A&M-Commerce Lions at West Texas A&M Buffaloes
Wednesday, January 16 • 8:00 p.m.
First United Bank Center • Canyon, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (10-6, 3-3 LSC); West Texas A&M (10-4, 2-4 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
Saturday, January 19 • 4:00 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (10-6, 3-3 LSC); Eastern New Mexico (5-9, 2-4 LSC)
A&M-Commerce remains on the road to open up another crucial Lone Star Conference week, traveling to Canyon to face West Texas A&M at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16th. The Lions then return to the Field House for their yearly battle with the Greyhounds of Eastern New Mexico at 4 p.m. Saturday, January 19th in A&M-Commerce's "Gold Out" game.
Lions on the Web
Stay up to date with every Lion basket this week as A&M-Commerce embarks on another challenging Lone Star Conference week. Both games against the Buffs and Greyhounds will be broadcast live on KETR 88.9 FM with Charlie Chitwood on the call, while also streaming live online at KETR.org. Live video of both games will be available at LionAthletics.com with Saturday's showdown against Eastern New Mexico powered by Stretch Internet. Live stats of both games available at LionAthletics.com as well with Twitter users getting in-game updates by following @Lion_Athletics.
"Gold Out" Against the Greyhounds
Saturday's game against Eastern New Mexico marks the men's basketball "Gold Out" game of the 2012-13 season. The goal of the evening is to pack the Field House with each spectator wearing gold and helping provide that lift to spur the Lions on to victory. Free gold t-shirts will be handed out at the door to those who need one. Don't forget to come early as to the Saturday doubleheader as head coach Sam Walker will be presented the game ball from his 202nd victory at halftime of the women's game against the Zias, tipping off at 2 p.m.
Walker Becomes All-Time Winningest Lion Coach
A&M-Commerce Sam Walker solidified his place among the all-time coaching greats in Commerce, becoming the all-time winningest coach in program history following the 74-66 victory over Midwestern State Wednesday evening. The win was the 202nd of Walker's 13-year career, moving him past Lion Hall of Famer Jim Gudger (1969-83) in career victories as he now boasts an overall career record of 202-154. His 56.7% winning percentage also ranks Walker fourth among Lion basketball coaches with at least 50 wins as the milestone victory encompasses not just the men's basketball program, but every A&M-Commerce athletic team.
Walker's Career Coaching Milestones
• Win #1: November 18, 2000 • A&M-Commerce 99, Ouachita Baptist 90
• Win #25: February 9, 2002 • A&M-Commerce 71, Eastern New Mexico 70
• Win #50: January 8, 2004 • A&M-Commerce 58, Northeastern State 57
• Win #100: February 22, 2006 • A&M-Commerce 82, Cameron 80
• Win #150: December 5, 2009 • A&M-Commerce 66, Ouachita Baptist 59
• Win #200: December 15, 2012 • A&M-Commerce 92, Dallas Baptist 62
• Win #202: January 9, 2013 • A&M-Commerce 74, Midwestern State 66
Scouting the Buffs
2012-13: 10-4 overall, 2-4 Lone Star Conference (T-6th), 5-1 road
Last Three Games: L at Texas A&M-Kingsville (64-61, OT), L at Incarnate Word (66-62), W vs. Hillsdale Baptist (77-47)
Head Coach: Rick Cooper (Wayland Baptist, 1981). 20th season at West Texas A&M (379-185, .672); 26th season overall (531-232, .696)
• #5 Donald Sims (Sr., F): 196 pts. (14.0 ppg), 69.8 FG%, 65.4 FT%, 118 reb., 11 blk., 20 stl.
• #2 Kennon Washington (Sr., G): 157 pts. (11.2 ppg), 43.0 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 77.1 FT%, 59 reb., 32 ast.
• #14 Tez Dumars (So., G): 129 pts. (9.2 ppg), 40.4 FG%, 32.3 3FG%, 71.4 FT%, 32 reb., 29 ast., 10 stl.
• #32 Mason White (R-Sr., F): 122 pts. (8.7 ppg), 44.7 FG%, 59.5 FT%, 45 reb., 13 ast., 9 stl.
• #3 Darnell Jackson (Sr., G): 109 pts. (7.8 ppg), 38.3 FG%, 37.9 3FG%, 68.4 FT%, 80 reb., 61 ast., 23 stl.
Synopsis: West Texas A&M enters the weekend 2-4 in Lone Star Conference play, sitting tied for sixth one game back of fifth-place A&M-Commerce. The Buffs have lost two-straight LSC games, falling at Texas A&M-Kingsville 64-61 in overtime and at Incarnate Word 66-62 last week. West Texas A&M has been difficult to beat at home, posting a 5-1 mark at First United Bank Center.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M meet for the 76th time Wednesday as the Buffs hold a 47-28 lead in the all-time series, including a four-game winning streak dating back to 2009-10. West Texas A&M is 8-2 in its last 10 games against the Lions as head coach Sam Walker has posted a 6-15 mark against the Buffs in his career and is 2-8 all-time in Canyon, seeking his first win at First United Bank Center since a 67-50 victory in 2004-05.
