LIONS RESUME CONFERENCE PLAY AGAINST BUFFALOES, GREYHOUNDS
A&M-Commerce Lions at West Texas A&M Buffaloes
Wednesday, January 4 • 8 p.m.
First United Bank Center • Canyon, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (5-6, 0-3 LSC); West Texas A&M (10-1, 4-0 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
Saturday, January 7 • 8 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (5-6, 0-3 LSC); Eastern New Mexico (9-4, 2-2 LSC)
A&M-Commerce returns to action after a two-week break, entering the bulk of its Lone Star Conference schedule. The Lions head to Canyon, Texas, for a showdown with West Texas A&M Wednesday, January 4 at 8 p.m. A&M-Commerce then returns to the Field House, hosting Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, January 7 at 8 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. Scott Harvey will call A&M-Commerce's game at West Texas A&M Wednesday on KETR 88.9 FM and online at KETR.org, with J.P. Heath resuming his play-by-play duties against Eastern New Mexico Saturday. Live video against the Buffaloes and live stats of both games will be available at LionAthletics.com.
Scouting the Buffaloes
2011-12: 10-1 overall, 4-0 Lone Star, 3-0 home.
Last Three Games: W at Abilene Christian (61-58), W vs. Angelo State (71-44), W at Oklahoma Panhandle (94-52).
Head Coach: Rick Cooper (Wayland Baptist, '81). 19th season at West Texas A&M (360-173, .675); 25th season overall (512-220, .699).
Buffalo Key Players:
• Kennon Washington (Jr., G): 168 pts. (15.3 avg.), 50.8 FG pct., 37.1 3FG pct., 53 reb. (4.8 avg.), 29 ast., 11 stl.
• Donald Sims (Jr., F): 160 pts. (14.5 avg.), 66.4 FG pct., 96 reb. (8.7 avg.), 11 ast., 7 blk., 15 stl.
• Courtney Carr (Sr., F): 112 pts. (10.2 avg.), 63.2 FG pct., 61 reb. (5.5 avg.), 8 blk., 10 stl.
• Tez Dumars (Fr., G): 76 pts. (6.9 avg.), 44.6 FG pct., 34.3 3FG pct., 26 reb. (2.4 avg.), 16 ast.
• David Henderson (Sr., G): 57 pts. (5.2 avg.), 39.3 FG pct., 37.5 3FG pct., 22 reb. (2.0 avg.), 21 ast.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M meet for the 74th time Wednesday evening with the Buffaloes holding a 45-28 edge in the all-time series. West Texas has won the last two meetings and are 6-4 in the last 10 meetings against the Lions, including a thrilling 76-75 victory over A&M-Commerce at the Field House in 2010-11. A&M-Commerce is looking to snap a four-game skid in Canyon with the last road victory coming in a 67-50 victory in 2005.
Scouting the Greyhounds
2011-12: 9-4 overall, 2-2 Lone Star, 1-3 road.
Last Three Games: W vs. Angelo State (71-62), W vs. Abilene Christian (68-59), L at Long Beach State (76-54).
Head Coach: Andrew Helton (Miami, '92). Third season at Eastern New Mexico (32-24, .571); third season overall (32-24, .571).
Greyhound Key Players:
• Reggie Nelson (Sr., G): 181 pts. (13.9 avg.), 51.8 FG pct., 46.7 3FG pct., 88.5 FT pct., 40 ast., 18 stl.
• Stefan Mirabal (Sr., G): 166 pts. (12.8 avg.), 39.6 FG pct., 42 reb. (3.2 avg.), 24 ast., 17 stl.
• Aaron Edwards (Sr., F): 148 pts. (11.4 avg.), 53.1 FG pct., 75 reb. (5.8 avg.), 8 blk., 23 stl.
• Tralyn Harden (Sr. G): 106 pts. (8.2 avg.), 31.7 FG pct., 28 reb. (2.2 avg.), 20 ast., 16 stl.
• Max Carrier (Sr., F): 100 pts. (7.7 avg.), 46.3 FG pct., 55 reb. (4.2 avg.), 20 ast., 11 blk. 18 stl.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 52nd meeting between A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico with the Lions holding a 34-17 edge, including an eight-game winning streak against the Greyhounds. A&M-Commerce defeated Eastern New Mexico 94-67 last season and are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings against the Greyhounds. The Lions have won four-straight against Eastern New Mexico at the Field House.
King Named Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week
Senior Desmond King, the Preseason Lone Star Conference Player of the Year, was named the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week after helping lead the Lions to a perfect 3-0 mark this past week, averaging 21.7 points while shooting 72.7 percent from the floor in the three victories. King opened up the week with a 22-point, five-rebound performance in the Lions' 76-74 last-second victory over Southern Arkansas on December 13. At the St. Edward's Classic in Austin, King had a pair of impressive games, en route to being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Against Harding, he finished with 13 points and a career-best seven steals, helping A&M-Commerce to an 82-67 victory. But the senior saved his best for last, recording a career-high 30 points while tying his career-bests in rebounds (12) and blocks (two) as the Lions defeated Henderson State 85-81. King hit 12-of-13 shots from the floor against the Reddies, another career-best. Through the first 11 games of the year, King leads the Lions in both points and rebounds, averaging 15.8 points and 6.2 boards per game. He ranks among the Lone Star Conference's leaders in a handful of categories, sitting sixth in points per game, 10th in rebounds per game, fifth in field goal percentage (57.9 percent), eighth in steals (1.5 per game) and second in offensive rebounds (3.1 per game).
Hambrick Inching Closer To 200 Career Three-Pointers
Senior Brad Hambrick has been a constant in the Lion lineup for the past three seasons, and in the season opener of his fourth season in an A&M-Commerce uniform, he cemented his legacy in the Lion record book. Hambrick came into the season tied with Kevin Widemond (2006-08) for first all-time in career three-pointers made at 167, then moved squarely into first place with his three in the opening half at Southern Arkansas. In the two games of the St. Edward's Classic before the break, Hambrick hit five of his nine attempts, including four-of-five in the win over Harding, upping his career total to 193 career threes, just seven shy of reaching 200.
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 (6.2), including a team-high 34 offensive boards. King is also shooting 57.9 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.
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 both assists per game (4.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4). He has also proven to be another offensive threat for A&M-Commerce, ranking third in the LSC in three-point percentage (40.6) and averages 7.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 0.7 steals per game.
Walker Closes In On History in 12th Season As Head Coach
A&M-Commerce Sam Walker returns for his 12th season as the Lions' head coach, and his 20th with the program, with a pair of milestones on the horizon. Through the first 11 games of the season, Walker has an overall record of 187-137, sitting just 13 victories shy of 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 14 victories to match his career mark. Walker, who has the fourth-highest winning percentage among Lion head coaches (.577), 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.
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