A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Abilene Christian Wildcats
Wednesday, January 11 • 8 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (6-7, 1-4 LSC); Abilene Christian (6-8, 0-6 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions at Angelo State Rams
Saturday, January 14 • 8 p.m.
Stephens Arena • San Angelo, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (6-7, 1-4 LSC); Angelo State (6-9, 0-6 LSC)
A&M-Commerce looks to build on its first conference victory with a pair of Lone Star Conference games this week. The Lions host Abilene Christian Wednesday, January 11 at the Field House, tipping at 8 p.m. The Lions then head to San Angelo for a meeting with Angelo State on Saturday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Lions On The Web
Lion basketball fans will be able to keep up with all the action this week in a pair of Lone Star Conference matches. J.P. Heath will call both the men's and women's games live against Abilene Christian and Angelo State on KETR 88.9 FM and online at KETR.org. Live video against the Rams and live stats of both games will be available at LionAthletics.com.
Scouting the Wildcats
2011-12: 6-8 overall, 0-6 Lone Star Conference, 1-4 road.
Last Three Games: W vs. Dallas Baptist (85-82), L vs. Incarnate Word (70-65), L at Texas A&M-Kingsville (72-59).
Head Coach: Joe Golding (Abilene Christian, '99). First season at Abilene Christian (6-8, .429); first season overall (6-8, .429).
Wildcat Key Players:
• Zach Williams (Sr., G): 190 pts. (13.6 avg.), 45.9 FG pct., 67 reb. (4.8 avg.), 17 ast., 10 blk., 21 st.
• Kendall Durant (Jr., G): 164 pts. (11.7 avg.), 37.6 FG pct., 32.3 3FG pct., 57 reb. (4.1 avg.), 15 ast., 16 stl.
• Antonio Bell (Jr., G): 164 pts. (11.7 avg.), 38.6 FG pct., 41 ast., 19 stl.
• Marc Little (Jr., G): 107 pts. (7.6 avg.), 40.2 FG pct., 94.4 FT pct., 39 reb. (2.8 avg.), 33 ast., 18 stl.
• Dosh Simms (Jr., F): 94 pts. (6.7 avg.), 56.5 FG pct., 90 reb. (6.4 avg.), 13 ast.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian have one of the longest-running series in program history as Wednesday's game marks the 91st game between the two schools. A&M-Commerce holds a 53-37 edge in the all-time series, although Abilene Christian won the last meeting between the two, an 88-86 thriller in Abilene in 2010. The Lions have had the upper hand in the recent history of the series, winning seven of the last 10 against the Wildcats and have won nine of the last 10 meetings at the Field House.
Walker Against the Wildcats: 10-7 overall (.588); 7-1 home, 2-6 road, 1-0 neutral.
Scouting the Rams
2011-12: 6-9 overall, 0-6 Lone Star Conference, 4-2 home.
Last Three Games: L at Texas-Permian Basin (57-53), W vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (72-67), L at Incarnate Word (92-51).
Head Coach: Fred Rike (West Texas A&M, '89). Sixth season at Angelo State (80-72, .526); sixth season overall (80-72, .526).
Ram Key Players:
• Keenan Coleman (Jr., G): 196 pts. (16.3 avg.), 40.3 FG pct., 72 reb. (6.0 avg.), 39 ast., 14 stl.
• Javae King-Gilchrist (Jr., G): 183 pts. (12.2 avg.), 40.4 FG pct., 55 reb. (3.7 avg.), 45 ast., 12 stl.
• Hanif Nixon-Huges (Jr., G/F): 145 pts. (12.1 avg.), 43.0 FG pct., 74 reb. (6.2 avg.), 24 ast., 10 stl.
• Reggie Brice (Jr., F): 139 pts. (9.3 avg.), 54.3 FG pct., 92 reb. (6.1 avg.), 17 blk., 14 stl.
• Joey Lenox (Sr., G): 109 pts. (7.3 avg.), 38.0 FG pct., 37.3 3FG pct., 23 ast., 13 stl.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 77th meeting between A&M-Commerce and Angelo State with the Lions holding a 40-36 lead in the all-time series, including a two-game winning streak against the Rams. A&M-Commerce defeated Angelo State 102-98 in overtime in San Angelo in 2010 and have won seven of the last 10 meetings against the Rams. A&M-Commerce has won three of the last four meetings at Stephens Arena.
Walker Against the Rams: 9-7 overall (.563); 6-2 road, 3-5 away.
Hambrick Reaches Pair of Career Milestones
Senior Brad Hambrick, a constant in the Lions' lineup for the past four seasons, reached a pair of impressive career milestones during the last week. Against West Texas A&M on Wednesday, Hambrick tied a career-high with 25 points, including five-of-seven from beyond the three-point line, moving him over 1,000 career points. The following game against Eastern New Mexico, Hambrick hit a pair of three-pointers in the 88-77 victory, giving him 200 for his A&M-Commerce career and becoming the first player in program history to record 200 career threes. Hambrick came into this season tied with Kevin Widemond (2006-08) as the program's all-time three-point leader at 167, and has hit 33 on the year to reach the 200-three-pointer plateau.
King Continues to Pace Lions
Senior Desmond King continues to pace the Lions through the opening four games of the season. The 2010-11 Lone Star Conference Newcomer of the Year and 2011-12 LSC Preseason Player of the Year, King leads the Lions in both points per game (15.8) and rebounds per game (5.7), including a team-high 37 offensive boards. King is also shooting 58.0 percent from the floor for A&M-Commerce and was named the St. Edward's Classic MVP after leading the Lions to a 2-0 mark in the tournament. King has a pair of double-doubles this season, highlighted by his 30-point, 12-rebound performance against Henderson State - both of which either set or tied career highs - and has eclipsed the 20-point plateau on four occasions this season.
Whitley Emerging As Solid Offensive Threat For Lions
Junior Preston Whitley has proven to become an offensive spark off the bench for A&M-Commerce this season, averaging 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Whitley recorded a season-high 21 points in the victory against Eastern New Mexico, five shy of his career-best 26 set in 2010-11. He has scored in double-figures for the Lions on eight occasions, including 19 points against Drury (Dec. 10) and Harding (Dec. 18), including a season-high eight rebounds against the Panthers.
Sledge Providing Spark To Lion Backcourt
Senior LaBree Sledge has become the lynch pin of the Lions early in the 2011-12 season. Sledge has taken on the point guard duties this season and hasn't disappointed, leading the Lone Star Conference in assists per game (4.8) while ranking second in assist to turnover ratio (1.4), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (42.5) and seventh in minutes played (3.8). Sledge is averaging 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 0.7 steals per game.
Following the games this week, A&M-Commerce continues its 2011-12 Lone Star Conference slate with a home-and-home series against Tarleton State. The Lions and Texans square off at the Field House on Wednesday, January 18, tipping at 8 p.m. The series then shifts to Stephenville where A&M-Commerce and Tarleton State will battle at Wisdom Gym on Saturday, January 21, getting underway at 7 p.m.
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