A&M-Commerce Lions at Dallas Baptist Patriots
Saturday, December 15 • 2 p.m.
Burg Center • Dallas, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (7-2); Dallas Baptist (4-4)
A&M-Commerce steps out of Lone Star Conference play for the final time this season, opening a three-game road trip to close out the 2012 calendar year. The Lions open the swing with a trip into downtown for a showdown with Dallas Baptist at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 15.
Lions on the Web
Stay up to date with every Lion basket this Saturday as A&M-Commerce takes on Dallas Baptist. KETR 88.9 FM will carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood on the call. The game will also be available online at KETR.org. Live stats of the game against the Patriots will be available at LionAthletics.com with Twitter followers getting updates throughout the game @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Patriots
2012-13: 4-4 overall, 2-0 Heartland Conference, 1-1 home
Last Three Games: W at UT-Permian Basin (69-64), W at Oklahoma Panhandle State (94-91), W at Regis (82-67)
Head Coach: Blake Flickner (Kansas, 1998). Seventh season at Dallas Baptist (117-84, .582)
• #32 Nick Fox (Sr., F): 181 pts. (22.6 ppg), 60.7 FG%, 50.0 3FG%, 87.5 FT%, 76 reb. (9.5 rpg), 3 blk.
• #5 Jordan Kirschke (Sr., G): 93 pts. (11.6 ppg), 48.3 FG%, 51.4 3FG%, 95.0 FT%, 16 ast., 7 stl.
• #24 Jonathan Perry (R-Fr., G): 79 pts. (9.9 ppg), 37.3 FG%, 27.3 3FG%, 85.2 FT%, 33 reb. (4.1 rpg)
• #23 Charles Allen (Fr., G): 72 pts. (9.0 ppg), 53.1 FG%, 48.4 3FG%, 83.3 FT%, 36 reb. (4.5 rpg), 12 ast.
• #22 Cory Carden (Jr., G): 65 pts. (8.1 ppg), 52.6 FG%, 50.0 3FG%, 90.0 FT%, 26 ast., 8 stl.
Synopsis: Dallas Baptist heads into Saturday's game with a 4-4 mark on the year, having won its last three games on the year. As a team, the Patriots are shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, including an impressive 42.8 percent from three-point range and 85.0 percent from the free throw line. The streak ended a four-game losing skid for Dallas Baptist, a run which started with the 91-87 overtime defeat in Commerce on Nov. 13. The Lions and Patriots have a pair of common opponents on the year as Dallas Baptist is 1-1 against Abilene Christian while defeating UT-Permian Basin 69-64 last Saturday.
Saturday marks the 19th overall meeting between A&M-Commerce and Dallas Baptist with the Lions holding an 11-7 mark in the all-time series. The Lions defeated the Patriots earlier this season, rallying from a five-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to force overtime before toppling Dallas Baptist 91-87 at the Field House on Nov. 13. Head coach Sam Walker is 1-1 all-time against the Patriots, including a 71-61 defeat at the Burg Center last season, which was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1985-86 season.
Smith Named LSC Co-Offensive Player of the Week
Senior guard Jason Smith was honored as the Lone Star Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his performances in a pair of Lion victories last week. Smith averaged 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, posting 17 points in the win at Abilene Christian before notching a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Angelo State. Smith shot 80.0 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the free throw line in the pair of wins as he ranks fourth in the LSC in field goal percentage at 62.7 percent. Smith, who is averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds on the year, also sits among the Lone Star Conference leaders in assists per game (3.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4), ranking 10th in both categories.
Walker Closing In On Pair of Impressive Milestones
A&M-Commerce Sam Walker returns for his 13th season as the Lions' head coach, and his 21st with the program, with a pair of career milestones on the horizon. With the 78-57 victory over Angelo State Saturday evening, Walker upped his career record to 199-150, needing just one more win to reach 200 for his career. Walker also ranks second all-time among career victories at A&M-Commerce, trailing only Jim Gudger (201-193) and needing just three wins to surpass his career mark and become the all-time winningest coach in A&M-Commerce history. Walker, who has the fourth-highest winning percentage among Lion head coaches (.570) with at least 50 victories, came to Commerce as an assistant coach in 1992 and served as an assistant coach under Paul Peak for eight years before being named head coach prior to the 2000-01 season.
Balanced Offensive Output Key to Lions Success
One of the reasons for A&M-Commerce's early season success is the Lions' balanced scoring attack. A&M-Commerce has five player averaging at least 10 points per game, led by Andrew Davis' 11.4 points per game, slightly better than Preston Whitley's 11.3 average. Stefon Carson is adding 10.9 points per game with Jason Smith averaging 10.3 and Devondrick Walker averaging 10.0 points per game. The balanced scoring has made A&M-Commerce the highest scoring team in the Lone Star Conference as the Lions are averaging 77.6 points per game, seven points better than the 70.2 points per game the team averaged in 2011-12.
Heading into the weekend, A&M-Commerce has posted a five-game winning streak, the Lions' longest streak since winning five-straight to start the 2010-11 season. A&M-Commerce has also notched five-straight victories at home, dating back to the 83-78 win over Angelo State in the 2011-12 regular season finale, matching their longest home court winning streak since a seven-game stretch during the 2010-11 season.
Walker Against the Heartland Conference
A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker has experienced a good deal of success against the Heartland Conference in his 13 seasons at A&M-Commerce, posting an 18-5 record (.782) against current conference members. So far in 2012-13, the Lions are 3-1 against Heartland opponents, sweeping a pair of meetings against UT-Permian Basin and besting Dallas Baptist, with the lone loss coming at St. Edward's in the season opener.
• Arkansas-Fort Smith: 1-0 (1.000). Last: A&M-Commerce 78, Arkansas-Fort Smith 77 (2011-12)
• Dallas Baptist: 1-1 (.500). Last: A&M-Commerce 91, Dallas Baptist 87 (2012-13)
• St. Edward's: 8-2 (.800). Last: St. Edward's 75, A&M-Commerce 70 (2012-13)
• St. Mary's: 4-2 (.667). Last: A&M-Commerce 84, St. Mary's 65 (2010-11)
• Texas A&M International: 2-0 (1.000). Last: A&M-Commerce 88, A&M International 54 (2010-11)
• UT-Permian Basin: 2-0 (1.000). Last: A&M-Commerce 84, UT-Permian Basin 76 (2012-13)
Change of Pace From 2011-12
One of the reasons for the success of A&M-Commerce in the early portion of 2012-13 has been its ability to take down teams from the Lone Star state. In 2011-12, the Lions did not record their first victory against a team from the state of Texas until a 75-72 win at Abilene Christian on February 22nd as A&M-Commerce posted just two wins over Lone Star state teams on the year. So far in 2012-13, the Lions are 5-1 against Texas teams, notching a pair of victories over UT-Permian Basin along with wins against Dallas Baptist, Abilene Christian and Angelo State.
A&M-Commerce closes out the 2012 calendar season with a two-game Arkansas road trip next week against a pair of opponents looking to settle the score from earlier losses. The Lions first visit Arkadelphia for a showdown with Ouachita Baptist on Tuesday, December 18th, followed by a trip to Magnolia to take on Southern Arkansas on Wednesday, December 19th. The Lions defeated the Tigers 69-56 on November 20th at the Field House, followed by a 74-67 victory over the Muleriders on November 26th. Both games get underway at 7 p.m. with live statistics available at LionAthletics.com.
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