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TAMUC – Sports

Lions qualify for NCAA South Central Regional Tournament for a second consecutive year

A&M-Commerce is region’s second seed and will face seventh-seed Eastern New Mexico in the regional quarterfinal

INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team has qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament for the third time in program history, and the second season in a row, as announced by the NCAA on Sunday evening. The Lions are the second seed in the South Central Region and will face seventh-seed Eastern New Mexico in the first round in Lubbock. 

The Lions come into the NCAA Tournament amidst one of their most successful seasons in history. The team has a record of 28-3, tied for the most wins in a single season in program history, and they finished the regular season with 26 wins and 20 conference wins, both program bests. They also set program records for most consecutive wins, most consecutive conference wins, highest national ranking, lowest-scoring defense, and highest scoring margin. The team had five players announced as All-Conference players, as well as head coach Jason Burton being named the LSC Coach of the Year. 

The NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball South Central Regional Tournament will be held on the campus of Lubbock Christian University, as they selected LCU as the No. 1 seed in the region. West Texas A&M is the third seed, followed by Colorado Mesa at fourth, Westminster at fifth, Western Colorado at sixth, ENMU at seventh, and Angelo State at eighth. 

The two semifinal games will be on Saturday, with the Regional Championship game played on Mar. 16. The winner of the South Central Regional Championship will advance to the Elite Eight in Birmingham, AL.

Game times for the regional tournament will be announced early in the week. The Lion Sports Network will carry all NCAA Tournament games on 88.9 KETR-FM and ketr.org. 

No. 14 Lions split series against No. 18 Oklahoma Christian, win game one 3-1

COMMERCE – The No. 14 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team split its games against No. 18 Oklahoma Christian on Sunday afternoon. The Lions defeated the Lady Eagles 3-1 in Game 1 before falling 4-3 in Game 2. 

The results bring the Lions to 16-7 on the season and 5-3 in the Lone Star Conference. OC goes to 21-5 and 6-2 in conference play. 

The Lions return to action during Spring Break as they head to Austin to face St. Edward’s in a doubleheader on Friday, beginning at Noon. They will then face St. Mary’s on Sunday, starting at 1:00 pm in San Antonio. 

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAME

– Click HERE for postgame comments from Head Coach Richie Bruister 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched 6.0 innings, earning her eighth win of the season. She had eight strikeouts in the contest.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) had a solo home run and also pitched the final inning, earning her fourth save of the season.

– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) had a two-RBI single.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) both had hits.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) and Kimber Neal (Humble – Atascocita) both scored runs.

– There were a total of 23 strikeouts in the game, nine for the Lions, and 14 for the Eagles. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

Both team’s pitchers hit their spots, as the first six outs of the game were via the strikeout. Otto struck out three in the first and one more in the second inning to keep the Eagles off the board. 

The Eagles took the lead in the third inning on a solo home run to left field, giving them the 1-0 lead. The Lions had a chance in the bottom half of the inning, with two runners reaching, but could not bring the run across. 

The Lions took the lead in the fourth inning. With two outs, the Lions rallied, as pitches hit Slider and Neal. After a walk loaded the bases, Hebler singled into left field, bringing in both Slider and Neal to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. 

LeBlanc added to the Lion lead in the fifth inning, as she blasted a pitch over the right-field fence, giving the Lions a 3-1 lead. Otto continued to retire the Eagles to keep the game at 3-1 entering the seventh inning. 

LeBlanc entered the circle to finish the game but was met with some adversity as the Eagles had a runner reach on an error, and two more via a walk to load the bases with one out. However, LeBlanc dug deep, striking out the next batter and getting the final batter to pop up to end the game. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) had a solo home run, her third home run of the season.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) had a two-RBI double, while also pitching the first 6.1 innings of the game. She had five strikeouts while giving up four earned runs. Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched the final 0.2 innings.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had a hit and scored a run. Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) also had hits.

– Allie Thompson (Lindale) also scored a run. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

The Eagles struck first, as they scored in the top of the first inning. A single was followed by a triple to score one run. Moody made a diving catch in the right to rob a hit, but another run came across on the sacrifice to give OC a 2-0 lead after one complete. 

The Lions cut into the lead in the second inning, as Slider hit a solo home run to left field to cut the lead in half. Moody and Hill reached in the third inning, and both scored on a hard-hit double from LeBlanc to give the Lions a 3-2 lead after three innings. 

