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TAMUC – Sports



Lions play clutch down the stretch in 67-66 win over No. 7 West Texas A&M.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team won a nailbiter against No. 7 West Texas A&M, winning 67-66 on Thursday night. The Lions retook the lead with three minutes to play and hit critical buckets down the stretch to pull off the win.

The victory brings the Lions to 19-7 on the season and 11-6 in the Lone Star Conference. The Buffs fall to 24-3 and 14-3 in conference play.

The Lions close out the season hosting No. 12 UT Permian Basin on Saturday. The Lions host UT Permian Basin at 4 p.m. for Fill the Field House presented by Academic Affairs. Admission to the game will be free of charge. The team honors Lion seniors before the game, and at halftime, the honor goes to the 1955 National Championship team.

– Willie Rooks finished the game with 13 points. He hit the go-ahead three to put the Lions on top for good.
– Daquane Willford also had 13 points, with 11 coming in the first half. He also added seven rebounds.
– Reggie Reid had 11 points and led the team with six assists. Joseph Williams-Powell added 10 points.
– The Lions shot 46 percent from the field.
– There were three ties and five lead changes in the game.
– The game was the Lions’ 12th game this season that was within one possession in the final 90 seconds of play.

The Lions started on point right out of the gate. After two quick baskets for the Buffs, A&M-Commerce scored the next 12 points. Using ball movement to create opportunities, five different Lions scored in the opening minutes as A&M-Commerce took a 12-4 lead six minutes into the game. A dunk from Willford gave the Lions a double-digit lead with 12 minutes left in half.

WT battled back, scoring five in a row to cut back into the Lion lead. Both teams went without buckets for two minutes before a WT layup brought the Lion lead down to three with six minutes to play. Both sides battled back and forth before WT tied the game at 24 with three minutes to play in the opening frame.

The teams continued to battle down the stretch. The teams matched each other’s buckets. Reid hit a three with two minutes left before a WT three gave the Buffs back the lead with 39 seconds to play. Rooks hit a three with 20 seconds left to send the Lions into halftime with a 33-31 lead.

Willford led the team with 11 points at halftime, going 5-of-6 from the field. Reid added nine points, and Rooks added seven points.

Horne hit a three and a layup early in the second half as the Lions built their lead back up. A three from Trey Conrod brought the Lion lead back up to 10 points with 17 minutes to play. The lead hovered around 10 for the Lions for several minutes before WT started to chip away. Starting at the 10-minute mark, the Buffs went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to very briefly retake the lead. Rooks hit a three on the next possession to give A&M-Commerce the lead.

The Lions built their lead back up to five before WT tied the game up with three minutes to play. Rooks hit another three, and the Lions did not trail again. WT cut the Lion lead to one point twice. That one-point margin held in the final seconds. Armstrong missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, and the Buffs rebounded. The dangerous Chavlovich was guarded well and passed for an open shot at the buzzer, but the three-point attempt clanged off the rim, and the Lions pulled off the win.



Cold start hampers Lions against No. 25 West Texas A&M in 69-43 loss.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team lost 69-43 against No. 25 West Texas A&M on Thursday. The Lions got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter and could not recover.

The loss brings the Lions to 17-10 on the season and 13-6 in the Lone Star Conference. The Lady Buffs improve to 23-4 and maintain their conference lead at 15-4.

The Lions return to action for the final game of the regular season on Saturday. The Lions host UT Permian Basin at 2:00 p.m. for Fill the Field House presented by Academic Affairs. Admission to the game will be free of charge. The University will honor the Lion seniors following the game.

– Princess Davis led the team with 11 points while also dishing out three assists.
– Brianna Wise finished with 10 points and also had five rebounds.
– Jocelyn Pierce had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. Melanie Ransom led the team with eight rebounds.
– The Lions shot 29 percent in the game while WT shot 45 percent. WT scored 24-second chance points and had 17 points off of turnovers.

The Lions started the game cold, and the Lady Buffs took advantage, scoring the first 13 points of the game. The Lions got on the board with four minutes left in the period. The Lions scored two buckets in succession, but WT continued to shoot well as well, taking a 19-4 lead into the second quarter.

WT built its lead to more than 20 early in the second quarter. The Lions started to find some rhythm in the second quarter, with Pierce scoring in the paint once again. The Lady Buffs also continued to hit their shots, pulling their lead to as many as 25 in the first half. WT took a 42-19 lead into halftime.

Davis had six points to lead the Lions at halftime. Gay and Pierce added four apiece. The Lions had 11 turnovers in the first half, and WT capitalized to further their lead.

The Lions outscored WT 13-9 in the third quarter to pull the deficit below 20 points but a strong fourth quarter from the Lady Buffs closed the door. A three-point play by Gay with 7:25 to cut the lead to 16 points, but the Lions were only able to make one more field goal down the stretch.



Lucas McCubbin named LSC Men’s Golfer of the Week.

RICHARDSON –Texas A&M University-Commerce golfer Lucas McCubbin has been named the Lone Star Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week. The conference office announced the award on Thursday.

