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TAMUC – Sports

 

 No. 21 Lions ready for No. 7 Mines in chilly Regional Semifinal

11/27/2019 | Football

COMMERCE – For the fourth straight season, the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team is in the regional semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The second round of the 2019 playoffs will see the Lions travel to the Colorado School of Mines.

WHO: Texas A&M University-Commerce at Colorado School of Mines

WHERE: Golden, Colo. | Marv Kay Stadium at Campbell Field

WHEN: Noon MST (1:00 pm CST) on Saturday, November 30

RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 10-2 overall and was the runner-up of the Lone Star Conference. Mines is 12-0 overall and the champions of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 21 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 20 in the D2Football.com Media Poll. Mines is ranked No. 7 in both the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and the D2Football.com Media Poll.

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network — KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)

LIVE VIDEO: http://www.minesathletics.com/tv

LIVE STATS: https://www.ncaa.com/game/3909038

SENIORS SUCCEED OVER CAREER SPAN

The 2019 senior class claimed the school record for wins by a class with win No. 44 in-game No. 52.

The UTPB game gave this year’s class the school record for most games played by a senior class.

This year’s senior class is also in second behind with the 1951-54 class for the highest winning percentage by a class.

Four-year playoff participants for the Lions are Neema BehbahaniJalon Edwards-CooperPierre LeonardBrian TaylorMark Westbrook, and Preston Wheeler.

Peyton Searcy and Darent White were also on the dress list for those four years but missed a postseason due to injury.

These seniors are playing in their 11th playoff game and have eight playoff wins (8-2).

The Lone Star Conference record for Division II playoff games won and played in four years was set by Texas A&M-Kingsville from 1992-95. That Javelina team played in 12 games and went 8-4.

Mathematically, this year’s Lions are guaranteed the highest playoff winning percentage in four years by any LSC team.

 

Years
Record
Pct
2016-19
48-8
85.7
2015-18
43-10
81.1
2014-17
42-10
80.8
1951-54
36-5-2
86.0
2013-16
35-14
71.4
1957-60
34-7
82.9
1972-75
32-13-1
70.6
1936-39
31-8
79.5
1990-93
31-16-1
65.6

BAILIFF BEGINS ON RIGHT FOOT
• Lion Football head coach David Bailiff was hired in December 2018 as the 20th head football coach at A&M-Commerce.
• Since East Texas joined the Lone Star Conference as charter members in 1931, Bailiff is the 13th head coach of the Lions.
• He has won all seven of his “firsts” games at A&M-Commerce
FIRSTS GAMES
First Game
NUEVO LEON
Sept. 7
W 83-0
First Road Game
at Western Oregon
Sept. 14
W 34-27
First LSC Game
EASTERN N.M.
Sept. 21
W 45-27
First LSC Road Game
at Tex. A&M-Kingsville
Oct. 5
W 33-6
First National TV Game
MIDWESTERN ST.
Oct. 12
W 54-28
First Regional TV Game
WESTERN N.M.
Oct. 26
W 62-21
First Playoff Game
at Tarleton
Nov. 23
W 23-16

• Bailiff was the head coach at Texas State University from 2004-06 and at Rice University from 2007-17. The Lions’ 2019 season is Bailiff’s 15th season as a collegiate head coach.
• As a collegiate head coach, Bailiff has led a team to the NCAA Division I National Semifinals and is making his sixth total postseason appearance with a 6-2 postseason record.
• The 2005 Texas State Bobcats were Division I National Semifinalists, and Bailiff led the Rice Owls to four bowls with a 3-1 record in those games.
• Bailiff has led teams to 10-win seasons in four seasons (one at Texas State, two at Rice, one at A&M-Commerce).
• Under his watch, Rice had the most wins in school history over a two (18), three (25), and four (30) year periods. Rice’s 18-9 mark from 2013-14 was the second-best of any FBS program in Texas.
• Bailiff’s 10 wins in his first season with the Lions are the most by a first-season head coach, breaking the record of Milburn A. “Catfish” Smith in 1951 – a man whose name we couldn’t avoid putting in the game notes again.
• Based on our research, Bailiff has become the fourth-ever coach to qualify for the Division II playoffs, Division I-AA or FCS playoffs, and win a Division I-A or FBS bowl game.