After neither team could manufacture a run in the fourth inning, the Eagles pounced in the fifth inning. A single was followed by a home run, giving OC a 4-3 lead. 

The Lions had opportunities in both the fifth and sixth innings, as runners were in scoring position. However, they could not get the timely hit they needed to bring the tying run across.

Top-seeded Lions fight but fall short in 57-44 LSC Championship game loss to third-seeded Lubbock Christian.

FRISCO – The top-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team used strong defensive play to stay in the game but could not overcome cold shooting in a 57-44 loss to third-seeded Lubbock Christian University in the Lone Star Conference Championship game in Comerica Center on Sunday afternoon. 

The Lions will enter the NCAA Division II Championship tournament with a 28-3 record. The field for the championship will be announced online at NCAA.com at 9:00 pm Sunday, and the Lions will host a watch party in the Club in the Rayburn Student Center. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions were led by Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville), who earned all-tournament honors with a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double.

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds as the Lions’ other double-digit scorer.

– While the Lions had a 46-39 rebounding advantage and forced LCU into 16 turnovers while only committing 10, a cold shooting game hurt the Lions, who were making their second-ever LSC Championship Game appearance.

– The Lions were limited to 21.2 percent (14-of-66) shooting from the floor, including 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) from behind the three-point line. A&M-Commerce’s defense held LCU to 83.0 percent (19-of-50) shooting, but the Lady Chaps made 9-of-21 three-pointers (42.9 percent). 

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

CLICK HERE to watch the postgame press conference 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions struggled to find the mark out of the gate, as over six minutes went by before the top seed connected on a two-point basket. By then, the Lady Chaps had their sights dialed in from long range, and LCU was up 12-3 in the opening minutes. A Bryant basket started the Lions’ comeback from the interior with the bench contributing on pressure defense. LCU went over three minutes without scoring before a late layup had the Lady Chaps ahead 14-9 after the first quarter. 

A&M-Commerce got good looks on the offensive end in the early minutes of the second quarter, but shots would not fall. The Lions missed their first seven shots of the quarter and 10 of their first 11. At that time, LCU pushed the lead to 27-9. TAMUC kept its cool and was able to find success late in the quarter, making four straight shots in the last four minutes. The halftime margin was 34-20 in LCU’s favor. 

The Lions started the third quarter on fire, scoring the first eight points of the period to bring the crowd back into the contest. Bryant scored six straight points, and Alexus Jones (Aledo) banked in a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock to cut the lead to 36-31. From there, the Lions went cold, missing their last six shots as LCU closed the period on a 7-0 run. The Lady Chaps led 43-31 with 10 minutes to play. 

In the final quarter, the Lions’ shooting woes continued, making comeback chances slim. Though A&M-Commerce excelled at limiting LCU scoring chances as well, the Lions made only two field-goal attempts in the quarter. The score was within single digits in the final minute, but an LCU three-pointer put the final margin out of reach.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BOUND: No. 10 Lions tie the program record for wins, advance to second-ever LSC Championship after 68-59 win over ENMU

FRISCO – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Eastern New Mexico 68-59 in the Lone Star Conference Championship Semifinal on Saturday. The Lions built a significant lead and survived a late run from ENMU to advance to the LSC Championship game. 

The win brings the Lions to 28-2 on the season, tying the program record with 28 wins in a single season. The Greyhounds fall to 22-9 on the year, and it eliminated them from the tournament. 

The Lions will face the third-seed, and No. 6 ranked Lubbock Christian in the LSC Championship game, which will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Comerica Center in Frisco. 

QUOTES AFTER THE GAME

– Click HERE for postgame thoughts from Head Coach Jason Burton, senior Alexis Bryant, and junior Agang Tac. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The win is the 28th of the season for the Lions, tying the 2006-07 team for most wins in a single season.

– The Lions now advance to the LSC Championship game for the second time in program history and their first in 13 years. A&M-Commerce is 1-0 in the Championship game.

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) led the team with 12 points, while Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower) had 10 points and had a team-high five assists.

– Agang Tac (Sachse) neared a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) also had 10 points and eight rebounds.

– Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) had a team-high 12 rebounds and seven points, while Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) had seven points and eight rebounds.