McCubbin – a junior from Midland – was the runner-up at the St. Mary’s Rattler Invitational at 2-under par 142 in the 36-hole tournament. He shot 71 (-1) in both rounds. He had three birdies and two bogeys on the back nine in the second round after starting with nine consecutive pars. He had seven birdies in the tournament.

The No. 14 Lions shot 298 in both rounds, finishing third in the event. They have not finished outside the top four of their five contests this season. McCubbin and the Lions next return to the links on March 12-13 at the West Texas A&M Regional Preview in Amarillo, hosted at La Paloma Golf Club.



Colby Carthel named inaugural College Coach of the Year by NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter.

IRVING – Texas A&M University-Commerce head football coach Colby Carthel has been named as the College Coach of the Year by the National Football Foundation (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter, as announced Thursday. The NFF will honor Carthel during the club’s 10th Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday, March 18, at 6:00 p.m. at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria.

Carthel is the inaugural recipient of the newly-created College Coach of the Year award from the Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter.

Carthel recently completed his fifth season as the head football coach at A&M-Commerce, leading the Lions to a 14-1 record and the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship following a 37-27 victory over West Florida. His Lions became the first team in Division II football history to claim the “Triple Crown” of the National Championship, the Harlon Hill Trophy (Luis Perez), and the NCAA Elite 90 Award (Garrett Blubaugh). Boasting a 49-15 career record, Carthel is the only A&M-Commerce coach to lead his team to the postseason in five straight seasons, including two bowl games and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

In his five seasons with the Lions, he has mentored 126 all-Lone Star Conference selections and 16 All-Americans. Carthel’s success and influence have extended off the field, and nearly 70 of his student-athletes were named to honor rolls in fall 2017 while the team amassed more than 400 hours of community service in Port Aransas cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey the day after defeating Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Other major award winners from the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter are Hayden Fry (College Football Hall of Fame Coach at SMU, North Texas, and Iowa) – Legends Award, Roland Rainey (Cotton Bowl Stadium General Manager) – Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, Smith Holder (Dallas Football Officials Association crew chief) – Steve Storie Official of the Year, Pat Doney (NBC 5/KXAS-TV sports anchor and reporter) – Media Person of the Year, Terry Gambill (Allen High School – Large High School Coach of the Year), Brady Carney (Muenster High School) – Small High School Coach of the Year, Cory Cain (Allen High School) – Assistant High School Coach of the Year, and Don Woods (Highland Park High School) – Assistant High School Coach of the Year.

The event has attracted a sellout crowd of 500-plus people each of the past nine years. For more information on 2018 tickets and banquet sponsorship opportunities, please contact club president Gerald Brence at 469-878-5370 or via email at Gerald.Brence@pisd.edu.

The NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas is one of 120 nationwide chapters of the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. The NFF is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF High School Showcases, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.



Minna Svaerd named Women’s Track Field Athlete of the Week after record-setting vault.

RICHARDSON– Texas A&M University-Commerce, track and field athlete Minna Svaerd, has been named the Lone Star Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. The award was announced Wednesday by the conference office.

Svaerd– a freshman from Karlstad, Sweden– broke the LSC record in the women’s pole vault at the Texas Tech Matador Qualifier. She cleared the bar at 12′-6″ (3.82m) on her third attempt to set the league record with the nation’s eighth-best mark this season. She ranks first in the LSC in the pole vault and 3rd in the 400m.

Svaerd and the Lions return to action on Saturday and Sunday for the Lone Star Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will take place at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock.

Men’s Track
J-30 Marcus Parker, Eastern New Mexico
F-7 Daniel Gyasi, West Texas A&M
F-14 Rashard Clark, Texas A&M-Commerce
F-21 Dalton Stidham, Tarleton State

Men’s Field
J-30 Charles Greaves, Texas A&M-Kingsville
F-7 Abraham Seaneke, West Texas A&M
F-14 Abraham Seaneke, West Texas A&M (2)
F-21 Kenneth Lloyd, Eastern New Mexico

Women’s Track
J-30 Laura Alicke, Texas A&M-Commerce
F-7 Nele Heinrich, West Texas A&M
F-14 Valda Kabia, West Texas A&M
F-21 Kami Norton, Angelo State

Women’s Field
J-30 Hailey Wanoreck, Texas A&M-Commerce
F-7 Rellie Kaputin, West Texas A&M
F-14 Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M
F-21 Minna Svaerd, Texas A&M-Commerce



Men’s Basketball falls to eighth in Regional Rankings.

INDIANAPOLIS– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team is ranked eighth in the second edition of the 2017-18 NCAA South Central Regional rankings. The South Central Region consists of the Lone Star, Heartland, and Rocky Mountain Athletic conferences. The rankings were released on Wednesday by the NCAA. The Lions were ranked seventh in last week’s rankings.