LION COACHES IN THEIR FIRST SEASONYear
Coach
Overall
LSC
2019
David Bailiff
10-2
7-1
2013
Colby Carthel
7-5
2-4
2009
Guy Morriss
5-5
5-4
2004
Scotty Conley
4-6
4-5
1999
Eddie Brister
4-7
4-5
1986
Eddie Vowell
2-9
1-5
1964
Ernest Hawkins
2-7
1-5
1954
J.V. Sikes
6-3-1
5-0-1
1951
M.A. “Catfish” Smith
9-2
5-0
1946
Bob Berry 2nd Stint
5-2-2
3-1-1
1942
Dennis Vinzant Only Season
4-3-1
2-0-1
1935
Bob Berry 1st Stint
6-2-1
3-1
1931
J.W. Rollins
3-6

WE’RE STILL GOING STREAKING!
• By qualifying for their fifth straight NCAA Division II Playoff berth in 2019, the Lions have the third-longest active playoff streak in the nation.
• Only Northwest Missouri State (16 straight) and Ferris State (six straight) have longer active playoff streaks than A&M-Commerce.
• In Lone Star Conference history, only A&M-Kingsville (1992-98, 7 straight) has a streak of more than four appearances. The Javelinas’ 1996-98 appearances were vacated by action of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
• The Lions have also advanced to the regional semifinal round for four consecutive seasons. 2018 national runner-up Ferris State has reached the regional semifinal five times in a row.

LIONS CONTINUE RANKINGS RUN
• The Lions held their grip in the top 25, rising to No. 21 nationally in the 2019 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll released Monday.
• A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 64 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.
• This is A&M-Commerce’s 70th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.
• In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 119 times since joining Division II in 1981.

ROAD WARRIORS
• The Lions have excelled on the road in the playoffs in the five consecutive trips, with a record of 5-3 in true road games.
• In the 2010s, only four schools have won five road playoff games – Shepherd, West Florida, and West Texas A&M
• The Lions are the only team to win a road game in three consecutive seasons.
• West Florida won four road games in 2017 before meeting up with the Lions in the National Championship Game. The Argonauts won their first-round game at Wingate this season and are on the road at Valdosta State this week. They have never played a home playoff game.
• West Texas A&M won three road games in 2012 and two road games in 2013.
• Shepherd’s road success has been spread throughout the decade, with the Rams winning two road games in 2010, two in 2016, and their first-round game at Indiana (Pa.) this year.
• The Lions are the first team to win an NCAA Division II playoff game on the road in three straight years since Northwest Missouri State did so in five straight years from 2007-11.

SIMON SAYS
• Left tackle Amon Simon was named the LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year last week.
• This is the second consecutive year the redshirt junior has earned First Team All-LSC honors.
• He blocked for an offense that averaged 407.9 yards and 36.1 points per game.
• He is the seventh Lion to earn LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year honors since the award was inaugurated in 1984.
• He joins Jared Machorro (2017), R.J. Brisbon (2008 and 2009), Darron Sheppard (2007), Ryan Graves (2005), and Trent Dagen (1997) as Lions who have won the award.

SHILLOW EARNS ACADEMIC HONORS
• Redshirt junior safety Alex Shillow was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
• He followed that up by earning Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year and All-Academic honors.
• He is the second consecutive Lion to win Academic Player of the Year and the third overall, joining Kristov Martinez (2018) and Taylor Fore (2011).
• First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Academic All-America® ballot. First-, second- and third-team (if necessary) Academic All-America® honorees will be announced in early December.
• Shillow is the only Academic All-District selection from the Lone Star Conference in 2019.
• Shillow has excelled in every aspect of his collegiate career. He is the national chair of the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and president of the A&M-Commerce SAAC, which has won last the last three Lone Star Conference SAAC Cups. He was a 2019 nominee for the American Football Coaches’ Association’s Good Works Team and recipient of the NACDA John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship.
• He has been named to the President’s List four times, Dean’s List two times, and LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll six times, and was the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award winner twice. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management in August.
• On the field, the 2017 National Champion has 151 career tackles with four interceptions, 13 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a blocked kick returned for a two-point conversion, and 4.5 tackles for loss. He has 35 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and three pass breakups in the 2019 season. The Lions have gone 34-6 in Shillow’s three seasons in the blue and gold.