– The Lions missed 17 free throws in the game, going 21-of-38 from the foul line. The Lions also had 21 turnovers, while ENMU had just 11. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions had a strong inside presence early, blocking a pair of Greyhound shots. Wright hit an early three as the Lions built a quick lead. The Lions attacked the paint in the early portion of the quarter, with Bryant hitting a pair of inside jumpers. The Lions led 10-5 at the midway mark of the quarter. The Lions used a 7-0 run to jump ahead by eight points before a pair of shots from the Greyhounds cut the lead in half. The Lions scored the final three points of the period and took a 16-9 lead into the second quarter. 

It was an even start to the quarter, as the teams traded buckets for the first four minutes of the quarter. The Lions then went on a run, pushing their lead to double figures on a 15-0 run. Tac and Wright each hit a pair of jumpers, and Kernal hit a three and two free throws as part of the rally. The Lions led by 20 points with two minutes remaining. The Greyhounds had a pair of late shots fall, as A&M-Commerce went into halftime with a 35-20 lead. 

Bryant led the team with 10 points in the half, going 5-of-6 from the field while also pulling in five rebounds. Wright added eight points, while Tac had six points and four rebounds. The Lions shot 50 percent in half the game, including 57 percent in the second quarter, and the defense held ENMU to just 23.7 percent shooting in half. 

The Lions got to the foul line on three different occasions early in the third quarter, but could only convert one of six attempts. The Greyhounds cut the Lion lead down to just 10 points before the Lions again went on a 9-0 run. The defense led to the offense as the Lions came up with strong rebounds and takeaways and converted them to push their lead back to 19 points at the midway mark of the quarter. It was even the rest of the quarter, as the Lions led 53-34 after three. 

It was a game of runs in the final quarter. The Greyhounds had a 5-0 run before the Lions hit consecutive buckets to bring the lead back up. ENMU then went on a 13-1 run, using three shots from deep to cut the Lion lead to single digits with two minutes left. The Lions continued to struggle from the foul line, allowing the Greyhounds to sneak back into the game as the Lions went without a field goal for the final 5:25 of the game. However, they hit just enough to send the team to its second-ever LSC Championship game. 

No. 14 Lions win pitcher’s duel in game one and the walk-off offensive explosion in Game 2 to sweep Cameron.

COMMERCE – The No. 14 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a pair of wins over Cameron on Friday evening. The Lions came from behind to win the first game 2-1 and won the second game 11-3 on a walk-off hit in the fifth inning. 

The wins bring the Lions to 15-6 on the season, and they improve to 4-2 in Lone Star Conference action. The Aggies fall to 14-11 on the year and 2-4 in conference play. 

The Lions return to action on Sunday as they host No. 18 Oklahoma Christian in a doubleheader. The series will begin at 1:00 pm at the John Cain Family Softball Field. 

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAME

– Click HERE for postgame comments from Head Coach Richie Bruister. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched six complete innings, striking out six batters to earn her seventh win of the season. Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) pitched the final inning and earned her third save of the season.

– LeBlanc also had an RBI double in the game. Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) also had an RBI single, driving in the winning run.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic), Vanessa Avina (Haltom City), Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) all came up with hits. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

The Aggies got on the board in the first inning, as three different players were hit by pitches to put runners in scoring position. A single gave the Aggies the lead going into the second inning. 

Otto had strikeouts in the second and third innings as the Lion bats found their stride in the bottom of the third. After Schaefer drew a walk, she scored on a hard-hit double from LeBlanc, scoring Schaefer from first. The game tied at 1-1 after three complete. 

The Lions took the lead in the fourth inning, as Boley had a single, and Modrego had a double. After Moody singled to load the bases, Modrego scored on an infield single from Hill, giving the Lions a 2-1 lead. 

Otto struck out one more in the fifth inning, and then struck out all three of the batters she faced in the sixth inning to preserve the lead. LeBlanc entered in the seventh inning, attempting a save, and shut down the Aggies in order, to give the Lions the win. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) hit her second career grand slam in the game, and also had a single, driving in four runs.

– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) went 2-of-4 with four RBIs. She had RBI single to end the game on a walk-off.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) had a solo home run, her second home run of the season.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had a two-RBI double.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), and Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) also had hits.

– The game featured the Lions’ first two home runs of the season at their home ballpark.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) earned her eighth win of the season, pitching nine strikeouts. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

LeBlanc had a strikeout in the first inning and two more in the second inning as the Lion defense shined. On the first play of the game, Moody made a sensational diving catch to rob a hit. 

