commerce defeated the Patriots, 83-61, in the Field House on December 6.

The Lions previously qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2015, 2017, and 2018. It is the second time in program history that the Lions have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons.

Tickets will be available on Tuesday, March 12, at Noon at www.GoBuffsGo.com or contacting the WT Ticket Office at 806-651-1400. The Lions trek through the NCAA Tournament will be broadcast on the Lion Sports Network on KETR-FM 88.9 and online at KETR.org. More information will be made available as the tournament approaches.

 

 

Lions qualify for NCAA South Central Regional Tournament for the second time in program history, will face Colorado Mesa.

INDIANAPOLIS– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team is in the NCAA Division II Tournament and bound for the second time in program history, as announced by the NCAA on Sunday evening. The Lions are the seventh seed in the South Central Region and will face second-seed Colorado Mesa in the first round in Grand Junction, CO.

A&M-Commerce has a record of 20-10 on the year, the program’s third-ever 20-win season. The Lions and CMU (26-3) will face off in the regional quarterfinal at 6:00 p.m. MDT (7 p.m. CDT) on Friday, March 15. That quarterfinal will be followed by No. 3 Lubbock Christian playing No. 6 Tarleton. The winners of the two quarterfinals will play the regional semifinal at 7:00 p.m. MDT (8:00 p.m. CDT) on Saturday, March 16.

In a unique situation, the South Central Region will have split hosting duties, with No. 1 West Texas A&M hosting the other half of the bracket with No. 8 Eastern New Mexico, No. 4 Angelo State, and No. 5 Westminster (Utah). The two semifinal winners at each site will play the South Central Regional final on Tuesday, March 19, at the top remaining seed.

It is the second time the Lions have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, after making the 2006-07 season. That season, led by Britney Jordan and Kanani Marshal, the Lions won the Lone Star Conference North Division Championship, the LSC Tournament Championship, and the South Central Regional Championship, advancing to the Elite Eight.

Tickets will be available at 8 a.m. MDT Monday at https://coloradomesa.universitytickets.com/w/default.aspx. The game will also be broadcast on the Lion Sports Network on KETR-FM 88.9 and online at KETR.org. More information will be made available as the tournament approaches.

 

 

Lions post furious comeback but fall 57-55 to West Texas A&M in the final minute of LSC Tournament Championship.

FRISCO– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team lost a heartbreaking finish in the LSC Tournament Championship game, falling 57-55 to West Texas A&M. After trailing by 17 in the first half, the Lions battled back and took the lead in the final minute but could not hold on as a buzzer-beating three to win, went off the mark.

The loss brings the Lions to 23-8 on the season while the Buffaloes improve to 31-3 on the year.

The Lions await the release of the official NCAA South Central Regional rankings to determine their seed in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The NCAA will release the NCAA Tournament field at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Willie Rooks (Houston – North Forest) led the team with 19 points and also posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. Rooks was named to the LSC All-Tournament team.
– Trey Conrod (Kilgore) also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He too was named to the All-Tournament team.
– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) had eight points while Reggie Reid (Harlem, Ga.) had seven points. Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall) hit back-to-back threes in the game.
– WT started the game on a 13-0 run and led by as many as 17 in the first half. The Lions took the lead three times late in the game, including twice in the final two minutes.
– The Lions are now 4-6 in LSC Tournament Championship games.

POST-GAMES THOUGHTS FROM…

Head Coach Jaret von Rosenberg:
Thoughts on the game: “There are things I wish I could have back like I’m sure all our guys do. But at the end of the day, we didn’t get it done. We gave ourselves a chance in the last four minutes. That’s what we talk about all the time, and that’s all you can ask for. But they made one more play than we did.”

On the slow start: “That’s multiple times now. We have to start games better. You can’t play a caliber opponent like that and put yourself in a hole and expect to give yourself a chance to win. But I give credit to our guys for settling in on the defensive end. We started making things tougher on them. Hats off to West Texas. Credit to Tom Brown and his staff. They did a nice job.”