A&M-Commerce is one of five teams from the Lone Star Conference in the rankings. West Texas A&M is ranked first followed by UT Permian Basin in second, Tarleton State in ninth, and Angelo State in tenth. The tournament champions of the LSC, HC, and RMAC, as well as five at-large teams, will advance to the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament, hosted by the team that finishes the season in the No. 1 spot. The regional tournament is set to begin on March 10.

Five of the Lions’ seven losses this season have come to teams in the rankings. The Lions have wins over Angelo State and Tarleton State. The top six seeds remained the same with Colorado School of Mines moving from tenth to seventh.

The Lions are currently 18-7 with a conference record of 10-6. The team is in fourth place in the conference rankings with two games left in the regular season. The Lions return to action on Thursday with a home game against No. 7 West Texas A&M, the top seed in the region. The Lions will then host No. 12 UT Permian Basin on Saturday. The Lone Star Conference Championship will begin Friday, March 2 at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.

NCAA Division II South Central Region Rankings
as of February 21, 2018

Pl. School DII Record In-Region
1. West Texas A&M 21-2 19-2
2. UT Permian Basin 19-3 19-3
3. Arkansas-Fort Smith 20-4 19-4
4. Fort Lewis 18-4 18-4
5. Regis (Colorado) 20-5 19-5
6. Dallas Baptist 16-5 16-5
7. Colorado Mines 18-6 18-6
8. A&M-COMMERCE 15-7 15-7
9. Tarleton State 13-9 13-7
10. Angelo State 13-9 13-9



LOUISVILLE, Ky.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team is nationally ranked for the first time in the program’s four-year history. The Lions are No. 25 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, which was released Wednesday.

The No. 25 Lions have received votes in the NFCA poll in past seasons, but this is the first time the program has cracked the top-25 rankings. Head coach Richie Bruister was ecstatic for his team to get the national recognition.

“It is something we have been striving for as a program,” Bruister said. “It was one of our goals that we set this year. We have been close in recent history. We had received votes before but just had some disappointments along the way. This year, we got the big wins when we have needed them, and it has given us the opportunity for our peers across the country to vote for us and think we are one of the best in the country.”

Bruister is especially happy for the seniors on the team who have been with the program since its beginning in 2015. He knows the hard work they have put in to help the team grow into a national contender.

“We are obviously very excited for our young program and for our seniors who have worked so hard and have been here with us the whole time,” Bruister said. “Now it is a new era for them. It is exciting for them, and I am very proud of them and all of the hard work they have put in.”

Now that the team has achieved their goal of a national ranking, Bruister has his sights set on the team’s other goals. Since starting the program in 2015, he has been working on making the team a perennial national contender. The group hopes to continue to climb the rankings as it competes for a conference, regional and national championship.

“It is a testament to our athletic department,” Bruister said. “Many of our teams are ranked nationally this year, and our football team won the National Championship. That is our goal. I and several of our players went to the National Championship game last year. It is a long season, and we have to get to the postseason to do that, but this is one of those steps to show everybody that we are one of the best. Our girls want that and have been working hard for it.

“This is one of those nice rewards you get for all of your hard work. You get to walk around campus proud. Now on the schedule, it will have a number 25 by our name. It is a lot of good publicity that comes with it. It will help us with recruits and with everybody watching us around Lion Nation to get behind another one of our teams that is good.”

The Lions are one of four teams from the Lone Star Conference currently in the top-25 rankings. A&M-Commerce is now 10-1 on the season and 3-0 in conference play after sweeping Tarleton State last week. The team returns to action on Sunday for a three-game home series against Missouri Southern State. Sunday’s doubleheader will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a single game to be played Monday at Noon. All games will be at the John Cain Family Softball Field.

2018 NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll – Feb . 21 (Week 1) 

 RANK  TEAM (First Place)  TOTALS  Record  Last Poll
 1  Minnesota State (14)  398  4-0  1
 2  North Georgia (2)  381  15-0  7
 3  Colorado Mesa  360  10-0  8
 4  Dixie State  346  13-0  9
 5  Angelo State  322  13-1  2
 6  West Virginia Wesleyan  319  0-0  4
 7  Southern Arkansas  280  9-1  10
 8  Chico State  277  13-0  21
 9  Southern Indiana  270  3-1  6
 t-10  Saint Leo  249  9-3  23
 t-10  West Texas A&M  249  11-1  13
 12  Harding  206  5-1  12
 13  North Alabama  200  10-2  RV
 14  Lenoir-Rhyne  163  10-3  25
 15  Wayne State (Mich.)  152  0-0  19
 16  Concordia Irvine  151  7-2  RV
 17  West Florida  145  9-5  3
 18  Palm Beach Atlantic  88  7-2  RV
 19  Winona State  85  3-1  24
 20  Valdosta State  76  12-3  18
 21  Cameron  69  11-3   NR
 22  Merrimack  67  5-1   NR
 23  North Greenville  58  6-2   NR
 24  UC San Diego  55  9-4   NR
 t-25 A&M-COMMERCE  39  10-1   NR
 t-25  Carson-Newman  39  7-3  20