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TAMUC – Sports

Lions move up to No. 11 in WBCA Division II Coaches’ Poll.

LILBURN, Ga. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team is ranked 11th nationally in the WBCA NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll, the fourth coaches’ poll released in the 2020-21 season. 

The Lions are 11-2 overall in the 2020-21 season and received 259 points, moving up four spots from the previous ranking. This ranking does not include the 110-81 victory over Midwestern State on Monday evening. 

A&M-Commerce is one of three Lone Star Conference teams ranked in the top 25 nationally, joined by No. 1 Lubbock Christian and No. 16 West Texas A&M. 

With the NCAA announcing the South Central region’s reconfiguration for postseason qualification this season, other regional teams in the WBCA Top 25 from the Great American Conference are No. 19 Southwestern Oklahoma State and No. 20 Arkansas Tech. 

WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll — Feb. 23, 2021

Rank The school (FPV) Record Points Prev
1 Lubbock Christian (22) 13-0 550 1
2 Lander 14-0 523 2
3 Drury 14-1 501 4
4 Hawaii Pacific 9-0 455 7
5 Fort Hays State 18-2 414 8
6 North Georgia 14-1 401 13
7 Charleston, WV 13-1 399 3
8 Valdosta State 16-2 368 10
9 Minnesota Duluth 10-1 349 6
10 Michigan Tech 15-1 346 19
11 A&M-COMMERCE 10-2 259 15
12 Daemen 9-1 255 17
13 Carson-Newman 14-2 251 11
14 Nebraska Kearney 17-3 221 12
15 Central Missouri 17-3 216 16
16 West Texas A&M 14-3 204 5
17 Glenville State 8-1 199 18
18 Grand Valley State 13-3 195 9
19 Southwestern Oklahoma State 13-2 191 20
20 Arkansas Tech 10-1 165 14
21 Western Colorado 13-2 162 21
22 Tuskegee 12-1 116 NR
23 Gannon 9-1 105 22
24 Belmont Abbey 17-2 91 NR
25 Tusculum 15-2 50 NR

Dropped out: No. 23 Benedict (8-3); No. 24 Cedarville (17-4); No. 25 Colorado Mines (14-3).
Others receiving votes: Emporia State 31 (16-4); Colorado Mines (14-3) 24; Benedict (8-3) 21; Truman State (12-3) 14; Union, TN (14-4) 12; Walsh (14-4) 9; Cedarville (17-4) 7; Central Oklahoma (13-6) 4. Six teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 42 combined points.

The No. 15 Lions set numerous program scoring records in a 110-81 win over Midwestern State.

COMMERCE – After falling behind by double digits in the first quarter, the No. 15 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team poured on the offense to roll to a 110-81 victory over Midwestern State University in the Field House on Monday evening. 

The win will give the Lions a final regular season and Lone Star Conference record of 11-2, while Midwestern State is now 10-5. 

The Lions will await the Lone Star Conference Championship field announcement this weekend following the completion of the regular season. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions set program records for points scored against a Division II team and points scored in a Lone Star Conference game with 110 points, which is the fourth-most in program history against any opposition. The previous most points in Division II or LSC games were 107 against Midwestern State in the Mustangs’ last visit to the Field House on January 4, 2020.

– This is the eighth game in which the Lions scored over 100 points.

– Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) led all scorers with a career-high 29 points, also scoring her 500th career point just before the halftime buzzer. She added seven assists.

– DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) scored 21 points, including an 11-of-13 night at the free-throw line, while also contributing nine rebounds.

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) scored 16 points, Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) had 15 points and eight boards, and Asiyha Smith (Conway, Ark.) scored 11 points off the bench. Agang Tac (Sachse) led all players with ten rebounds.

– The Lions shot 45.7 percent (42-of-92) from the floor, 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the three-point range, and 76.9 percent (20-of-26) at the free-throw line.

– The 92 field goal attempts are the most by an LSC team this season by a margin of 19 shots and ranks seventh in the nation this year. 

HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME 

HOW IT HAPPENED

In the early stages of the first quarter, the Mustangs seemed unable to miss, while the Lions struggled shooting from the field. Midwestern State made 11-of-15 baskets in the first quarter (73.3 percent) and charged out to a 24-12 lead in the first 8:40 of action. The Lions made only 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) of their field goals in the quarter but used free throws from Louis and Kernal and a late Robinson layup to close the frame on a six-point run. MSU led 24-18 after the period. 

The Lions scored six straight points to get within two points early in the second quarter and capitalized on Midwestern State going nearly six minutes without a field goal. The Mustangs also committed six turnovers in that span. Robinson gave the Lions the lead with a three-point play at the 1:46 mark, and the Lions never looked back. Her buzzer-beating layup for her 500th career point gave the Lions a 44-38 halftime lead. 