RAMSEY IS ELECTRIC
• Junior defensive back and return specialist Dominique Ramsey has been one of the most electric players in all of Division II whenever he touches the ball and picked up an outstanding trio of awards from the Lone Star Conference.
• He earned First Team All-LSC honors as both a safety and as a return specialist and earned LSC All-Academic honors.
• He is a double major student-athlete in mathematics and electrical engineering.
• He won his second LSC Special Teams Player of the Week honor for the Western New Mexico game, thanks to a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
• He now ranks second in the nation in kickoff return average at 37.5 yards per return. He has not had a kickoff return opportunity since the WNMU game and has officially fallen out of the NCAA statistical rankings, which require 1.2 returns per game.
• He also ranks second in the LSC and ninth in the nation in punt return average at 14.7 yards per return.
• In the Midwestern State game, he recorded 150 all-purpose yards, including a highlight-reel 65-yard kickoff return to open the game and set the Lions’ first score up on a short field. He also dazzled on two scintillating punt returns. The Lions scored within five plays after each of his kick and punt returns.
• All told, Ramsey had 65 kick return yards, 48 punt return yards, 14 interception yards, 15 rushing yards, and 8 receiving yards.
• He had two interceptions in the game, including a key snag in the end zone near the end of the first half to snuff out an MSU scoring threat which would have narrowed the deficit in a key spot. He also had an interception to help seal the game in the fourth quarter. He also made five key tackles in open space on the perimeter to limit MSU yards after the line of scrimmage.
• At Tarleton, he had a 55-yard kickoff return on the way to 112 return yards with 95 kickoff return yards and 17 punt return yards. He also had eight tackles.
• Earlier this season, his 55-yard punt return for a touchdown in the ENMU game earned him Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
• He now has six career returns for touchdowns:Date
Type
Opponent
Yards
10/26/19
KO
WESTERN N.M.
91
9/21/19
Punt
EASTERN N.M.
55
11/17/18
Punt
at Minnesota Duluth
79
11/10/18
INT
ANGELO ST.
99
10/27/18
INT
WEST TEXAS A&M
84
9/22/18
Punt
COLORADO ST.-PUEBLO
72

RUN ANTONIO RUN!
• Redshirt junior running back Antonio Leali’ie’e has made the most of his opportunity to contribute after rising through the lineup due to injuries to other backs.
• He was named First Team All-LSC at running back for the first time in his career.
• He is the 28th Lion to earn First Team All-LSC at running back, joining Richard Cooper (2015 & 2016), Marcus Graham (2009), Nabil El-Amin (2007), Cliff Edwards (2005 & 2006), Demetrius Rector (2001), Jason Smith (1995), Ricky Dirks (1982 & 1983), Cary Noiel (1980 & 1981), Kenneth Parks (1972), “King” Arthur James (1967, 1968, & 1969), Curtis Guyton (1966), Gary Berry (1958), George Riley (1953), Charles Stewart (1950), Clinton White (1938. 1939, & 1940), Johnny Garrison (1936), Guy Stevens (1934 & 1935), and Herman Morgan (1933).
• He ranks seventh in the LSC in rushing at 68.9 yards per game, and he ranks third in the league in yards per carry at 6.6 yards per tote.
• He has gone over 100 yards rushing in three games.
• Against Western New Mexico, he had two rushing touchdowns on 17 carries for 133 yards.
• Lealiiee has scored at least one touchdown in six of his last seven games.
• Running backs coach Jack Welch was Leali’ie’e’s high school coach at Copperas Cove.

NO QUESTION, IT’S KOHOU’S YEAR
• Redshirt junior cornerback Kader Kohou earned First Team All-LSC honors at cornerback and has stood out late in the season in special teams.
• The Euless Trinity product earned his second All-LSC honor after being named to the second team in 2018.
• In eight regular-season games, Kohou had three interceptions, 22 tackles, and two fumble recoveries as one of the top turnover creators in the league.
• He followed this up with three tackles and two pass breakups in the playoff win at Tarleton, and also had 84 yards of return yardage (73 punt return yards on four returns, and an 11-yard kickoff return), including a 27-yard punt return.

