A&M-COMMERCE USHERS IN 2013 FACING INCARNATE WORD, A&M-KINGSVILLE
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Incarnate Word Cardinals
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 • 7:30 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (9-3, 2-0 LSC); Incarnate Word (5-5, 1-1 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. A&M-Kingsville Javelinas
Saturday, January 5, 2013 • 3 p.m.
Steinke Center • Kingsville, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (9-3, 2-0 LSC); A&M-Kingsville (5-4, 1-1 LSC)
Live Video: LionAthletics.com
Radio: KETR 88.9 FM (listen online at KETR.org)
Live Stats: LionAthletics.com
Twitter Updates: @Lion_Athletics
A&M-Commerce Weekly Game Notes (PDF)
Walker 200 Win Congratulatory Flyer (PDF)
A&M-Commerce welcomes in 2013 with a return to Lone Star Conference action after a two-week hiatus. The Lions host Incarnate Word at the Field House Wednesday, January 2nd, tipping at around 7:30 p.m. A&M-Commerce then makes the trek to the South Texas, battling A&M-Kingsville at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 5th.
Lions on the Web
Stay up to date with every Lion basket this week as head coach Sam Walker looks to become the all-time winningest coach in program history. Both games against the Cardinals and Javelinas will be broadcast live on KETR 88.9 FM with Charlie Chitwood on the call, while also streaming live online at KETR.org. The game Wednesday against Incarnate Word will be streamed live at LionAthletics.com, powered by Stretch Internet, with live stats of both games available at LionAthletics.com as well. Twitter users can also get in-game updates by following @Lion_Athletics.
Walker Matches Gudger With 201st Career Victory
A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker continued to etch his name in program history as with the Lions' 96-88 victory at Southern Arkansas on December 19th, Walker notched his 201st career victory, tying Jim Gudger (1969-83) as the all-time winningest coach in program history, spanning all sports. It comes on the heels of Walker's 200th career victory, a 92-62 thrashing of Dallas Baptist on December 15th as the Lion head man needs just one more victory to take his seat atop the Lions' all-time coaching greats. Walker, who has the fourth-highest winning percentage among Lion head coaches (.571) 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.
Celebrate Walker's 200th Victory With a Two-Dollar Doubleheader on the Second
With A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker reaching his 200th career victory, the Lions would like to offer a chance for fans to celebrate the milestone achievement as well has hopefully helping cheer Walker to win #202, making him the all-time winningest coach in program history. To help celebrate the feat, admission to the Lions' doubleheader against Incarnate Word on Wednesday, January 2nd, will be just $2.00 as the A&M-Commerce women tip at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m. A win over the Cardinals would give Walker the all-time record, so help us pack the Field House and cheer both the Lion men and women on to victory.
Scouting the Cardinals
2012-13: 5-5 overall, 1-1 Lone Star Conference (T-5th), 2-2 road
Last Three Games: W vs. Texas A&M International (80-59), L at McMurry (76-68), L at St. Mary's (71-61)
Head Coach: Ken Burmeister (St. Mary's, 1970). Seventh season at Incarnate Word (118-62, .655); 15th season overall (246-186, .569)
• #23 Dionelle Rucker (Sr., F): 177 pts. (17.7 ppg), 54.7 FG%, 64.9 FT%, 59 reb., 13 blk., 22 stl.
• #11 Denzel Livingston (So., G): 127 pts. (12.7 ppg), 48.8 FG%, 27.3 3FG%, 40 reb., 25 ast., 26 stl.
• #2 Lyn'Dale Brown (Sr., G): 104 pts. (11.6 ppg), 50.6 FG%, 54.8 FT%, 47 reb. 37 ast., 23 stl.
• #4 Kyle Hittle (Fr., G): 103 pts. (10.3 ppg), 50.0 FG%, 45.5 3FG%, 73.3 FT%, 31 reb., 15 ast., 10 stl.
• #33 Anthony Horton (Jr., F): 97 pts. (9.7 ppg), 33.3 FG%, 78.1 FT%, 45 reb., 10 blk.
Synopsis: Incarnate Word has been up and down during the early part of the season, having won just two of its last six games. The Cardinals are 1-1 in LSC action, falling at home to Midwestern State 74-69 before rebounding to defeat Cameron by the same score. Incarnate Word is 2-2 on the road this year, but is coming off a pair of road defeats to St. Mary's (71-61) and McMurry (76-68).
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word meet for the 12th time Wednesday as the Cardinals hold a 7-4 edge in the all-time series against the Lions and have won two-straight, sweeping the season series in 2011-12. Under head coach Sam Walker, A&M-Commerce is 2-6 all-time against Incarnate Word, including a 1-1 mark at the Field House as Wednesday marks the final trip to Commerce for the Cardinals for the foreseeable future.
Scouting the Javelinas
2012-13: 5-4 overall, 1-1 Lone Star Conference (T-5th), 4-3 home
Last Three Games: W at Texas A&M International (57-43), L at St. Edward's (78-71), L vs. Midwestern State (67-64)
Head Coach: Pete Peterson (Southwestern, 1978). 16th season at A&M-Kingsville (225-198, .532).
• #5 Rashad Basey (Jr., G): 128 pts. (14.2 ppg), 50.5 FG%, 62.7 FT%, 36 reb., 41 ast., 16 stl.
• #1 Jamahl Brown (Jr., G): 87 pts. (9.7 ppg), 44.2 FG%, 64.7 FT%, 33 reb., 15 ast.