On the defense late in the first half to get back in the game: “It seemed like we were keeping the ball outside the perimeter and making them shoot contested jump shots. We did a nice job of contesting shots at the rim and didn’t give them second-chance opportunities. That allowed us to get back in the game. But to their credit, they did a nice job defensively themselves because if you go eight minutes scoreless, the scoreboard can flip in a hurry. They were able to continue to get enough stops to keep the lead going into halftime.”

Looking ahead to NCAA Tournament: “I told our group, and I really believe this, if we think we’ve arrived or think we are as good as we can be, we will be in trouble next week. We have to get back and get prepared for our next opponent. If we can just get a little bit better, I don’t care in what area. But we have to find a way to get a little bit better and keep doing that as long as we get to play. I know for a fact that we will be locked in. Next week, it is win or go home. We will look to give ourselves a chance in the last four minutes and hopefully we will learn from this, myself included, and be better late in games. That way, if we are in the same situation in the NCAA Tournament, we can overcome and win that game.”

Willie Rooks:
Thoughts on the game: “It was a battle. We were going back and forth throughout the whole game. Credit to the guys on West Texas. It was a battle. We were just trying to find ways to get stops and trying to find a way to score. But we just wanted to give ourselves a chance to win in the last four minutes, and we did that. We have to live with the results.”

On playing in the championship: “It was fun. Especially when we went up. It was exciting. I wish we could do it again… we are going to do it again.”

Trey Conrod:
On the team’s mindset after falling behind early: “We just have to play our game. We know after starting off slow that we had just to chip back and not try to score all the points at one time. We can’t try to do too much at once. But we kept playing our defense and sticking to the game plan that we had. We started doing the game plan, and things started working out. We got stops and buckets and chipped away. My team did a good job. Everyone was locked in. Everybody bought into what we were trying to do.”

On the defensive focus: “My focus was to not led Quaid to touch the ball. I trusted my teammates to do their job on the backside while I fronted the post. That was me believing in my teammates to be there if they threw the ball behind me.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions started cold, missing their first five shots. The Lions also had four early turnovers, leading to a 13-0 opening run by WT. Conrod got the Lions on the board with an and-one take to the bucket. Five minutes into the half, the Lions trailed 13-3. WT continued its hot shooting from beyond the arc, pushing its lead to 16 points.

Rooks hit consecutive shots as the Lions started to find their touch on the offensive side. However, the Buffaloes continued to sack their chances as the lead stayed in the teens. The Lion defense strung together multiple stops, holding WT without a basket for more than six minutes. The Lions, in turn, went on an 11-0 run to cut the WT lead to just six points with three minutes to lay.

The Lions finished the half well as well. The Lion defense caused the Buffaloes to miss 11 of their final 12 shots of the half The Lions finished the last 10 minutes of the half on a 14-2 run. Rooks led the Lions with nine points and also pulled in eight rebounds.

WT started the second half much like the first as they scored the first seven points of the half. The Lions answered back with nine in a row, including seven from Rooks to cut the lead to just three points. After the teams traded buckets, Grandstaff hit a three to tie the game at 40 at the 12-minute mark. Grandstaff then hit another three to give the Lions their first lead of the game. The Lions used their 17-2 run to take a 43-40 advantage.

WT went on a 10-0 run of their own to take the lead back. The Lions surged again to cut the lead to two points with three minutes left. The Lions then took the lead back on a step back three from Reid. The teams traded leads down the stretch before WT took a two-point lead with five seconds to play. A last-second heave from half court was off the mark and time expired.

 

 

Lion 4×400 relay repeats as National Champions; Clark blazes to records.

Lion men finish eight in team standings, Lion women place 51st.

PITTSBURGH, Kan. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s 4×400 meter relay team repeated as NCAA Division II National Champions to highlight the final day of action at the Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Saturday.

As a team, the Lion men finished in a tie for eighth place with 24 points. The Lion women placed 51st overall with 2.5 points.

“I’m really gratefull I have the opportunity to coach this team,” said A&M-Commerce head track and field coach George Pincock following the meet. “I feel like we came to the national meet and competed well. We had a lot of things that happened that didn’t exactly go our way, but still competed well and are walking away with plenty of All-Americans.