A&M-Commerce had the pedal to the metal to start the second half, stretching the game to a nearly unassailable lead. The Lions scored the first 10 points of the quarter to go ahead 54-38 with just over two minutes gone in the half. The Mustangs briefly managed to cut the lead to single digits after a six-point run late in the frame, but Wright’s three-pointer and a layup by Keekee Nowlin (Bryan) had the hosts ahead 73-61 with 10 minutes remaining. 

The Lions’ offensive barrage continued into the fourth quarter, as A&M-Commerce opened the quarter on a 1-6 run, while MSU made only one of its first 11 field goal attempts to start the period. With the result out of doubt, the Lion bench fired the limited capacity crowd up. Smith’s three-point play put the Lions over the century mark with 2:05 to go, and Dorian Norris (Lake Dallas), Cyliest Smith (Mansfield – Legacy), Faith Bland (St. Louis, Mo.), and Jordyn Beaty (Woodville) netted baskets in the final minutes.

Lions resume action with pair at Texas Woman’s

COMMERCE – The A&M-Commerce Lions return to action on Tuesday and Wednesday, closing out the first loop through the Lone Star Conference Central Division at Texas Woman’s University 

WHO: A&M-Commerce at Texas Woman’s

WHERE: Denton | Kitty Magee Arena

WHEN: 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 23, and Wednesday, February 24

RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 2-2 on the season, while TWU is 1-3.

RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked 18th nationally in the AVCA Preseason Poll.

TELEVISION/LIVE VIDEO: LSC Digital Network

LIVE STATS: http://statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=tame

 

The Lions:

The 11th-year head coach Craig Case leads A&M-Commerce, who is the winningest coach in program history. His record at A&M-Commerce stands at 186-129. The Lions were divisional champions in 2019 and qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship. 

The Lions are allowing opponents to hit .169 through four matches, which ranks seventh in the LSC. The Lions have been exceptional on serve receive, allowing 0.82 aces per set to lead the league. 

Sydney Andersen leads the Lions in kills per set at 2.9, followed closely by Maiya DickieTaryn Cast ranks fourth in the conference this season in hitting percentage at .338. 

Celeste Vela leads the teams in assists per set at 5.56, with Natalie Sarbeck passing out 5.0 assists. Riley Davidson ranks ninth in the LSC in digs with 4.24 per set.  

On the opponent

Texas Woman’s University is 1-3 after two losses to UT-Tyler and a split with DBU. The Pioneers’ 12.70 kills per set rank fourth in the conference and their 1.85 aces per set is second in the league. 

Kaia Saylor is the primary weapon, ranking third in the LSC in kills per set at 3.85. Bailey Wozniak sets her up, who is third in the league at 8.6 assists per set. Abbie Sprague leads TWU with 4.13 digs per set, and Trixie Oche averages 1.0 blocks per set. 

In the series history

It is far and away from the Lions’ most played series, as the Tuesday match will be the 88th time the two teams have met, dating back to 1978. A&M-Commerce has a 48-39 overall record and an 18-17 record in Denton. The Lions have won the last two matches in Denton, and the 2019 LSC Tournament loss to TWU snapped a five-match Lion-winning streak. There has not been a sweep in the previous six games.

Lions head to Concho Valley to take on Angelo State.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team plays its second road game in three days on Tuesday, taking on Angelo State for a matinee tipoff at 1:00 pm. 

WHO: A&M-Commerce at Angelo State

WHERE: San Angelo | Junell Center

WHEN: 1:00 pm on Tuesday, February 23

RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 6-5 overall and in the Lone Star Conference. ASU is 5-9 overall and in the LSC.

RANKINGS: Neither team is ranked.

TELEVISION/LIVE VIDEO: Lone Star Conference Digital Network (Direct Link)

RADIO: Lion Sports Network | KETR-FM 88.9 (Streaming on KETR.org)

LIVE STATS: Click HERE

 

LIONS HEAD TO CONCHO VALLEY

• After a 15-day gap between games, the Lions now face their second game in three days with a road trip to Angelo State.

 • A&M-Commerce earned a hard-fought 80-78 win at Oklahoma Christian in its last contest on Sunday.

• Augustine Ene led the Lions with 21 points and nine rebounds, including a 10-of-10 performance at the free-throw line.

• JJ Romer Rosario scored 14 points off the bench on perfect 6-of-6 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers.

• Carson Tuttle scored 12 points and dished out seven assists.