NO SMALLS FEAT
• Quarterback Miklo Smalls has established himself as one of the most accurate and efficient passers in the LSC and Division II.
• He was named a Second Team All-LSC selection at quarterback in his first season in the blue and gold.
• His performance at Tarleton in the playoffs carried the Lions to this round. He completed 12-of-23 passes for 197 yards with an interception and had 16 carries for 126 yards.
• This marked the first time a quarterback has led the Lions in rushing since Terry Mayo had 46 yards and a touchdown in a 28-24 home loss to Southeastern Oklahoma State on November 1, 2008.
• This was the first time a Lion quarterback has rushed for over 100 yards since September 9, 2006, when Daniel Coleman had 110 yards on 13 carries in a 20-17 overtime loss at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
• In years with computerized game-by-game statistics (roughly the mid-2000s), no Lion quarterback has rushed for 100 yards and passed for 100 yards. (Coleman passed for 66 yards in his 100-yard rushing game.)
• Smalls has won the LSC Offensive Player of the Week award four times, including the regular-season finale at Angelo State.
• Against the Rams, Smalls was the key factor for the Lion offense in the 17-3 win, Smalls accounted for both Lion touchdowns. His 17-yard touchdown carries in the first quarter gave the Lions a 7-3 lead they would not relinquish, and his 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Guice in the fourth quarter sealed the win. He completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 142 yards.
• He won LSC POTW honors against West Texas A&M, when he completed 18-of-28 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a touchdown. He was responsible for both touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which broke a 20-all tie.
• At Tarleton, he had season highs with 29 completions, 39 attempts, and 288 yards.
• Against Midwestern State, Smalls completed 70.3 percent of his passes in the game with five touchdown passes and 186 yards through the air. He also had 24 rushing yards.
• He completed passes to nine different receivers, and all five touchdowns were caught by different receivers.
• He also won Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his game against Eastern New Mexico, completing 13-of-15 passes for 243 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
• His passing efficiency rating of 297.413 in that game is the second-best single-game performance by a quarterback in Division II this season.
• His 86.7 completion percentage in the game is seventh-best in the nation this year of passers with 15 or more attempts in a game.
• His 68.0 percent (194-of-280) completion percentage for the season ranks sixth in Division II.
• Smalls ranks 16th in the nation in passing efficiency at 158.2.
• He also ranks in the top 35 nationally in completions per game and passing touchdowns, passing yards per game, and yards per pass attempt.

LIONS ALL-TIME IN THE POSTSEASONJan 1, 1953
vs. Tennessee Tech
W 33-0
Tangerine Bowl
Orlando
Jan 1, 1954
vs. Arkansas State
T 7-7
Tangerine Bowl
Orlando
Jan 1, 1958
vs. Mississippi Southern
W 10-9
Tangerine Bowl
Orlando
Dec 31, 1958
vs. Missouri Valley
W 26-7
Tangerine Bowl
Orlando
Nov 25, 1972
CENTRAL ST. (Okla.)
W 54-0
NAIA Semifinal
Commerce
Dec 9, 1972
CARSON-NEWMAN
W 21-18
NAIA Champion Bowl
Commerce
Nov 30, 1974
vs. Bethune-Cookman
T 7-7
Central Florida Classic
Orlando
Dec 6, 1980
at Central Arkansas
W 27-21
NAIA Quarterfinal
Conway, Ark.
Dec 13, 1980
ELON
L 6-14
NAIA Semifinal
Commerce
Nov 17, 1990
at Grand Valley State
W 20-14
DII First Rd
Allendale, Mich.
Nov 24, 1990
at Pittsburg State
L 28-60
DII Quarterfinal
Pittsburg, Kan.
Nov 23, 1991
GRAND VALLEY STATE
W 36-15
DII First Rd
Commerce
Nov 30, 1991
at Pittsburg State
L 28-38
DII Quarterfinal
Pittsburg, Kan.
Nov 18, 1995
at Portland State
L 35-56
DII First Rd
Portland, Ore.
Dec 13, 2013
vs. Harding
L 3-44
Live United Bowl
Texarkana, Ark.
Dec 6, 2014
vs. East Central
W 72-21
Heart of Texas Bowl
Copperas Cove
Nov 21, 2015
at Ferris State
L 30-48
DII Regional Qtr
Big Rapids, Mich.
Nov 19, 2016
COLORADO MESA
W 34-23
DII Regional Qtr
Commerce
Nov 26, 2016
at Grand Valley State
L 32-55
DII Regional Semi
Allendale, Mich.
Nov 18, 2017
at Winona State
W 20-6
DII Regional Qtr
Winona, Minn.
Nov 25, 2017
at Central Washington
W 34-31 (2OT)
DII Regional Semi
Ellensburg, Wash.
Dec 2, 2017
at Minnesota State
W 31-21
DII Regional Final
Mankato, Minn.
Dec 9, 2017
HARDING
W 31-17
DII Semifinal
Commerce
Dec 16, 2017
vs. West Florida
W 37-27
DII National Champs
Kansas City, Kan.
Nov 7, 2018
at Minnesota-Duluth
W 33-17
DII Regional Qtr
Duluth, Minn.
Nov. 14, 2018
at Tarleton
L 28-34
DII Regional Semi
Stephenville
Nov. 23, 2019
at Tarleton
W 23-16
DII Regional Qtr
Stephenville
Nov. 30, 2019
at Colo. Sch. of Mines
—-
DII Regional Semi
Golden, Colo.
Postseason Record
17-8-2 (.648)
Live United Bowl
0-1 (.000)
Heart of Texas Bowl
1-0 (1.000)
Tangerine Bowl Appearances
3-0-1 (.875)
Central Florida Classic
0-0-1 (.500)
NAIA Playoffs
3-1 (.750)
NCAA Division II Playoffs
10-6 (.625)