“Eboni Coby, Minna Svaerd, Josh Boateng all competed well but were just outside of marks that would have scored for the team. We’re going to improve on that and continue to be better.

“Rashard Clark is a special athlete. Not often do you get the chance to coach someone with that amount of talent. To be able to run the 400 and set a really fast time was fantastic. We spoke earlier in the day, and I told him he could run in the 45.90s, and that’s what he went out and did. It was very impressive for him to come out and run another fast 200, and then close out the night in the 4×400 relay as the national champion team is amazing. I’m so happy for him, he had a great day, and I look forward to what we can do moving forward.”

The 4×400 meter relay team of Gabriel Peterson (Lancaster), Stadrian Taylor (Lancaster), D’Lance Sharp (Commerce), and Rashard Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) ran the second-fastest time in NCAA Division II history at 3:08.34. The time establishes a Lone Star Conference, Pittsburg State facility, and A&M-Commerce program record.

Clark’s anchor leg was blazing, as the senior chased down Brandon Parris of St. Augustine’s to beat the Falcons by .05 of a second and repeat as the national champions.

Clark was an All-American in three events on the night, finishing as the national runner-up in the 400-meter dash, and placing third in the 200-meter dash.

In the 400 meter dash, Clark was in the first of two sections and ran the fastest time in Division II history at 45.96 seconds. However, that record was short-lived, as Ashland’s Myles Pringle ran a 45.67 in the second section to earn the national title and the all-time record.

Clark was the top finisher in the first of two sections in the 200-meter dash final as well, running the race in 21.18 seconds. He placed third behind Academy of Art’s Mobolade Ajomale and Northwood’s Mason Phillips, who each ran in the second section.

The men’s team earned all 24 of its points in those three races for the top 10 finish once again. Josh Boateng (St. George’s, Grenada) earned second-team All-American honors in the men’s shot put, placing 12th with a long toss of 17.24 meters (56-6 ¾). Sir Morgan Loudd (Waco – La Vega) placed 15th in the men’s triple jump at 13.97 meters (45-10).

Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden) scored 2.5 points in the women’s pole vault, as one of seven women in the field clearing 3.93 meters (12-10 ¾), with ties broken on fewest attempts made. Her clearance extends her own school and Lone Star Conference record.

Svaerd, Atiana Alexander (San Antonio – Northside Taft), Eboni Coby (Lancaster), and Ro’Nisha Simpson (Tatum) placed ninth in the women’s 4×400 meter relay, earning second-team All-American status with a time of 3:45.61.

The meet concludes the Lions’ indoor schedule. The outdoor plan begins on Friday, March 22, when A&M-Commerce hosts the inaugural East Texas Quad.

 

 

No. 18 Lions shut out ENMU 10-0 to earn the series sweep.

COMMERCE– The No. 18 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team defeated Eastern New Mexico 10-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Lions gave up just two hits and hit a trio of homers to get the shutout win.

The win brings the Lions to 20-6 on the season and 9-3 in the Lone Star Conference. The Greyhounds fall to 10-10 and 6-6 in conference play.

The Lions return to action on Friday as they face West Texas A&M on the road. The teams will meet at 6 p.m. in a single game before playing in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Schaeffer Park in Canyon.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Bri Sims (Rowlett) hit a pair of homers. She swung a three-run homer to right field in the second inning and a two-run homer to the left in the fourth. She had five RBI’s on the day.
– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) hit a three-run home run of her own in the second inning.
– Ciera Nunez (Amarillo – Randall) drove in two runs and had a pair of hits. She also scored.
– Kayla Kilcrease (Kerens), Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair), Allie Thompson (Lindale), Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), Chealsea Slider (Texarkana – Texas HS) and Kynslee Noriega (Kyle – Lehman) each scored a run.
– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar Consolidated) pitched four innings, giving up just two hits and striking out four. She earned her 13th win of the season. Hebler pitched the final inning, striking out two.
– The Lions scored all 10 of their runs with two outs.

