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TAMUC – Sports

Long ball and dynamite pitching leads No. 16 Lions to sweep of No. 15 Rogers State

CLAREMORE, Okla. – The No. 16 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a pair of wins over No. 15 Rogers State on Tuesday afternoon. The Lions won the first game 7-2 and the second game 7-1. 

The wins bring the Lions to 13-6 on the season, while the Hillcats fall to 17-6 on the year. 

The Lions return home to Lone Star Conference action with two doubleheaders over the weekend. The Lions will host Cameron in a doubleheader on Friday at 4:00 pm before hosting Oklahoma Christian on Sunday at 1:00 pm. 


– On finding the bats in both games: “We played to win today, instead of playing not to lose. The team changed its mindset today and put themselves out there. They didn’t worry about making mistakes or striking out. They just played their game. It was awesome to see that. And the players saw that too. They were excited about it. The bats were awesome today.”

– On the pitching performances: “I was proud of both our pitchers today. I didn’t realize Otto’s performance was a program record, but any time you have 21 outs in a game, and 12 of them were strikeouts, you are obviously doing your job well. I’m very proud of her keeping her composure in that inning where they had base runners on and keeping them to one run. She gave the offense a chance, and the offense came up big for her. It was great to see that team effort. And then LeBlanc was also great in game two.”

– On seeing the ball leave the yard multiple times: “It was long overdue. We knew they could do it because they do it every day in practice. And they changed their mindset today. They flipped the right switch today, and it was great to see that. Uxua got her first one today, and LeBlanc had another one, and Boley got a couple. Hitting is contagious, and that’s what we had today.” 


– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) set a career-high and set the school single-game record with 12 strikeouts in the game. She pitched her fourth complete game of the season and picked up her sixth win.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) went 3-of-4, including her first home run of the season.

– Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) went 2-of-4, including a three-run home run.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) had two hits, including a solo home run. Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) also had a solo homer.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had two hits, including an RBI double.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) both also had one hit and scored. Allie Thompson (Lindale) also scored a run.

– The Lions set a season-high with four home runs in the game and had 12 hits in the game. 


Both pitchers were in top form to begin, as each had a pair of strikeouts in the first inning. The Lions then had a couple of runners reach in the top of the second, with Slider hitting a single. However, the Lion bats were unable to get her around. Otto had two more strikeouts in the bottom of the second to keep the game scoreless. 

Hill singled and stole second base to lead off the third inning, and got to third base with one out before RSU’s defense retired two in a row to keep the Lions off the board. The Hillcats then hit a solo home run to take the lead. Facing the bases loaded, Otto continued to fight and drew a pop up to get out of the jam. 

The Lion bats then ignited in the fourth inning. LeBlanc smoked a pitch over the wall in left-center to tie the game. Slider followed suit, blasting a shot over the center-field fence to give the Lions the lead. A&M-Commerce did not stop there, as Moody hit an infield single and stole second. A hard-hit double from Hill brought her in to score, giving the Lions a 3-1 lead. Otto continued her onslaught, striking out two more in the bottom half. 

The Lion offense continued its hot-hitting ways in the fifth, as Modrego hit her first collegiate home run to give the Lions a more significant lead. Schaefer and LeBlanc both singled to put runners on for Boley, who blasted her first homer of the season to give the Lions a 7-1 lead. Otto again showed her stuff, striking out two more and retiring the side in the bottom half. 

Otto struck out three more in the sixth inning to set the single-game record and took the Lions to the win. 


– Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) hit a solo home run and also had an RBI single in the game.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) had a single and a pair of RBIs. Vanessa Avina (Haltom City) and Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) also each had an RBI.

– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) and Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) also had hits.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) pitched a complete game, getting her seventh win of the year. She had six strikeouts and gave up only four hits. 


As with the first game, defense ruled the first two innings of play, as neither team was able to score a run. That changed in the third, as the Lions again found their hitting prowess. Hill reached on a single and Hebler drew a walk to put two runners on. Schaefer brought one of the runs in, and two more runs crossed the plate on a single from Slider. Avina brought the fourth run across on a single, and the Lions led 4-0 after three complete. 

The Lions scored two more in the fourth, as Slider brought in another run, while Boley also had an RBI hit. The Lion defense again took the Hillcats down in order as they led 6-0 after four complete. 

The Lion defense again took over in the next two innings, as LeBlanc was hitting her spots, and the defense cleaned up what was put in play. Boley then brought the lead to seven runs in the top of the seventh, as she hit her second home run of the day. The Lions gave up a late run but left with the series sweep. 


Eighth-seeded Lions avenge the weekend loss, advance to LSC quarterfinals with 77-73 win over ninth-seeded UAFS.

