LIONS CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON FACING BUFFS, GREYHOUNDS
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. West Texas A&M Buffs
Wednesday, February 27 · 7:30 p.m.
The Field House · Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (14-12, 7-9 LSC); West Texas A&M (15-9, 7-9 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
Saturday, March 2 · 5:00 p.m. CT
Greyhound Arena · Portales, N.M.
Records: A&M-Commerce (14-12, 7-9 LSC); Eastern New Mexico (11-13, 8-8 LSC)
A&M-Commerce closes out the 2012-13 regular season with a pair of games against opponents it is battling for seeding come postseason time. The Lions play their home finale on Wednesday, February 27th hosting the Buffs of West Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. A&M-Commerce then makes the trek west to Portales, N.M. for the regular season finale against the Greyhounds of Eastern New Mexico, tipping at 5 p.m. CT from Greyhound Arena.
Lions on the Web
Be sure to stay up to date with every Lion basket as A&M-Commerce makes its final push towards Allen. Both games will be carried live on KETR 88.9 FM and online at KETR.org as Charlie Chitwood, "The Voice of the Lions," will be on the call. Live video of both games will be available with links available through LionAthletics.com as well as live stats. Fans can also receive in-game updates by following @Lion_Athletics on Twitter.
Six Seniors Set To Be Recognized
Prior to the start of Wednesday's tilt against West Texas A&M, six A&M-Commerce seniors will be recognized prior to the start of their final game at the Field House. Esteban Arriola, Stefon Carson, Andrew Davis, Adoulaye N'doye, Jason Smith and Preston Whitley all suit up for the final time at home for A&M-Commerce as the Lion seniors will be honored in a brief pre-game ceremony.
Jockeying For LSC Tournament Seeding Begins
With the final week of the regular season upon us, the eight teams heading to Allen for the 2013 LSC Basketball Championship have already clinched a spot, but now begins the all-important race for seeding. Midwestern State (14-4) has clinched the top seed with Cameron (13-5) settled in at two, but the remaining six slots remain up for grabs as two games separate third from eighth. Incarnate Word and Tarleton State are currently tied for third at 9-7, followed by Eastern New Mexico in fifth at 8-8 and the three-team logjam for sixth with the Lions, West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville at 7-9. A&M-Commerce has a great chance to seal its own destiny, squaring off against the Buffs and Greyhounds this week and owning the tiebreaker against the Cardinals and Javelinas.
Scouting the Buffs
2012-13: 15-9 overall, 7-9 Lone Star Conference (T-6th), 5-5 road
Last Three Games: W vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (57-56), L vs. Incarnate Word (69-67), L at Cameron (73-62)
Head Coach: Rick Cooper (Wayland Baptist, 1981). 20th season at WTAMU (384-190, .669)
· #5 Donald Sims (Sr., F): 330 pts. (13.8 ppg), 63.7 FG%, 61.5 FT%, 220 reb., 33 blk., 28 stl.
· #2 Kennon Washington (Sr., G): 273 pts. (11.4 ppg), 43.8 FG%, 31.7 3FG%, 71.7 FT%, 112 reb., 58 ast., 19 stl.
· #14 Tez Dumars (So., G): 222 pts. (9.3 ppg), 39.4 FG%, 34.1 3FG%, 66.7 FT%, 52 reb., 51 stl., 19 stl.
· #32 Mason White (R-Sr., F): 214 pts. (8.9 ppg), 45.1 FG%, 27.5 3FG%, 58.7 FT%, 87 reb., 22 ast., 19 stl.
· #3 Darnell Jackson (Sr., G): 207 pts. (8.6 ppg), 37.3 FG%, 37.3 3FG%, 76.8 FT%, 127 reb., 103 ast., 34 stl.
Synopsis: West Texas A&M heads into the week tied with the Lions with a 7-9 mark in the LSC, coming off a 57-56 victory over A&M-Kingsville which snapped a three-game losing streak. The Buffs have struggled from an offensive perspective, sitting last in the LSC in points per game (63.8) and three-point percentage (31.9%) but make up for it on the defensive end, ranking second in scoring defense (59.2 ppg) and is first in rebounding defense (27.0).