• #23 Marshall Bonds (Sr., F): 62 pts. (6.9 ppg), 41.0 FG%, 57.1 FT%, 34 reb., 10 blk. 13 stl.
• #10 Dwight Taylor (Jr., G): 59 pts. (6.6 ppg), 41.8 FG%, 54.5 FT%, 20 reb., 16 ast.
• #45 Reid Wallace (Sr., F): 56 pts. (6.2 ppg), 50.0 FG%, 47.6 3FG%, 80.0 FT%, 27 reb., 10 ast.
Synopsis: A&M-Kingsville heads into the week with a 5-4 mark, winning two of its last five games including a 57-43 win at Texas A&M International before the break. The Javelinas are 1-1 in Lone Star Conference action, defeating Cameron 56-48, then falling to Midwestern State 64-64 at home. A&M-Kingsville travels to Tarleton State to battle the Texans Wednesday night in Stephenville before hosting the Lions Saturday afternoon.
Series Information: Longtime LSC rivals A&M-Commerce and A&M-Kingsville tangle for the 115th time Saturday in Kingsville as the Lions hold a 62-52 edge in the all-time series. The Javelinas had the upper hand last season, sweeping the season series against A&M-Commerce, which included a 104-94 triple overtime thriller in Kingsville. Head coach Sam Walker is 7-12 all-time against the Javelinas as the Lions have traditionally struggled at the Steinke Center, posting just a 1-8 mark against the Hoggies in Kingsville.
Lions Split Arkansas Road Trip
A&M-Commerce closed out the 2012 calendar year with a split in its Arkansas road trip. In a closely contested game that saw 11 ties and 12 lead changes, A&M-Commerce and Ouachita Baptist needed overtime before the Tigers eventually pulled away for the 82-76 victory in Arkadelphia. Jason Smith led the way with a career-high 22 points and six rebounds while Andrew Davis grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds to complement his nine points. The following night in Magnolia, A&M-Commerce jumped out to an early lead and held off Southern Arkansas to earn the 96-88 victory and sweep the season series against the Muleriders. The Lions put on a three-point clinic, hitting 53% of their attempts and were led by Stefon Carson's career-best 26 points, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. Preston Whitley added 22 points, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, while Smith added 14 for the Lions as head coach Sam Walker won his 201st career game, moving him into a tie with Jim Gudger (1969-83) as the all-time winningest coach in A&M-Commerce history.
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 6-1 against Texas teams, notching a pair of victories over UT-Permian Basin and Dallas Baptist as well as wins against Abilene Christian and Angelo State.
Walker Against the Lone Star Conference
A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker has been solid against Lone Star Conference during his time at the helm, posting an 82-70 mark against conference foes including the 2005 LSC championship. The league has experienced a great deal of change since Walker took over the program as heading into this weekend's games, he holds a 79-85 record (.482) against current Lone Star Conference institutions, including a 2-6 mark against Incarnate Word and a 7-12 record against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
• Abilene Christian: 13-7 (.650). Last: A&M-Commerce 90, Abilene Christian 88 (2012-13)
• Angelo State: 11-8 (.579). Last: A&M-Commerce 75, Angelo State 58 (2012-13)
• Cameron: 14-5 (.737). Last: A&M-Commerce 76, Cameron 69 (2011-12)
• Eastern New Mexico: 14-4 (.778). Last: A&M-Commerce 67, Eastern New Mexico 62 (2011-12)
• Incarnate Word: 2-6 (.250). Last: Incarnate Word 89, A&M-Commerce 85 (2011-12)
• Midwestern State: 4-15 (.211). Last: Midwestern State 64, A&M-Commerce 52 (2011-12)
• Tarleton State: 8-13 (.381). Last: Tarleton State 78, A&M-Commerce 53 (2011-12)
• Texas A&M-Kingsville: 7-12 (.368). Last: A&M-Kingsville 76, A&M-Commerce 65 (2011-12)
• West Texas A&M: 6-15 (.238). Last: West Texas A&M 70, A&M-Commerce 60 (2011-12)
A&M-Commerce Remains LSC's Top Scoring Threat
With the calendar changing to 2013, 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 (80.2), three-point percentage (38.8%), assists per game (15.4) and defensive rebounds per game (27.8), holding significant leads over the second-ranked team in all four categories. A&M-Commerce also sits second in rebounds per game (39.8) and steals per game (8.2) while checking in at third in scoring margin (+7.2), field goal percentage (46.9%) and free throw percentage (66.7%),
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Top-10
With the 2012-13 season getting ready to kick back into gear, a number of Lions have made 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, second in rebounds per game and fourth in field goal percentage. Preston Whitley is ranked among five different categories, the most of any Lion, including sitting tied for eighth in scoring and ninth in defensive rebounds and free throw percentage.
A&M-Commerce continues into the heart of its 2012-13 Lone Star Conference schedule next week, beginning with a rematch of last year's LSC quarterfinals when the Lions battle reigning conference champion Midwestern State on Wednesday, January 9th at the Field House. It will mark the fourth meeting between the Lions and Mustangs in just over a calendar year as the two long-time rivals square off at 7:30 p.m. A&M-Commerce then makes the trek north into Lawton, Okla. to face Cameron on Saturday, January 12th, tipping off at 4 p.m. against the Aggies.
For the complete weekly release, click the PDF link above.