COMMERCE – The eighth-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team used a hot-shooting second half to pull out a 77-73 win over ninth-seeded UA Fort Smith in the first round of the 2020 Lone Star Conference Championship on Tuesday night. 

The win advances A&M-Commerce to the LSC Championship quarterfinal with a record of 18-11 overall, while UAFS ends its season at 13-16. 

A&M-Commerce will take on top-seeded West Texas A&M in the LSC Championship quarterfinal at 6:00 pm Friday at Frisco’s Comerica Center. The Lions and Buffs will meet in the LSC Championship for the third straight season and will play their sixth postseason game in the last four years. 


– A&M-Commerce shot 65.0 percent (13-of-20) in the second half of the game, missing only two attempts inside the arc. For the game, the Lions shot 55.1 percent (27-of-49).

– Wayne Stewart (Philadephia, Pa.) led the Lions with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

– Alberto Moreno (Ingenio, Gran Canaria) scored 19 points and led the team with a career-high seven rebounds and four assists.

– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) netted 15 points and five boards, while Darnell Wright (Chicago, Ill.) rounded out the Lions’ double-digit scorers with 10 points.

– UAFS’ Brian Halums scored 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting. 


CLICK HERE to hear coach Jaret von Rosenberg‘s comments after the game


Both teams were neck and neck in the opening minutes, as A&M-Commerce held an 8-7 lead with five minutes gone. UA Fort Smith then scored the next eight points and took the largest lead of the first half at 22-14 on a Charles Botchway layup at the 9:12 mark. 

A Moreno three-pointer started a Lion rally, and six straight points on the interior from Wright and another Moreno trey tied the game up at 28-all with 3:54 left in half. The Lions took a 33-32 lead inside the final minute, but UAFS’ Evan Anderson hit his third three-pointer of the half in the dying seconds to give the visitors a 35-33 halftime lead. 

Terrell and Moreno each had nine points at the half, as A&M-Commerce shot 48.3 percent from the field, and UAFS shot 50 percent from the floor. The guests did not make a two-point basket in the final 8:33 of the half after making four straight before that point. 

The Lions took the lead at 38-37 with a Terrell layup and Stewart trey inside the first three minutes, but a five-point UAFS rally gave the guests the lead. The visitors would not relinquish their advantage until a five-point run by A&M-Commerce. Stewart’s breakaway layup at the 9:38 mark put the blue and gold up 51-49. 

That rally was part of a 12-5 Lion surge that gave the home side a 59-54 lead with seven minutes remaining. Stewart scored four straight points on thunderous dunks to get the Field House faithful into a roar, and his three-pointer with 3:33 to play gave the Lions a 68-60 lead. 

A&M-Commerce was able to extend its lead to 11 points inside the final minute at 74-63, but UAFS tried to shoot its way back into the contest. A long-range three-pointer by Halums cut the lead to four points, and A&M-Commerce missed a pair of free throws, but the visitors’ final long-distance heave missed, sending TAMUC to Frisco.


Lion women finish in third at Rattler Invitational.

SAN ANTONIO –  The No. 24 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team jumped a spot in the team standings to finish in third place at the St. Mary’s Rattler Invitational on Tuesday. 

The Lions had a 54-hole total of 912 (300-310-302, +48) to finish behind DBU and West Texas A&M for another top-five team finish. A&M-Commerce also placed ahead of St. Edward’s and Midwestern State, which ranked higher than the Lions in the Golfstat ratings entering the event.

“Our Lions fought really hard today from start to finish to stay ahead of MSU and St. Edward’s who have ranked ahead of us both regionally and nationally,” said Lion head golf coach Lauren Mason. “Our result today showed that we are capable of keeping up with schools ranked ahead of us, and each player contributed to this success.

“I’m so proud of Paige-Lee Garris for shooting the lowest round of her career and also setting a school record for A&M-Commerce in the first round. Sarah made a lot of great par saves today to finish inside the top five individually. As a team, we are heading in the right direction ahead of the conference tournament. Each time we tee it up our players are creating momentum and confidence, and I can’t wait to see what this team can do this postseason. I’m very pleased with how our women’s team is progressing this Spring. Coach Amy and I had the opportunity to assess and evaluate each player under pressure this week and make note of what our practices must consist of moving forward to ensure development. The best days are still ahead for our Lions!” 

Sarah Wongsinth (Udon Thani, Thailand) finished fifth in the event at 7-over par 223 for her second top-five finish of the season. She shot a 2-over par 74 with a birdie in Tuesday’s final round. 

