Lion Women’s Basketball begins the week with Southern Utah on Tuesday.
COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team begins a two-game homestand this week on Tuesday, welcoming Southern Utah, a 2023 NCAA Tournament participant.
WHO: Southern Utah at A&M-Commerce
WHERE: Commerce | Field House
WHEN: Tuesday, December 5 | 6:30 pm
RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 4-3 on the season, while Southern Utah is 2-4 on the season and 1-1 in WAC play.
RANKINGS: Neither team is nationally ranked, but the Lions are ranked No. 242 in the first NCAA NET Rankings, while the Thunderbirds are No. 194.
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SCOUTING THE THUNDERBIRDS
• Southern Utah is 2-4 on the season, having played five of the six regular-season games at home. The Thunderbirds went to the NCAA Tournament last season and are already 1-1 in WAC play this season, having won over Seattle U. at home, their only win over a Division I opponent this season.
• The Thunderbirds are shooting 42.7 from the field this season, scoring 70.2 points per game. Last season, Southern Utah won 71-56 at home over A&M-Commerce.
• Megan Smith scores 15.3 points per game, while Daylani Ballena scores 15.2.
QUICK GLANCE AT THE LIONS
• Mia Deck delivered the game-winner for the Lions on Friday night to beat Idaho, which was A&M-Commerce’s first non-conference road win in the Division I era. Deck was named the Southland Conference Player of the Week on Monday.
• The Lions are 4-3 on the season, having recorded two wins over Division I teams so far this season. The four non-conference wins and two non-conference Division I wins are more than last season. In the first net rankings, A&M-Commerce is No. 242.
• This week, the Lions welcomed two teams competing in the postseason last year, welcoming Houston on Friday, the first Power Five opponent in history.
BRAND NEW WATERS
• The Lions are in the second season in NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference.
• This is the first time the Lions have changed conferences in program history.
• A&M-Commerce is eligible for the NCAA Tournament in the 2026-27 season.
DECK DELIVERS THE GAME-WINNER
• Mia Deck scored the game-winning layup with less than 10 seconds left at Idaho on Friday.
• She was named the Southland Player of the Week, leading the team in scoring in both games.
• She has a double-double in each of the last two double-doubles.
HOT FROM DEEP
• The Lions have made double-double triples in three games, including 14 three-pointers twice in a game, which tied for second in school history. They also lead the Southland in three-pointers made.
UNPRECEDENTED START TO THE SEASON
• Entering Tuesday, the Lions are 4-3 on the season.
• The four wins are the most in conference play during the Division I era.
• The Lions have two wins over NCAA Division I opponents in non-conference play, surpassing last season’s mark.
• In the first net rankings, the Lions are No. 242.
LIONS’ RAIN THREES TO BEAT TRAILBLAZERS
• Despite trailing by double-digits in the first half, the Lions shot 14 three-pointers to pick up the win.
• The win snapped a two-game losing streak and is the first win over a Division I team this season.
SLOW START DOOMS LIONS AT TECH
• Texas Tech scored the first 29 points of the game in Lubbock.
• It is the first time since women’s basketball went to quarters that the Lions were held without a basket in a quarter, being scoreless in the first quarter.
JUST FELL SHORT OF THE LOBOS
• Mia Deck’s shot fell short at the New Mexico in the 75-74 loss to the Lobos.
• The win for A&M-Commerce would have been the second over a Division I non-conference opponent and the first on the road.
STARTED ON A HIGH NOTE
• The Lions’ 2-0 to start the season was the fourth in the last five years and for the first time in the Division I era.
• By beating LeTourneau, the Lions have won their season opener for the fifth straight season.
• The Lions last lost in the season-opening game to start the 2018-19 season.
A NEW ERA
• Valerie King takes over as the Lions’ coach this season; she was previously an assistant coach in New Mexico.
• This is the first season since 2013-14 that the Lions have a new coach.
NEWSOME SHINES IN DEBUT
• Jordyn Newsome made her mark in Lion Country with a 24-point performance in her Lion debut.
• She knocked down six three-pointers in her first game inside the Field House.
• She leads the team in scoring and is second in the SLC.
DELGADO BOOSTS OFF THE BENCH
• Mary Delgado has come off the bench for all but the Idaho game but is second in scoring and third in the Southland.
PLENTY OF NEW FACES
• This season, the Lions bring back just seven players from last season and welcome seven newcomers for the 14-person roster.
• Of the seven newcomers, three are first-year students, while the rest are transfers.
• The Lion first-year students hail from Austria, Spain, and Texas, while among the transfers, two are from the junior college ranks, and two are from fellow NCAA Division I schools, both from the Sun Belt.
PLAYING THE BEST OF THE BEST
• A&M-Commerce faces four primary conference opponents in the non-conference portion of the schedule.
• The Lions played at Texas Tech on Friday, are at Washington State on November 29, host Houston on December 8, and at Texas A&M on December 31.
• This season, the Lions face three teams that played in the NCAA Tournament while playing two that played in the NIT.
SUCCESS IN THE POSTSEASON
• The Lions’ run in the Southland Conference tournament ended in the semifinals last season, ending a run of three straight championship game appearances.
• The game against Southeastern was the fifth consecutive season the Lions played in the conference tournament semifinals.
• A&M-Commerce has won two postseason games for the last three seasons and three in the last two years.
HISTORIC START TO CONFERENCE PLAY
• For the first time since 2019-20, the Lions started 6-0 in conference play last year.
• That season, the Lions advanced to the conference tournament championship game and made the NCAA Division II Tournament.
FIRST DI ROAD WIN
• The win at McNeese was the first road win for the Lions away from the Field House as a Division I member; they were 0-7 in actual road games and 0-9 in games away from home before that.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE SLC
• The Lions finished the regular season first in the conference in scoring (65.4) and second in rebounding (38.7).
A RARE FEAT IN STARKVILLE
• Despite the lopsided loss against Mississippi State last season, the Lions had an impressive effort on the road.
• Coming into the game, the Bulldogs were allowing 50.3 points per game, which was seventh in the country. The Lions scored 53 points.
ENDED ON A HIGH NOTE
• The Lions ended their Division II era with four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and won an NCAA Tournament game in the last two seasons.
• A&M-Commerce has five postseason appearances in program history, with four coming in the last four seasons.
• The Lions were ranked as high as No. 1 in the D2SIDA rankings and No. 2 in the WBCA rankings last season.