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAME

– On getting 10 runs across: “We stayed focused. We picked our pitches and made them pay for it. I’m proud of how our hitter performed at the plate all weekend.”
– On the defense getting another shutout: “It starts with Otto in the circle. She is pitching very well. She threw around their bats. They didn’t hit the ball hard, and when they did, our defense made plays behind her. She has been doing very well, and that certainly gives your defense a chance to make great plays behind her.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Otto struck out a Greyhound in both the first and the second innings. After a scoreless first for A&M-Commerce, the Lions busted the game open in the second inning.

After Slider reached on a single and Noriega also reached, Nunez doubled to bring both runners home. Nunez and Schaefer then scored on a home run from Hill. After Kilcrease and Hebler drew walks, Sims hit an opposite-field home run. In all, the Lions scored eight in the inning, all of which came with two outs.

Otto struck out two more in the third inning and retired the side in the fourth inning as well without giving up a run. The Lions added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hebler walked, and she came home on a home run to left from Sims. The Lions led 10-0 after four.

Hebler pitched the final inning in relief and struck out two Greyhounds, preserving the shutout win to earn the series sweep.

 

 

Rooks’ historic triple-double leads second-seed Lions to 88-77 win over Angelo State in LSC Tournament semifinals.

FRISCO – Texas A&M University-Commerce senior guard Willie Rooks made Lone Star Conference Tournament history, recording the event’s first-ever triple-double to lead the second-seeded Lions to an 88-77 win over third-seeded Angelo State University in the tournament semifinal game.

The Lions move to 23-7 on the season and advance to the LSC Tournament championship game for the 10th time in program history with the victory. The Lions will face off top-seeded West Texas A&M at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Comerica Center.

A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M will meet for the third time this season and seventh time in the last two seasons.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Rooks (Houston – North Forest) scored 13 points, passed out 10 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds. His triple-double effort is the second known triple-double in program history, following in the footsteps of Reggie Reid (Harlem, Ga.) earlier this season.
– A&M-Commerce shot 47.8 percent (33-of-69) for the game, including a 54.5 percent (18-of-33) clip in the second half.
– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) led the Lions in the scoring column with 21 points off the bench. He also had two assists and two steals.
– Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall) scored 17 points, passed out five assists, and grabbed four rebounds.
– Trey Conrod (Kilgore) scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and four assists.
– Rodney Brown (Beaumont – West Brook) scored 11 points with six rebounds and three blocked shots.

POSTGAME THOUGHTS FROM…

Head Coach Jaret von Rosenberg:
On the team’s execution: “I thought we played really good basketball for about 32 minutes. We went on a stretch there at the end of the first half where we didn’t execute, we didn’t control the tempo like we wanted to. But very quickly, our guys stayed with it and continued to do the right things on every possession. They know what the right thing are offensively. We try not to live by makes and misses. We continued to get the shots that we wanted and tried to get them to shoot the shots that we wanted them to. We were able to do it long enough to win.”

On the aggressive play from his team: “We wanted to do things aggressively. We were switching ball screens aggressively. We came over to help aggressively. Everything we were trying to do, we wanted to do it 100 miles an hour, even if we were going to make a mistake. Nothing is guaranteed in March. We are excited to be playing on Sunday.”

On the play of Deonta Terrell and Willie Rooks: “Deonta might have played his best game in a Lion uniform on both sides of the ball. Obviously, he had 21 points but he also defensively he was locked in and executed the game plan on a high level. Then Willie Rooks with the triple-double. Willie understands that it is not about making or missing shots. It is about how we play.”

Willie Rooks:
On the triple-double: “I want to thank my coaching staff and my teammates. I had a bad game on Thursday. But after the game, we got back to the hotel, and everyone was uplifting me. Before the game, they were encouraging me. I don’t get a triple-double if my teammates don’t make shots. I don’t get rebounds if our big men don’t box out. Credit to all of my teammates, if it weren’t for them, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Deonta Terrell:
On his mindset going into the game: “I came into the game with the mindset of doing anything to win. That’s just what’s on my mind every time I step on the floor. It’s always about doing whatever it takes to win. Tonight, I wasn’t thinking about scoring but every opportunity I got, I made sure I tried to execute the right way. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my teammates making good plays and driving and kicking it to me. I just went out there and played hard. Defense trickled into the offense, and that created some nice plays for me.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions stormed out of the gates to start the game, opening the contest on a 13-4 run in the opening five minutes, capped with Terrell’s three-point play. Persistent pressure from Angelo State, combined with outside shooting, allowed the Rams to narrow the gap by the under-8 media timeout, and a pair of consecutive triples put ASU up 28-27 with 6:37 left in the first half.