Freshman Michelle Becker (San Antonio – Reagan) carded four birdies on the day on the way to a 2-over par 74. She placed 18th with a 15-over par 231. 

Paige-Lee Garris (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Karlee Nichols (Smithson Valley) tied for 25th at 19-over par 235. Nichols shot a 4-over par 76 in Tuesday’s round. Makena Thomas (San Antonio – Reagan) placed 38th at 240. 

The Lions are next in action in two weeks on March 16-17 at the Midwestern State Invitational in Wichita Falls.


 Rank   Team Scores  Total   Par 
1.  Dallas Baptist  292  287  297  876   +12
2.  West Tex. A&M  309  294  300  903   +39
3.  A&M-COMMERCE   300  310  302  912   +48
4.  St. Edward’s  305  306  303  914   +50
5.  Midwestern St.  300  311  306  917   +53
6.  Henderson St.  300  307  312  919   +55
7.  Tex. A&M Int’l  309  314  310  933   +69
8.  St. Mary’s  318  309  307  934   +70
9.  Colorado-Colorado Springs  336  317  327  980   +116


Tex. A&M-Commerce 300 310 302   912    +48   3rd
Sarah Wongsinth 76 73 74   223    +7   t-5th
Michelle Becker 79 78 74   231    +15   18th
Paige-Lee Garris 66 88 81   235    +19   t-25th
Karlee Nichols 79 80 76   235    +19   t-25th
Makena Thomas 83 79 78   240    +24   38th

Lions qualify ten entries for NCAA Indoor Championships.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce, track, and field teams have qualified ten entries for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, held in Birmingham, Ala., on March 13-14. 

The Lion women have three entries (two individuals and a relay), and the Lion men have seven individual entries. 

The women’s team represented in individual events by Kiara Brown (Dallas – Carter) and Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden). The duo will also be on the 4×400 meter relay team with Danielle Nicholson (McKinney-North) and Ro’Nisha Simpson. 

The relay has the 10th-fastest qualifying time in the field at 3:46.36, which earned the quartet all-region honors. Brown is also in the field for the 200-meter dash, with the 10th-quickest time in the nation at 24.17 seconds. Svaerd is in the 400-meter dash field with the eighth-fastest time in the nation at 54.77 seconds. 

On the men’s side, Dorian Andrews (Dallas – Skyline) qualified for the 60-meter hurdles with the sixth-fastest time in the nation at 7.89 seconds. Lamarion Arnold (Montgomery, Ala.) is in the field for the 200-meter dash with the ninth-fastest time in the country at 21.22 seconds. 

Two Lions qualified for the 800-meter run, as Timon Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) has the 13th-best time in the country at 1:51.21 and Octopias Ndiwa (Eldoret, Kenya) has the 16th-fastest time nationally at 1:51.50. 

Trayveon Franklin (Montgomery) qualified for the triple jump with the 14th-best mark in the nation at 15.00 meters, and Josh Boateng (St. George’s, Grenada) qualified for the shot put with the 14th-best mark in the country at 17.35 meters. Malcolm Woods (Sachse) is in the field for the 60-meter dash tied for the 14th-best time in the nation at 6.78 seconds.

3:45 p.m. – Men’s 60 Meter Hurdles Prelims (Andrews)
4:15 p.m. – Men’s 60 Meter Dash Prelims (Woods)
5:25 p.m. – Women’s 400 Meter Dash Prelims (Svaerd)
5:40 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meter Run Prelims (Kemboi, Ndiwa)
6:10 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meter Run Prelims (Arnold)
6:20 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meter Run Prelims (Brown)

2 p.m. – Men’s Triple Jump (Franklin)
3:45 p.m. – Men’s Shot Put (Boateng)
4:40 p.m. – Men’s 60 Meter Hurdles Final
5 p.m. – Men’s 60 Meter Dash Final
6 p.m. – Women’s 400 Meter Dash Final
6:10 p.m. – Men’s 800 Meter Run Final
6:30 p.m. – Men’s 200 Meter Dash Final
6:40 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meter Dash Final
7:45 p.m. – Women’s 4×400 Meter Relay (Nicholson, Simpson, Brown, Svaerd)


Lions ranked 10th in WBCA poll entering LSC Tournament.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team is the 10th ranked team in the nation in this week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association poll, as announced Tuesday. The Lions have been nationally ranked 20 times in the WBCA poll, seven weeks in a row from 2007-08, and now 13 weeks in a row this season. The Lions are also ranked 7th in this week’s Division II Sports Information Directors of America poll. 