Scouting the Greyhounds
2012-13: 5-9 overall, 2-4 Lone Star Conference (T-6th), 1-7 road
Last Three Games: L at Incarnate Word (93-75), L at Texas A&M-Kingsville (82-63), L vs. Midwestern State (82-53)
Head Coach: Andrew Helton (Miami, 1992). Third season at Eastern New Mexico (28-29, .491)
• #1 Rodney Blackmon (Jr., G): 207 pts. (14.8 ppg), 37.1 FG%, 35.6 3FG%, 81.0 FT%, 36 reb., 63 ast., 13 stl.
• #4 Rafael Love (Jr., G): 188 pts. (13.4 ppg), 47.6 FG%, 41.5 3FG%, 83.7 FT%, 97 reb., 20 ast., 21 stl.
• #11 Dennis Hardwell (Jr., F): 136 pts. (9.7 ppg), 40.2 FG%, 74.0 FT%, 84 reb., 18 blk., 14 stl.
• #30 Lawrence Domingo (Fr., F): 100 pts. (7.1 ppg), 48.8 FG%, 42.5 FT%, 49 reb.
• #22 Jordan Romero (Jr., G): 90 pts. (6.9 ppg), 38.9 FG%, 37.1 3FG%, 64.7 FT%, 25 reb., 41 ast.
Synopsis: Eastern New Mexico enters the week with a 5-9 mark in LSC play, tied for sixth overall with a date against Tarleton State on Wednesday afternoon before heading to Commerce. The Greyhounds have lost six-straight beginning the week, including four-straight Lone Star Conference games. Eastern New Mexico has struggled on the road in 2012-13 posting a 1-7 mark away from Greyhound Arena.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 55th meeting between A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico as the Lions hold a 37-17 edge in the all-time series. The recent series has been dominated by A&M-Commerce as head coach Sam Walker has won 10-straight against the Greyhounds, dating back to the 2004-05 season. Walker has posted a 14-4 mark against Eastern New Mexico, including a 7-2 record at the Field House, winning five-straight against the Greyhounds in Commerce.
The Week That Was
A&M-Commerce opened up the week facing Midwestern State, the defending Lone Star Conference champions, and fell behind by double digits in the first half against the Mustangs. But A&M-Commerce would rally, taking a nine-point lead early in the second half, then holding off a late Midwestern State charge to earn the 74-66 victory, giving head coach Sam Walker his record-setting 202nd victory. Preston Whitley led the way, notching a career-high 28 points in the win with Stefon Carson adding 14 points. Saturday in Lawton, Okla., A&M-Commerce once again fell behind early, but this time was unable to recover in a 65-51 loss at Cameron. It as the Lions' lowest scoring output of the season as Whitley was the only Lion to finish in double figures, tallying 15 points. Andrew Davis and Jason Smith each added eight points in defeat for the Lions.
Whitley Sits Five Points Shy of 1,000
Senior Preston Whitley continues to emerge as the Lions' top offensive threat and sits on the verge of an impressive career milestone. After logging a career-high 28 points in the win over Midwestern State and an additional 15 at Cameron, Whitley enters the week with 995 career points, five shy of joining the Lion 1,000-point club. The 2009-10 LSC Freshman of the Year, Whitley has been a constant in the A&M-Commerce lineup for the past four seasons, appearing in 91 games and averaging 10.9 points per game. Whitley looks to become the second Lion in back-to-back seasons to join the 1,000-point club as former Lion Brad Hambrick, Whitley's teammate for three years, accomplished the feat during the 2011-12 season.
A&M-Commerce Remains LSC's Top Scoring Threat
With the 2012-13 conference schedule reaching the halfway point, A&M-Commerce continues to rank among the Lone Star Conference leaders in a number of categories. As a team, the Lions lead the LSC in points per game (76.9) and defensive rebounds per game (26.5), while sitting second in rebounds (38.2 rpg) and steals (7.8 spg). A&M-Commerce also sits third in free throw percentage (68.4%), three-point field goal percentage (36.2%) and assists (15.3 apg).
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Top-10
With the 2012-13 season back in full swing, a number of Lions continue to make their marks on the Lone Star Conference leaderboard. Six different A&M-Commerce hoopsters rank among the individual top-10 in nine different categories, led by Andrew Davis, who ranks first in defensive rebounds, third in rebounds per game and sixth in field goal percentage. Preston Whitley has also made his mark, ranking fourth in scoring, seventh in three-point percentage and ninth in free throw percentage on the year. Jason Smith and Tyrie Wooten have also cracked the top-10 in a pair of categories as well.
Following the pair of games this week, A&M-Commerce will have more than its usual time off, preparing for a Saturday home-and-home series with LSC rival Tarleton State. The Lions will not take to the court again until Saturday, January 26th when A&M-Commerce hosts Tarleton State at 4:00 p.m. at the Field House.
For the complete weekly release, click the PDF link above.