The Lion bats then exploded in the bottom half of the inning. The Lions had five hits and brought nine runs across. Slider led off the inning with a home run, and things only got started from there. Boley hit a double, and Avina drew a walk to put runners on. Hebler then had a double down the line to score both runners. Hill followed that with a two-RBI double of her own. Schaefer and Slider then drew walks, leaving the bases loaded for Boley. She sent the pitch hard down the left-field line, clearing the fence easily to give the Lions a 9-0 lead after two complete innings. 

The Aggies hit a two-run homer in the third inning before the Lions responded with another run in the bottom half. Moody reached on an error and scored on a groundout RBI swing from Hebler, and the Lions led 10-2 after three innings. 

The Aggies brought in a run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the lead to seven before the Lions walked the game off. Modrego singled and then scored on a single from Hebler, which ended the game.

Eighth-seed Lions battle but fall to top-seeded West Texas, 85-72, in LSC quarterfinals

FRISCO – The eighth-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Conference Championship with an 85-72 loss to top-seeded West Texas A&M at the Comerica Center on Friday evening. 

The Lions finish the 2019-20 season with an overall record of 18-12. A&M-Commerce was making its LSC-record 41st appearance in the league’s postseason tournament. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field, making one more field goal than WT. The Buffs made nine three-pointers to the Lions’ three and 20 free throws to the Lions’ 11.

– Wayne Stewart (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 91 points on 8-of-13 shooting and also grabbed six rebounds.

– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) had 14 points and five rebounds.

– Darnell Wright (Chicago, Ill.) scored 11 points with three rebounds, and Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall) scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.

– A&M-Commerce had a 35-28 rebounding advantage but lost the turnover battle 20-14.                                                                                                                      

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

CLICK HERE to view the postgame press conference 

HOW IT HAPPENED

After the Buffs scored the game’s opening points, the Lions responded with a strong rally, scoring the next eight points on a pair of buckets by Stewart and baskets by Terrell and Leo Lara (Santa Rosa) to go-ahead 8-3. From there, the Lions’ scoring slowed down while the Buffs heated up. WT went on a 20-6 rally to go ahead 34-22 thanks to outside shooting. 

The Lions penetrated the Buffalo defense well throughout the half, but physical play inside did not result in points or fouls. A&M-Commerce battled through the Buffs’ defense and cut the lead to single digits inside the final minute, but a late three-pointer for WT made it a 37-25 game at the break in favor of the high seed. 

The Lions shot 46.2 percent (12-of-26) in the first half and outrebounded the Buffs 18-16, but West Texas made six three-pointers in half to earn the halftime advantage. 

WT opened the second half on a tear, as the Buffs’ 18-4 surge in the opening five minutes of the period pushed the lead to 55-29 in West Texas’ favor. The Lions fought back, chipping away at the top seed’s lead over the next nine minutes. 

A Grandstaff fastbreak three-pointer and two straight close-range shots from Terrell forced a Buffalo timeout. Stewart went on a personal run with seven points in less than two minutes, and his three-point play with just under seven minutes to play energized the Lion crowd as the lead shrank to 11 points at 65-54 with 6:44 to play. 

Unfortunately for the Lions, the Buffs regained their shooting stroke and also held TAMUC without a field goal for over four minutes. WT stretched the lead back to as many as 18 points in the final two minutes, and late Lion baskets were not enough to close the final margin.

Carliece Coleman named Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week.

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dance Team member Carliece Coleman, has been named the Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week by Lion Athletics.

Coleman – a senior from Longview – is a four-year veteran and captain of the Lion Dance Team. She will be graduating in May with a degree in general studies with plans to attend Physician’s Assistant school. In addition to the dance team, Carliece is in the Regent Scholar program and a member of Alpha Phi sorority on the A&M-Commerce campus.

Coleman and the Lion Dance Team have performed at every Lion football and basketball games on campus this year. They are currently in Frisco in support of the Lions’ Lone Star Conference Basketball Championship runs. 