The Lions concluded their regular season last week with a win over Oklahoma Christian and a last-second loss to Arkansas Fort Smith. The Lions ended the regular season with a 26-2 record, by far the most wins in any regular season in program history. The Lions also set program records for most conference wins, longest win streak, longest conference win streak, best scoring margin, and best scoring defense. 

The Lions are one of three LSC teams in the national rankings, as Lubbock Christian ranked sixth and West Texas A&M ranked 22nd. A&M-Commerce continues to rank in the top 25 in several categories, including 4th in rebounding margin, 6th in win percentage, 8th in scoring margin, 8th in offensive rebounds, 13th in free throw attempts, 13th in turnover margin, 22nd in scoring defense, and 16th in steals per game. 

The Lions are the top seed in the Lone Star Conference Championship Tournament, which will be held at the Comerica Center in Frisco beginning Thursday. The Lions still await their opponent in the first round but will start their hunt for the program’s second-ever LSC Championship on Thursday at 6:00 pm. Should they advance, the Lions would then play on Saturday at 2:30 pm, with the Championship game held on Sunday at 1:00 pm.

WBCA Coaches’ Poll – March 3, 2020 (Poll 15)

 Rk  School (Record)  Pts.  1st
 1  Drury (29-0)  566  14
 2  Ashland (28-0)  561  9
 3  Hawaii Pacific (27-1)  514  0
 4  Grand Valley State (26-2)  503  0
 5  Alaska Anchorage (29-2)  482  0
 6  Lubbock Christian (25-3)  449  0
 7  Indiana (PA) (26-2)  434  0
 8  Adelphi (27-2)  402  0
 9  Walsh (25-2)  360  0
 10  A&M-Commerce (26-2)  344  0
 11  Lee (TN) (25-3)  306  0
 12  Benedict (24-3)  299  0
 13  Azusa Pacific (24-4)  264  0
 14  University of the Sciences (25-3)  252  0
 15  Central Missouri (24-4)  225  0
 16  Virginia Union (23-4)  208  0
 17  Belmont Abbey (26-2)  186  0
 18  North Georgia (24-4)  170  0
 19  Tampa (22-4)  160  0
 20  Anderson (SC) (24-4)  147  0
 21  Kentucky Wesleyan (26-2)  127  0
 22  West Texas A&M (26-5)  96  0
 23  Lander (23-5)  71  0
 24  Sioux Falls (26-5)  60  0
 25t  Stonehill (21-5)  44  0
 25t  UC San Diego (22-5)  44  0

2019-20 D2SIDA Women’s Basketball Week 14 National Poll | March 3, 2020

Rank School (First-Place) W-L  Pts. Prev.
1 Drury (16) 29-0 400 1
2 Ashland 28-0 384 2
3 Hawaii Pacific 27-1 368 3
4 Grand Valley 26-2 332 6
5 Adelphi 27-2 329 5
6 Alaska Anchorage 29-2 313 7
7  A&M-COMMERCE 26-2 305 4
8 IUP 26-2 286 9
9 Belmont Abbey 26-2 273 10
10 Walsh 25-2 240 11
11 Lee 25-3 240 8
12 Central Missouri 24-4 228 12
13 Lubbock Christian 25-3 228 13
14 USciences 25-3 197 6
15 Tampa 22-4 166 14
16 North Georgia 24-4 147 17
17 West Texas A&M 26-5 132 20
18 Minnesota Duluth 25-5 125 22
19 Cal State San Marcos 23-4 101 RV
20 Union 23-5 84 23
21 Lander 23-5 75 21
22 Bowie State 25-5 74 25
23 Sioux Falls 26-5 46 RV
24 Colorado Mesa 23-5 38 24
25 Stonehill 21-5 32 RV

CLEVELAND – Texas A&M University-Commerce director of athletics Tim McMurray has been named Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year, as announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) on Tuesday. 

The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities. 

Since his appointment as director of athletics at A&M-Commerce in 2015, Tim McMurray has maintained a focus on a paradigm that has become Lion Athletics’ mission – providing a “Best in Class” experience for all Lion student-athletes and constituents. McMurray is an adjunct professor in Sports Management at A&M-Commerce, teaching the capstone course in Sports Governance and Leadership. McMurray also oversees the day-to-day operations of a robust Division II intercollegiate athletics program, which is enjoying record levels of academic, athletic, and student success.   

“When I became President 18 months ago, I was amazed at what a strong Athletics Department we have, primarily due to the strong leadership of Tim McMurray. Tim reports directly to me, and I can say unequivocally that he is one of the best Athletics Directors that I have ever known,” said A&M-Commerce President Dr. Mark Rudin. “I believe we have one of the strongest programs in Division II that focuses on a holistic approach for the student-athlete.” 

