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TAMUC – Sports

Women’s Basketball tips off 2020-21 with an exhibition contest at UT Arlington.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team travels to Arlington for an exhibition game Wednesday morning, tipping off the 2020-21 campaign against the Division I UT Arlington Lady Mavs.

Seventh-year head coach Jason Burton leads A&M-Commerce after coming off a record-setting 2019-20 season with a lions’ share of firsts for the program. The defending LSC Coach of the Year and his staff led the Lions to a program-high 28-3 record along with the first 20-win Lone Star Conference season for the program. The end of this successful run is one the Lions and their fans will wonder “what could have been” after CoVID-19 brought an abrupt end to the postseason. 

“I hate it for our seniors who left last year, having come off one of the best years ever at our university, and for them to not finish out their career how they wanted to was tough,” Burton said. “But the ones that came back are going to really get a chance to come back and do something special, so we are excited about that opportunity.” 

The Lions maintain a roster with a mix of new faces and experienced ones. Two returning starters are at the forefront, with a duo of double-digit scoring guards in WBCA Honorable Mention Third All-American WBCA and All-LSC Second Teamer Chania Wright, and LSC Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Conference selection Dyani Robinson.   

Five other returning letter winners combine with three players who redshirted in 2019-20. There are five freshmen and a transfer who will look to build on last season’s unprecedented success, hoping to lead the squad back to the NCAA Tournament for a program-record three consecutive seasons. 

“Having that experience that we did last year and to win the conference in the regular season and the experience to be in the Lone Star Conference championship game was huge,” Burton said. “That was something we have not seen here in 13 years. To be able to have that and come back into this season so young, we are going to need that (experience) for our young ones.” 

UT Arlington finished the 2019-20 season with a 21-11 record and a 14-4 mark in Sun Belt Conference. Eleven of the twelve players on the roster for 2020-21 are juniors or above, with one freshman on the list. 

This experienced club will debut the campaign with their new Head Coach, Shereka Wright. The former WNBA player and past Vanderbilt University Associate Head Coach were named UTA’s 10th head women’s basketball coach on Sept. 4, 2020.

The Lions and Mavericks have met twelve times in history, with the Lions taking the first two and the Mavericks swept the last ten meetings between the two schools. The last time these two teams met on the hardwood, Burton was in his third year, and A&M-Commerce fell 80-50 on Dec. 18, 2016.

 

They predict the Lions to finish seventh this season in the annual LSC Men’s basketball preseason poll.

RICHARDSON – They predict that the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team will finish seventh in the Lone Star Conference this season. The league revealed the annual preseason poll reflecting the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and media members’ opinions. 

The Lions return five players from the 2019-20 divisional champions who went 18-12 overall and 13-9 in LSC play. 

Coach Jaret von Rosenberg enters his fourth season as the Lions’ head coach, with a 64-30 record in his first three campaigns.

“We’re just ready to play games, to be quite honest. I know there were complications getting the schedule out for numerous reasons, but I think all the coaches and players in the league want the opportunity to play, to get out there and compete. We want to play games, stay safe, and follow our protocols so we can get to tipoff every week,” von Rosenberg said.

This year, 15 men’s teams will compete in three divisions (North, South, and West), consisting of five institutions. They have scheduled each university to play 20 conference games with divisional and crossover competitions throughout the year. During weeks in which a team plays a divisional opponent, each institution will have one contest at home and one on the road. When a team faces an opponent from outside its division, both crossover games play at the same site on back-to-back days. 

The conference tournament will consist of the top eight men’s teams with first-round games on-campus on Tuesday, March 2, followed by the four winning teams advancing to the final site at the highest remaining seed on Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6. 

They will feature all 15 men’s basketball programs competing in the league this season during the LSC Basketball Online Preseason Media Day on Wednesday, December 2. Interviews with each of the LSC’s head coaches taking part in the conference schedule will be available on the conference’s YouTube page, social media, and the LSC website.

A&M-Commerce’s first competition comes on Tuesday, December 1, in an exhibition game at North Texas, with the 22-game Division II schedule to follow. 

The Lions will play 20 LSC games, including eight divisional games against Cameron, DBU, Oklahoma Christian, and UAFS. 

2020-21 Lone Star Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank School 1st Total Points
1. West Texas A&M 40 600
2. Angelo State 482
3. Lubbock Christian 473
4. St. Edward’s 463
5. DBU 458
6. Texas A&M-Kingsville 425
7. A&M-COMMERCE 410
8. UT Permian Basin 286
9. UAFS 251
10. Midwestern State 218
11. St. Mary’s 199
12. Oklahoma Christian 173
13. Cameron 162
14. UT Tyler 133
15. Texas A&M International 67

Lion Women’s Basketball picked third in the LSC preseason poll with nine first-place votes.

RICHARDSON – The Lone Star Conference announced its 2020-21 preseason poll on Tuesday, and they picked the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team to finish third with nine first-place votes and 531 total points. 