• The Lions shot 44.3 percent (27-of-61) from the floor and scored 17 points off 10 Eagle turnovers. A&M-Commerce had 17 assists against nine turnovers. 

PERIMETER EXCELLENCE

• The Lions have been fantastic in limiting their opposition from converting on three-point attempts, ranking first in the LSC and sixth nationally with an opponents’ three-point percentage of 28.7. A&M-Commerce has allowed the third-lowest three-point percentage of any team in the nation that has played double-digit games.

• This has helped the Lions to rank fourth in the league in scoring defense, as TAMUC allows 73.7 points per game. Since the first game of the season, no team has scored more than 80 points on the Lions.

OPPONENT THREE-POINT FG% – DII

Rk School Rec 3FGM-A Pct
1 Lincoln (Pa.) 3-0 27-108 25.0
2 Nyack 4-3 50-184 27.2
3 American Int’l 0-2 12-44 27.3
4 Georgia College 9-2 77-270 28.5
5 Southern Wesleyan 6-4 66-230 28.7
6 A&M-Commerce 6-5 62-216 28.7
7 Saint Leo 1-1 11-38 28.9
8 Dominican (N.Y.) 3-3 30-102 29.4
9 Columbus St. 5-7 67-225 29.8
10 Colo. Sch. of Mines 13-1 75-251 29.9

CHARITY STRIPE PERFECTION
• The Lions were perfect at the free-throw line in the UT-Tyler game on Jan. 23, going 16-of-16 from the charity stripe to establish a school record for made free throws without a miss.
• The previous record of 14-of-14 was set on February 16, 1970, in a 66-64 loss at Sul Ross State.
• This is the third overall perfect free throw night on record, including a 3-for-3 night vs. Angelo State on February 1, 2020.
• This is one of nine games in Division II this season with a perfect conversion rate and 15 or more attempts.

BETHELY DISHES IT OUT
• Senior point guard Devin Bethely leads LSC in assists and third in assist-to-turnover ratio.

LSC ASSISTS/GAME

Rk Player School Ast Gm APG
1 Devin Bethely TAMUC 53 9 5.9
2 Daniel Venzant SEU 82 14 5.9
3 Cameron Copley LCU 92 16 5.8
4 JoJo Murray WT 55 12 4.6
5 Carson Hughes DBU 72 16 4.5

LSC ASSIST/TURNOVER

Rk Player School Ast TO A/T
1 Cameron Copley LCU 92 33 2.8
2 Carson Hughes DBU 72 27 2.7
3 Devin Bethely TAMUC 53 21 2.5
4 Rowan McKenzie LCU 49 20 2.5
5 Evan Anderson UAFS 49 21 2.3

ALL-TIME vs. ANGELO STATE
• This is the 101st all-time meeting between these two teams, with A&M-Commerce holding a 52-48 lead in the series.
• The Rams have a 29-17 lead in San Angelo, including wins in the last two matchups in the Junell Center.
• Coach Rose is 4-3 against his friend Cinco Boone, with two of those four wins in the LSC Tournament.
• The Lions are 0-2 against ASU in the Concho Vally under von Rosenberg.

LOOKING AT LION HISTORY
• This is the 26th time the Lions have played on February 23. The Lions are 9-16 on this date in history.
• A&M-Commerce is 6-8 on the road on this date.
• This is the second time the Lions have played under coach Jaret von Rosenberg on this date, falling at home to WT, 81-69, in 2019.
• This record was hampered by a bad streak in the early years of Lion hoops, as ET lost the first seven games on this date until 1954, which started a five-game win streak.
•ET and Angelo played on this date in San Angelo in 1974, with the Lions winning 88-80.

CAREER PERCENTAGE LEADERS
• Head coach Jaret von Rosenberg is ranked third in school history in career winning percentage.

Rk Coach W Record
1. Bob Rogers .769 113-34
2. Will Hill Acker .708 46-19
3. Jaret von Rosenberg .667 70-35
4. Darrell Tully .621 59-36
5. Dennis Vinzant .605 92-60
6. Sam Walker .585 285-202
7. Norman Pilgrim .547 152-126
8. Paul Peak .532 134-118
9. Jim Gudger .515 202-190
10. Jerry Matthews .440 99-126

 

Soccer moves season opener to Commerce on Wednesday.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer program has announced a pair of schedule changes related to field conditions following the winter storms last week. 

The 2021 spring season opener against UT-Tyler will now be played in Commerce at the Lion Soccer Field at 6:00 pm. The Lions will now return the trip to UT-Tyler on March 20 in a game originally scheduled to be in Commerce. 

Stay tuned to LionAthletics.com and our social media channels for updates on schedules throughout the season.