A&M-Commerce responded with an eight-point rally on a Grandstaff triple, a Conrod layup, and a Reid three-point play. The surge put the Lions up 35-28 with 4:34 left in half, but Angelo State closed out the frame on a 10-2 run. A&M-Commerce was unable to score in the final 3:15 of the half and ASU took a 38-37 lead into the halftime break.

That margin extended to six points in the first 30 seconds of the second half before a Brown jumper in the paint stemmed the tied. The Lions still trailed by four points with 13:23 to go, then went on a 9-0 run to take the lead and force an Angelo timeout. Terrell had four points in the surge, Grandstaff drilled a corner three on the fastbreak, and Rooks managed to lay one in on the break to put the Lions up 55-50.

The Lion lead stayed within two possessions for the next three minutes, then the A&M-Commerce squad went on a seven-point run to seal the win. Brown started the series with a thunderous dunk, Grandstaff hit a three-pointer, and Conrod hit both ends of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity. The Lions held ASU without a field goal for over three minutes, and three late desperation three-pointers from the Rams in the final minute were not nearly enough for the ASU side, as the Lions threw down a pair of dunks and made clutch free throws to advance to the finals for the 10th time in program history.

 

 

Lions reach 20 wins for the third time after 77-70 quarterfinal win over Eastern New Mexico.

FRISCO– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Eastern New Mexico 77-70 in the quarterfinal round of the Lone Star Conference Tournament on Friday night. The Lions built an early lead and withstood the Greyhounds final push to pick up the win.

The win brings the Lions to 20-9 on the season, their third ever 20-win season. The win advances A&M-Commerce to the semifinal round. The Greyhounds fall to 19-10, and they are eliminated from the tournament.

The Lions will face West Texas A&M in the semifinal round. The game will be played on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Comerica Center in Frisco. The Lion men will play against Angelo State at 12 p.m. For ticket information, click HERE.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Princess Davis (Shreveport, La.) led the Lions with 25 points, scoring 10 baskets, including three shots behind the arc. She also had four rebounds and three assists. By playing in the game, she tied the program record for most games played in a career.
– Alexus Jones (Lewisville – Aledo) added 14 points, including 12 from beyond the arc. She also drew eight fouls in the game.
– Chania Wright (DeSoto) also finished in double figures with 13 points.
– Ekaterina Zhibareva (Liske, Russia) had eight points while Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) had six points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
– The Lions won their 20th game of the season, just the third time in program history the team has reached the 20-win mark. Two of those seasons have happened under Coach Burton.
– The Lions shot 45 percent from the field and 50 percent from three in the game.
– The Lions never trailed in the game, leading by as many as 17.

POSTGAME THOUGHTS FROM …

…Head Coach Jason Burton:
– Thoughts on the game: “We knew we were going to hit adversity sometime in the game. It’s happened all year. It is all about withstanding and overcoming adversity. I thought we did a great job. Alexus Jones played huge. She knocked down some big shots. Then Princess was on a mission. For her to have a game like that and to be able to continue playing, it was big.”
– On the mindset in the final minutes after ENMU got back in the game: “Our mindset was to not get rattled. We kept calm and composed. It is a game of runs. You know that everyone will make a run at some point. We have been there before. I trust the ball in Princess’ hands to make the right decision. We got a stop, she made a bucket and we slowly extended the lead back out. This is a team that doesn’t get rattled. They are going to play hard until the end. It was no different tonight.”
– On reaching the 20-win mark: “Our mission this year is to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s every team’s goal. I think this win pushes us over the top, with what happened in the RMAC tonight. That’s our goal. And not just to make the tournament, but to make a run in the tournament. I think we have a team that can do that.”