The Lions lost just three games last year to end the year with a 28-3 record and a runner-up finish at the 2020 LSC Women’s Basketball Championship. A&M-Commerce set a program record for wins in a season and captured a place in the Division II postseason tournament before they canceled the postseason due to COVID-19. 

“I do think it is going to be a fun and exciting year,” A&M-Commerce head women’s basketball coach Jason Burton said. “I think, for the most part, all of us coaches and players, we are just excited to go and play basketball again.” 

They picked Lubbock Christian to finish first with 15 first-place votes and 553 total points, edging out second-place West Texas A&M with 15 first-place votes as well, but 551 total points in the standings heading into this unique year. 

WT’s Lexy Hightower earned LSC Preseason Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season as the senior makes her return to the court in 2020. She obtained 13 of the 39 votes cast for the award. 

This year, 15 women’s teams will compete in three divisions (North, South, and West), consisting of five institutions. They have each team playing 20 conference games with divisional and crossover competitions throughout the year. During weeks in which a team plays a divisional opponent, each institution will have one contest at home and one on the road. When a team faces an opponent from outside its division, they play both crossover games at the same site on back-to-back days. 

The conference tournament will consist of the top eight women’s teams with first-round games on-campus on Tuesday, Mar. 2, followed by the four winning teams advancing to the final site at the highest remaining seed on Friday, Mar. 5, and Saturday, Mar. 6. 

They will feature all 15 women’s basketball programs competing in the league this season during the LSC Basketball Online Preseason Media Day on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Interviews with each of the LSC’s head coaches taking part in the conference schedule will be available on the conference’s YouTube page, social media, and the LSC website. 

LSC play begins on the road against St. Edward’s on Dec. 18 & 19 in Austin.  

2020-21 Lone Star Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank School 1st Total Points
1. Lubbock Christian 15 553
2. West Texas A&M 15 551
3. A&M-COMMERCE 9 531
4. Angelo State 428
5. St. Mary’s 400
6. St. Edward’s 370
7. Cameron 336
8. UAFS 302
9. Midwestern State 261
10. Texas Woman’s 249
11. Oklahoma Christian 191
12. Texas A&M International 180
13. UT Permian Basin 156
14. Texas A&M-Kingsville 114
15. UT Tyler 58

 

A&M-Commerce releases 2020-21 basketball schedules.

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce announced its men’s and women’s basketball schedules for the 2020-21 season Monday as the Lone Star Conference released the league slate. 

The Lions will play 20 games in the Lone Star Conference. All series consists of two games against the same team in a week, with divisional games playing a home-and-home series and non-divisional opponents at the same site on consecutive days.  

A&M-Commerce intends to play the full 22 games allowed by the NCAA this year, with the opponent and dates for the two non-conference games to be announced at a later date. 

In 2020-21, A&M-Commerce is in a division with Arkansas-Fort Smith, Cameron, and Oklahoma Christian for both men and women. Dallas Baptist fills out the men’s division, and Texas Women’s completes the women’s division with 15 teams that will compete in LSC basketball this season. 

The modified “bubble” schedule format enhances student-athlete safety concerning COVID-19 and reduces the amount of contact amongst teams by playing the same opponent twice during the week. 

The conference tournament will consist of the top eight men’s and women’s teams with first-round games on-campus on Tuesday, March 2, followed by the four winning teams advancing to the final site at the highest remaining seed on Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6. 

They will announce game times and attendance policies for Lion home games in the coming days. All playing dates and times are subject to change and will be on LionAthletics.com and our social media channels. 

2020-21 Basketball Schedule

all dates subject to change

Wednesday November 25 at UT Arlington (Exh.) Women
Friday December 18 at St. Edward’s Both
Saturday December 19 at St. Edward’s Both
Saturday January 2 ST. MARY’S Both
Sunday January 3 ST. MARY’S Both
Friday January 8 at Lubbock Christian Both
Saturday January 9 at Lubbock Christian Both
Thursday January 14 at Arkansas-Ft. Smith Both
Saturday January 16 ARKANSAS-FT. SMITH Both
Friday January 22 UT TYLER Both
Saturday January 23 UT TYLER Both
Friday January 29 at Angelo State Both
Saturday January 30 at Angelo State Both
Thursday February 4 TEXAS WOMAN’S Women
DALLAS BAPTIST Men
Saturday February 6 at Texas Woman’s Women
at Dallas Baptist Men
Friday February 12 TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE Both
Saturday February 13 TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE Both
Thursday February 18 OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN Both
Saturday February 20 at Oklahoma Christian Both
Thursday February 25 at Cameron Both
Saturday February 27 CAMERON Both

 

March 2-5-6 LSC TOURNAMENT
March 12-15 DII Women’s Basketball Regionals
March 13-16 DII Men’s Basketball Regionals
March 23-26 DII Women’s Basketball Finals (Columbus, Ohio)
March 24-27 DII Men’s Basketball Elite Eight (Evansville, Indiana)