• With the win at Tarleton last week, the Lions became the 21st program ever – and 16th active Division II member – to win 10 games in the Division II playoffs.
• The Lions’ .625 winning percentage is tied for 8th-best in Division II playoff history and 5th-best winning percentage of active Division II teams (with at least 10 wins).
1
Northwest Missouri State
49-17
.742
2
North Dakota State FM
30-12
.714
3
Grand Valley State
35-15
.700
4
Valdosta State
26-12
.684
5
North Alabama FM
35-18
.660
6
Delta State
15-8
.652
7
Northern Colorado FM
12-7
.632
8
A&M-COMMERCE
10-6
.625

Jacksonville State FM
15-9
.625
10
Ferris State
16-10
.615
11
Pittsburg State
25-16
.610
12
Minnesota Duluth
14-9
.609
13
Portland State FM
12-8
.600

FRONT LINE PUSH
• Senior guard Deion Malone made his presence known in his only season for A&M-Commerce, earning First Team All-LSC honors.
• The Arkansas graduate transfer blocked for an offense that averaged 407.9 yards and 36.1 points per game.
• He was joined along the front line in all-conference honors by center Christian Hernandez (Frisco – Lone Star) and tight end Tyler Guice (Atlanta, Ga.) who earned All-LSC Honorable Mention.

THE “T” IN T.C. STANDS FOR TACKLES
• Senior linebacker Terrell Collins leads the Lions with 77 total tackles this year.
• The Arkansas graduate transfer was named Second Team All-LSC.
• His 7.0 tackles per game have moved him into the ranking of top tacklers in the Lone Star Conference.
• He ranks 10th in the LSC in tackles per game.

JAKE IS THIS YEAR’S MR. AUTOMATIC
• Junior kicker Jake Viquez was an unknown quantity entering the season, but excelled and earned Second Team All-LSC honors.
• He has been especially good in the latter stages of the season.
• He extended his career-long in field goals twice with makes of 47 and 48 yards vs. UT Permian Basin.
• His 48-yarder is the longest made kick in the LSC this season.
• He then earned LSC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his performance vs. Angelo State.
• His 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Lions a touchdown lead, and he made both PAT attempts
• He went 3-for-4 on field-goal attempts in the playoff win at Tarleton with makes of 46, 32, and 41 yards, as well as making both PAT attempts.
• For the season, he is 14-of-19 on field-goal attempts and 46-of-48 on PAT attempts.
• His 8.0 kicking points per game ranks second the LSC.
• He has also been fantastic on kickoffs, as the Lions rank ninth in the nation in kickoff return defense.

TO BE THE BEST, BEAT THE BEST
• According to NCAA calculations of strength of schedule, the Lions are facing the strongest schedule in Division II this season.
• The Lions’ cumulative opposition’s record is 84-39 for a percentage of .683.
• The next-closest playoff team is West Florida from Super Region II at .642.
• The next-closest cumulative strength of schedule in Super Region Four is CSU-Pueblo at .611.