… Junior Alexus Jones:
On the defensive effort: “Defensively we just needed to pressure them and make them feel uncomfortable. Also, we had to dig down in the post.”
On drawing a late charge to keep ENMU off the board: “I knew [Clay] had four fouls and that got her out of the game. Taking her out of the game was going to help us because she is so dominant. I just put my body on the line for my team and took the charge.”

… Senior Princess Davis:
On her mindset in the game: “I came in with the mindset that it was all or nothing. I tried to do whatever I could to give my team the lead and help my team out. My teammates had my back. It is only right that I had theirs.”
On closing out the game with a big shot: “One of my biggest things to focus on while I am playing is finishing. I didn’t finish as many shots as I wanted to tonight. But when we needed it, I was able to finish that one. It’s a credit to my team.”

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions opened the game with a three. After ENMU responded with a three of their own, the Lions went on a 6-0 to take a 9-3 lead midway through the quarter. The Greyhounds fought back to bring the Lion to lead to just two before the Lions again went running. The Lions hit threes on four consecutive possessions to take a 23-11 lead into the second quarter.

The Lions pushed their lead to 17 early in the second quarter, including threes from Jones and Davis. ENMU battled to cut the Lion lead to 11 points at the midway mark. The teams traded runs as the Lions pushed their lead to 16 again before the Greyhounds cut it back to 10. The Lions led 42-30 at halftime.

Davis had 14 points in the first half, including a pair of threes. Jones added nine points, all from behind the arc. Zhibareva added eight points. The Lions shot 46 percent from the field, including 54 percent from behind the arc.

The teams went back and forth early in the third quarter before the Greyhounds began to chip away at the Lion lead. The Lions went cold, being held without a field goal for nearly four minutes, allowing ENMU to cut the Lion lead to just six points at the midway mark. The Lions then held the Greyhounds scoreless over a five-minute span to bring their lead back up to double figures. The Lions finished the quarter on a 13-2 run to lead 59-42 after three.

The Greyhounds started the fourth on a 12-0 run to cut the Lion lead just five. The Lions got in early foul trouble in the quarter. The Lions stopped the bleeding on a three from Burleson. The Lions brought their lead back up to nine points before the Greyhounds responded to cut the Lion lead to just two points. In the waning seconds, Davis drove into the lane and made a contested layup to put the Lions back up by four. After an ENMU turnover, the Lions were forced to make free throws. Davis drained a pair and Wright made two more to preserve the lead.

 

 

Rashard Clark qualifies for two finals in the first day of action at Division II National Championships.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Texas A&M University-Commerce senior Rashard Clark qualified for the finals in two sprint events to highlight Lion performances at the first day of the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Plaster Center on Friday.

Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) qualified third-fastest in the field in both the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash and will compete in three finals on Saturday, including the 4×400 meter relay. He advanced to the finals in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.15 seconds, and qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.05 seconds.

He was one of six Lions competing in Friday’s action. Hudson Hall (Gregory-Portland) finished in 11th place in the nation, clearing 5.06 meters (17-1 ¼) to earn second-team All-American honors.

Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden) was just short of finals qualification in the women’s 400-meter dash at 55.14 seconds, which placed 10th, good for second-team All-American status. She will also compete in the pole vault and 4×400 meter relay on Saturday.

D’Lance Sharp (Commerce) placed 16th in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.87 seconds. Eboni Coby (Lancaster) placed 13th in the women’s 60-meter dash at 7.58 seconds.

The Lions will see action in seven events on Saturday, beginning with Sir Morgan Loudd (Waco – La Vega) in the men’s triple jump at 3:05 p.m. Also competing in field events will be Josh Boateng (St. George’s, Grenada) in the men’s shot put and Svaerd in the women’s pole vault.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
3:05 p.m. – Men’s Triple Jump (Sir Morgan Loudd)
4:00 p.m. – Women’s Pole Vault (Minna Svaerd)
5:05 p.m. – Men’s Shot Put (Josh Boateng)
6:10 p.m. – Men’s 400m Dash Finals (Rashard Clark)
6:55 p.m. – Men’s 200m Dash Finals (Clark)
7:45 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay
8:00 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Relay

 

Josh Manck
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