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

2019-20 UNDER ARMOUR STUDENT-ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

Sept. 10 – Timon Kemboi, Men’s Cross Country

Sept. 17 – E.J. Thompson, Football

Sept. 24 – Cora Welch, Soccer

Oct. 1 – Sydney Andersen, Volleyball

Oct. 8 – Brandi Stalder, Women’s Cross Country

Oct. 15 – Dominique Ramsey, Football

Oct. 22 – Shelley Chapron, Volleyball

Oct. 29 – Miklo Smalls, Football

Nov. 5 – Leslie Campuzano, Soccer

Nov. 12 – Dyani Robinson, Women’s Basketball

Nov. 27 – Alexis Bryant, Women’s Basketball & Alex Shillow, Football

Dec. 4 – Preston Wheeler & Elijah Earls, Football

Dec. 13 – Malcolm Woods, Men’s Track & Field

Dec. 18 – Wayne Stewart, Men’s Basketball

Jan. 8 – Chania Wright, Women’s Basketball

Jan. 15 – Lexi Bubenchik, Women’s Golf

Jan. 22 – Jamie Williams, Cheer

Jan. 29 – Cesar Torres, Athletic Training

Feb. 7 – Alexus Jones, Women’s Basketball

Feb. 13 – Alberto Moreno, Men’s Basketball

Feb. 20 – Dorian Andrews, Men’s Track & Field

Feb. 26 – Minna Svaerd, Women’s Track & Field

Mar. 6 – Carliece Coleman, Dance

Top Seed Lions use late run to knock off St. Mary’s 70-60 in LSC Championship Quarterfinal.

FRISCO – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team picked up a 70-60 win over St. Mary’s on Thursday in the Lone Star Conference Championship Quarterfinal round. The Lions never trailed after the first two minutes of the game and used a late run in the fourth to pull away from the Rattlers to get the win. 

The win brings the Lions to 27-2 on the season, and they advance to the semifinal round for the third consecutive season. It eliminated the Rattlers from the tournament, and they fell to 14-14. 

The Lions await their opponent for the semifinal round, as they await the winner of the quarterfinal game between Tarleton and Eastern New Mexico. The Lions’ semifinal game will be held at 2:30 pm on Saturday at the Comerica Center in Frisco. 

QUOTES AFTER THE GAME

– Click HERE for postgame comments from Head Coach Jason Burton, senior Alexis Bryant, and junior Chania Wright. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) led the Lions with 12 points, with nine of her points coming in the second half. She also had three rebounds and two assists.

– Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville) also had 10 points.

– Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) neared a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. She had seven points in the first quarter.

– Maddison Glass had nine points, including eight points in the final quarter. Alexus Jones (Lewisville – Aledo) and Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) added eight points apiece.

– The Lions caused 24 StMU turnovers, scoring 26 points off of turnovers. The Lions also had a 15-2 advantage in fast breakpoints.

– It is now the 11th time the Lions have advanced to the LSC Semifinal round, as they have an 11-14 record all-time in the LSC Quarterfinal round. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

It was an even start to the game as the teams each traded their first four baskets. Louis had consecutive jumpers as the Lions took the lead for the first time at the six-minute mark. After four minutes of play, the teams tied at eight. 

The Lions then went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-10 lead. Louis hit a three, and Robinson had two jumpers during the run. The Lions took a 20-12 lead into the second quarter. 

It was even throughout the second quarter, as the Rattlers could not pull any closer, but the Lions could not pull any further away through the first six minutes of play. The Lions pushed their lead to 12 points in the first minute of play, and the lead hovered around 10 points for several minutes. The Rattlers finished the final four minutes of the half on a 10-2 run, sending A&M-Commerce into halftime with a 30-28 lead. 

Wright scored the first two baskets of the third quarter before the Rattlers answered back with two buckets of their own. A three from Jones pushed the Lion lead to five points at the midway mark of the third quarter. 

The Lions pushed their lead back up to eight before the Rattlers hit their first two threes of the game, cutting the Lion lead to just two points at the third quarter break, with the Lions leading 44-42. 

The Lions took care of the final quarter as they started the quarter on an 11-0 run. Three Rattler turnovers led to the Lion offense, as Bryant had a pair of early buckets, and Jones hit a three. The Lion defense clamped down, holding the Rattlers without a field goal for over five minutes late to establish their lead to 13 points. The Lions caught fire from beyond the arc in the final quarter, hitting four of their seven attempts from deep. 

Wright had a pair of threes in the quarter as she pushed the Lion lead to as many as 15 late in the quarter. The Rattlers began to foul and cut the lead to as few as eight late in the game. However, the Lions made their foul shots and left the arena with the victory, advancing to the semifinal round.