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M meet for the 77th time Wednesday evening with the Buffs holding a 48-28 lead in the all-time series, including a five-game winning streak over the Lions. West Texas defeated A&M-Commerce 67-53 in Canyon back on January 16th as head coach Sam Walker is 6-16 all-time against the Buffs, including a 4-7 record at the Field House.
Scouting the Greyhounds
2012-13: 11-13 overall, 8-8 Lone Star Conference (5th), 6-4 home
Last Three Games: W vs. Incarnate Word (86-70), L vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (66-62), L at Midwestern State (83-72)
Head Coach: Andrew Helton (Miami, 1992). Third season at ENMU (34-33, .507)
· #1 Rodney Blackmon (Jr., G): 404 pts. (16.8 ppg), 38.1 FG%, 37.5 3FG%, 75.9 FT%, 76 reb., 120 ast., 22 stl.
· #4 Rafael Love (Jr., G): 344 pts. (14.3 ppg), 46.1 FG%, 41.2 3FG%, 77.2 FT%, 171 reb., 32 ast., 41 stl.
· #30 Lawrence Domingo (Fr., F): 190 pts. (7.9 ppg), 49.0 FG%, 36.4 3FG%, 50.8 FT%, 84 reb.
· #11 Dennis Hardwell (Jr., F): 188 pts. (7.8 ppg), 39.2 FG%, 72.9 FT%, 133 reb., 24 ast., 27 blk., 25 stl.
· #22 Jordan Romero (Jr., G): 157pts. (6.8 ppg), 39.1 FG%, 38.2 3FG%, 55.6 FT%, 39 reb., 62 ast.
Synopsis: Eastern New Mexico currently sits in fifth in the LSC standings at 8-8, one game ahead of the Lions, playing at Tarleton State Wednesday. The Greyhounds knocked off Incarnate Word 86-70 on Saturday and are one of the hottest teams in the conference, winning five of their last seven. Eastern New Mexico has made its mark beyond the arc, ranking second in the Lone Star Conference by shooting 37.2 percent, and have attempted 497 threes - second most among LSC schools.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 56th meeting all-time between A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico as the Lions hold a commanding 38-17 lead in the all-time series. The rivalry has been lopsided in recent years as A&M-Commerce has won 11 straight against the Greyhounds, including an 84-77 win at the Field House back on January 19th. Head coach Sam Walker is 15-4 all-time against Eastern New Mexico, including a 7-2 record at Greyhound Arena.
Davis Named First Team Academic All-American
Senior forward Andrew Davis continued to add to his impressive resume last week as he was named a first team Capital One Academic All-American by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). It marks the second All-America honor for Davis, who was a third team selection in 2011-12, as the Lions have now had a first team honoree in back-to-back seasons (Desmond King in 2011-12). The reigning Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year, Davis ranks among the LSC leaders in field goal percentage and rebounding and has already set career highs in points, rebounds and blocks. Davis boasts a perfect 4.00 GPA with a major in finance and has been a President's List selection each semester during his time at A&M-Commerce.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Leaders
With one week remaining in the regular season, A&M-Commerce continues to rank among the Lone Star Conference leaders in a handful of categories. The Lions currently sit first in the LSC in assists (15.3 apg) while checking in at second in scoring offense (74.2 ppg), three-point field goal percentage (37.2%), rebounding (37.7 rpg) and steals (7.2 spg). Individually, four Lions rank among the top-10 in nine statistical categories, led by Andrew Davis ranking second in field goal percentage (57.1%) and defensive rebounds (5.3 rpg) with Devondrick Walker sitting second in free throw percentage (79.7%).
With the regular season wrapping up this weekend, A&M-Commerce sets its sights on a return trip to the postseason next week. The Lions have clinched a spot in the LSC Championship for the ninth-straight year and 34th time overall, both of which are the most of any LSC school. The tournament runs March 6-9 at the Allen Event Center with quarterfinal games spread out over both Wednesday and Thursday. The Lions' final seeding and first round opponent will be determined once the regular season wraps up Saturday evening.