Since 2015, 42 Lion teams have qualified for NCAA postseason, including a school-record 11 in 2018-19. The Lions also tied their highest-ever NACDA Learfield Directors’ Cup finish (22nd) for the second consecutive year – the Lions’ highest-ever finish by 42 places.  

Three new programs unique to A&M-Commerce continue to thrive under the Student-Athlete Success unit, as the Lion Leadership Academy. The student-led Responsible Lions well-being group and the FASTER program (student-athlete nutrition) continue to advance the comprehensive student-athlete experience in an impactful way – without a scoreboard. 

“There are many fabulous leaders in this industry, and I personally believe that Tim McMurray is one of the best,” said A&M-Commerce deputy director of athletics for student-athlete success Judy Sackfield, who nominated McMurray for the award. “As our mission states, he wants to provide a “Best In Class experience for ALL”. The department, campus, and community believe in the Best In Class mindset. It doesn’t happen without Tim McMurray as the head of the department.” 

Key revenue initiatives recorded all-time bests in 2018-19, as the department hit projections in all vital external areas for the first time in institution history (Lion Champions Fund donations, Lion Sports Properties, Lion Sales, and Service, and Licensing). Private giving increased more than 250%, and the three most considerable corporate gifts and the most significant single private capital gift were made. 

“Tim’s accomplishments are not defined primarily by student-athlete records,” noted Jim Phillips, the Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation at Northwestern University. “He has changed the culture of his department with his ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He has volunteered to serve on countless committees and boards and finds joy in teaching as an adjunct professor on campus. Indeed, Tim has never, nor will ever, cease to strive for greatness in all aspects of his life. His genuine care for others is unmatchable.”

In addition to unprecedented student-athlete success, McMurray has retained executive leaders in the areas of marketing/communications, compliance, internal operations, financial operations, athletics development, and alumni engagement.   

“Tim is one of the most dedicated and committed individuals when it comes to student-athlete success and well-being,” said Alex Shillow, A&M-Commerce football student-athlete and Division II national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee chair. “He lives his mission every day of fulfilling his promise to his student-athletes to provide a Best In Class Experience. Tim takes pride and spends genuine-time building relationships with student-athletes, providing opportunities, sharing his knowledge, and endlessly working to solve any issues we have. He takes the time to learn all of the student-athletes’ names and invites each sports team to his house for dinner with him and his family every year.” 

“I think the greatest display of the esteem in which our Athletics Director is held is the number of student-athletes who graduate from A&M-Commerce that find their way back to the university to serve as administrators and coaches in the athletics department,” said Dr. Samantha Roberts, assistant professor of sport and recreation management at A&M-Commerce and 2019 winner of the NCAA’s Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award. “If that doesn’t say a Best In Class Athletic Director, and therefore an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year, I don’t know what does!” 

McMurray is one of 28 winners in seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges). Winners will be recognized on Tuesday, June 9, before the Featured Session at 4 p.m. during NACDA’s 55th Annual Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. 

“The future of our industry continues to look bright with athletics leaders like these at the helm of departments across the country,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA Chief Executive Officer. “Out of our 28 ADOY winners, 22 are receiving this honor for the first time in their careers. It is exciting and inspiring to see the new faces coming up through the ranks and earning well-deserved recognition for their efforts on their campuses.”

Winners of 2019-20 Under Armour AD of the Year Awards are:

Winner Institution 
Football Bowl Subdivision
Bubba Cunningham University of North Carolina
Doug Gillin Appalachian State University
Rick Hart Southern Methodist University
Mack Rhoades Baylor University
Football Championship Subdivision
Mark Jackson Villanova University
Robert Scalise Harvard University
Neil Sullivan University of Dayton
Lynn Thompson Bethune-Cookman University
Division I-AAA
Amanda Braun University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Philip Hutcheson Lipscomb University
Bill Scholl Marquette University
Steve Watson Loyola University of Chicago
Division II
Jim Johnson Pittsburg State University
Laura Liesman Georgian Court University
Tim McMurray Texas A&M University-Commerce
Lindsay Reeves University of North Georgia
Division III
Dana Harmon Worcester Polytechnic Institute
James Miller North Central College
Craig Poisson Springfield College
Laurie Turner Pacific Lutheran University
Brett Simpson Loyola University New Orleans
Thomas Smith Missouri Baptist University
Debbie Warren Indiana Tech
Drew Watson Southeastern University
Junior/Community College
Joe Jennum Mt. San Antonio College
Jake Ripple Dodge City Community College
Doug Spiwak Harper College
Troy Tucker Northampton Community College