ALL-TIME AGAINST THE OREDIGGERS
• This is the first meeting between these two schools in football.
• The Lions have played four other games against the RMAC with an 0-2 record against CSU-Pueblo in 2018 & 2019, and 1-0 records over Adams State and Colorado Mesa.
• The Lions defeated Adams State 48-17 in the 2015 season opener.
• A&M-Commerce defeated Colorado Mesa 34-23 in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division II playoffs.
• This is the Lions’ second non-conference game in the Mountain Time Zone, following the CSU-Pueblo game earlier this season.
• In all sports, Mines has a 3-2-1 lead in the all-time series: MBB
12/29/06
Mines
84-80
Denver (MSU)
WSOC
11/21/14
Tie
1-1 Mines SO
Golden

11/12/15
Mines
2-1
Dallas (DBU)

11/18/17
Mines
2-1 (OT)
Golden
SOFT
2/5/16
TAMUC
8-3
San Antonio

2/3/19
TAMUC
9-1
Conroe
• All of the women’s soccer games were in the NCAA playoffs, making this the fourth all-time postseason game between the two schools.

LION FOOTBALL HONORS IN 2019
LSC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR
Amon Simon

LSC ACADEMIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alex Shillow

CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Alex Shillow

ALL- LSC FIRST TEAMAmon SImon
Tackle
Deion Malone
Guard
Antonio Leali’ie’e
Running Back
Dominique Ramsey
Safety
Dominique Ramsey
Return Specialist
Kader Kohou
Cornerback

ALL-LSC SECOND TEAMRyan Stokes
Wide Receiver
Miklo Smalls
Quarterback
Jake Viquez
Kicker
Chris Williams
Defensive Tackle
Jaylon Hodge
Defensive End
Terrell Collins
Inside Linebacker
Alex Shillow
Safety

ALL-LSC HONORABLE MENTIONChristian Hernandez
Center
Tyler Guice
Tight End
Chance Cooper
Wide Receiver
L.A. Dawson
Cornerback
Andrew Gomez
Punter
Wyatt Leath
Deep Snapper

LSC ALL-ACADEMIC
Alex Shillow
Dominique Ramsey

On this day in Texas A&M-Commerce/East Texas St. Football (0-1-1) :
• 1974 – East Texas traveled to Orlando for the Central Florida Classic postseason game, and tied Bethune-Cookman 7-7 in front of 10,000 fans at the Tangerine Bowl stadium. Craig Powell rushed for 137 yards in the game on 26 carries at a two-yard touchdown carry. Ray Hawkins and Chuck Johnson each had interceptions in the contest. The Lions finished the season at 6-4-1.

• 1991 – The Lions head to Pittsburg, Kan., and are knocked out of the NCAA Division II Playoffs in the quarterfinal round with a 38-28 loss at Pitt State. The Lions turned the ball over nine times (five interceptions and four fumbles), fell behind 31-0 on the first play of the second quarter, and still nearly came back to upset the eventual national champions. Eddie Tenison had eight receptions for 188 yards, Finis Turner and Eric Turner each had interceptions, and Mike Meador completed 17-of-40 passes for 310 yards with two touchdowns and four

Alexis Bryant, Alex Shillow named Under Armour Student-Athletes of the Week

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce forward Alexis Bryant and defensive back Alex Shillow have been named the Under Armour Student-Athletes of the Week by Lion Athletics. 

Bryant– a senior from Pflugerville­– has been a dominant force in the paint for the Lions in their 6-0 start, battling with opposing bigs on defense while also contributing big numbers on the offensive end. In her three games over the last week, Bryant averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, leading the Lions to three home wins, including two conference wins and a win over No. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma State. Over the span, Bryant also had eight blocks and four assists while shooting 57 percent from the field and 86 percent from the foul line. For her efforts, she was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Bryant has been one of the driving forces that have led the Lions to their first national ranking in nearly 12 years. 

Shillow­– a redshirt junior from Pflugerville­– was celebrated for his academic prowess this past week, as he was named CoSIDA Academic All-District, the only Academic All-District selection from the Lone Star Conference in 2019. Days later, Shillow was named the 2019 LSC Academic Player of the Year, becoming the third Lion footballer to earn the award. He now will advance to the Academic All-America ballot, is announced in December. Shillow also made his return to the gridiron this past week and made an immediate impact in the Lions’ 23-16 win over Tarleton in the Super Regional Quarterfinal round. Despite playing with a club, on the one hand, Shillow was disruptive all day for the Lion secondary, especially down the stretch. He recorded a pair of tackles in the fourth quarter, including a tackle-for-loss at the goal line to prevent Tarleton from scoring a touchdown. 

The Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week will be awarded by Lion Athletics each week during the academic year.

No. 20 Lions use early lead for rushing to a 70-64 win over No. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma State

COMMERCE – The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team faced a stern test in its first game as a nationally-ranked team in over 11 years. The Lions showed they deserved the ranking holding off No. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma State University by a 70-64 score in the Field House on Tuesday night. 

The Lions extended their season-opening winning streak to six games and are 6-0 on the season. The Savage Storm falls to 4-1 overall with its first loss of the season.

A&M-Commerce will travel to Oklahoma this weekend, playing Northeastern State in Tahlequah at 2:00 pm Saturday. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The interior play was crucial for the Lions, who had a 39-30 overall rebounding advantage, including 15 offensive rebounds. It was necessary, as TAMUC shot only 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field. The Lions had 11 second-chance points compared to only two for Southeastern.

– Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower) was the Lion leader in points, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. She also had three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

– Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville) scored 12 points off the bench, and Chania Wright (DeSoto) scored 10 points.

– Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) had eight points and nine rebounds.

– A&M-Commerce forced the Savage Storm to turn the ball over 20 times in the game. 

HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME

On getting the win over another nationally-ranked team: “That’s a really good team right there. They are the No. 18 team in the country for a reason. They didn’t get rattled by anything. Even though they got down, they played hard until the very end and had confidence the whole time. They shot 60 percent in that fourth quarter. That is the best anyone has shot against us this year. They put some pressure on us at the end of the game. Luckily we were able to pull it out.” 

On the strong first quarter: “We needed that hot start. I think early on, and our pressure bothered them. The sign of a good team is being able to adjust, and they were able to do that. I thought it started to show that we had played three games in six days. Some of our players got a little fatigued. But at the end of the day, we found a way down the stretch, and that’s what you have to do.” 

On being on the road the rest of the calendar year: “We are on the road for the rest of 2019. It’s not going to get any easier. The fact that we are now ranked, that adds a target. There is a number before our name now. I think that anybody that sees that they take on the role of the underdog. You are able to play loose. I think we are going to get everybody’s best shot. We have some big conference games next month with Tyler, TWU, and Tarleton. It was tough to get to 6-0. We will try to get to 7-0 on Saturday. Hopefully, we can repeat our formula.” 

HOW IT HAPPENED

After the game went back and forth for the first four minutes, the Lions went on a big run to take a sizeable lead. Southeastern held a narrow 5-4 lead at the 6:17 mark, but A&M-Commerce scored the next 10 points and held the guests to five points in the rest of the period. Alexus Jones (Aledo) started the rally with a pair of free throws, followed by a three-point play by Bryant, a DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.0 three-pointer, and a Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) basket on the fastbreak. The Lion lead would advance to as many as 15 points, and Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) scored four points in the final minute to give A&M-Commerce a 24-10 lead after 10 minutes. 

Agang Tac (Sachse) drained a jumper on the first possession of the second quarter to put the Lions up 16, but Southeastern hit three-pointers on its next two shots to cut the advantage to 10 points at 26-16. A bucket by Wright and a pair of baskets by Glass would extend that lead back out to 16 points. Burleson’s free throws at the 4:10 mark of the quarter gave the Lions their largest lead of the night at 36-18. The Storm would narrow that margin to 11 points, but A&M-Commerce was able to take a 40-28 lead into the intermission. 

The lead stood at 15 points off of a Burleson three-pointer with 6:18 to play in the third quarter, but Southeastern scored six straight in the next minute and a half to get the lead back a single digit at 51-42. The Lions were able to get back ahead by double figures quickly and took a 57-45 lead into the final period of action. Three long-range shots made in the quarter aided the response. 

A&M-Commerce hovered around a 10-point lead for most of the fourth quarter, but the Storm pressured their way back into the game. The point was still at 65-55 with 4:18 to go on a pair of Burleson free throws, but SEOSU made its next two shots to get its deficit back to six points at 65-50 with three minutes left. The lead shrank down to five points, but Glass was able to make a trio of free throws in the last minute to preserve the Lions’ sixth win in a row.

 

 

Josh Manck

Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce

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Marcus Jensen

Director of Athletic Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce

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