A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Abilene Christian Wildcats
Wednesday, February 6th • 7:30 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (11-9, 4-6 LSC); Abilene Christian (10-10, 4-8 LSC)
A&M-Commerce Lions at Angelo State Rams
Saturday, February 9th • 7:30 p.m.
Junell Center • San Angelo, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (11-9, 4-6 LSC); Angelo State (5-15, 2-10 LSC)
A&M-Commerce faces a crucial week in the Lone Star Conference standings as the Lions face the two teams sitting behind them in the conference standings. A&M-Commerce opens up with perhaps the final visit for longtime LSC rival Abilene Christian to the Field House as the Lions and Wildcats tip off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 6th. A&M-Commerce then heads west for a showdown with Angelo State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 9th at the Junell Center in San Angelo.
Lions on the Web
Lion fans can keep up to date with every A&M-Commerce basket this week as the Lions face a pair of crucial LSC games against Abilene Christian and Angelo State. Both games 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 Wednesday's game against the Wildcats will be available at LionAthletics.com while Saturday's game at Angelo State will stream live at AngeloSports.com. Live stats of both games will be available by following the Live Stats link at LionAthletics.com while Twitter users can receive in-game updates by following @Lion_Athletics.
Lots On The Line
After dropping both games of the home-and-home series to Tarleton State, A&M-Commerce finds itself in a precarious situation, sitting in eighth-place with a 4-6 record in Lone Star Conference action. The Lions enter the week trailing seventh-place Texas A&M-Kingsville (5-7) by a half game while sitting one game better than ninth-place Abilene Christian (4-8) while sitting three games ahead of 10th-place Angelo State (2-10). Only the top eight teams in the standings qualify for the 2013 Lone Star Conference Basketball Championships, which will be held at the Allen Event Center March 6-9.
Scouting the Wildcats
2012-13: 10-10 overall, 4-8 Lone Star Conference (9th), 2-4 road
Last Three Games: L at Eastern New Mexico (65-64), L vs. West Texas A&M (78-69), W vs. Angelo State (82-63)
Head Coach: Joe Golding (Abilene Christian, 1999). Second season at ACU (22-26, .458)
• #5 Eric Lawton (Sr., G): 338 pts. (16.9 ppg), 45.4 FG%, 47.0 3FG%, 64.4 FT%, 78 reb., 91 ast., 18 stl.
• #33 Steven Werner (Sr., C): 248 pts. (12.4 ppg), 51.8 FG%, 60.0 FT%, 128 reb., 54 blk.
• #11 Elliott Lloyd (Sr., G): 234 pts. (11.7 ppg), 40.9 FG%, 36.5 3FG%, 72.7 FT%, 49 reb., 50 ast., 30 stl.
• #3 Parker Wentz (Fr., G): 174 pts. (8.7 ppg), 42.0 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 80.8 FT%, 42 reb., 32 ast., 23 stl.
• #13 Dosh Simms (Sr., F): 127 pts. (7.9 ppg), 56.3 FG%, 54.7 FT%, 124 reb., 4 blk., 18 stl.
Synopsis: Abilene Christian enters the week with a 4-8 mark in the Lone Star Conference, currently sitting one game behind A&M-Commerce in ninth-place in the conference standings. The Wildcats have won five of their last eight games but are coming off a pair of LSC losses to West Texas A&M (78-69) and at Eastern New Mexico (65-64) last week. ACU ranks third in scoring offense (72.8), right behind the second-place Lions, and is the LSC's top three-point shooting team, hitting 40.7 percent of its shots while converting 47.5 percent of its total field goal attempts (2nd). The Wildcats have struggled on the road this season posting a 2-4 mark away from Abilene.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian meet for the 97th and possibly final time Wednesday evening as the Lions hold a 57-39 edge in the all-time series between the two longtime rivals. A&M-Commerce comes into the game holding a two-game winning streak over Abilene Christian, including a 90-88 victory at Moody Coliseum back in December as the Lions have won nine of the past 13 games against the Wildcats. Head coach Sam Walker has posted a 13-7 all-time record against Abilene Christian, including a 7-2 mark against the Wildcats at the Field House.
Scouting the Rams
2012-13: 5-15 overall, 2-10 Lone Star Conference (10th), 5-5 home
Last Three Games: L at West Texas A&M (82-67), L vs. Eastern New Mexico (87-81, OT), L at Abilene Christian (82-63)
Head Coach: Fred Rike (West Texas A&M, 1989). Seventh season at ASU (90-95, .486)
• #12 Jovan Austin (Fr., G): 252 pts. (12.6 ppg), 39.1 FG%, 23.3 3FG%, 76.9 FT%, 39 reb., 71 ast., 33 stl.
• #4 Antonio Dye (Sr., G): 205 pts. (11.4 ppg), 38.4 FG%, 37.6 3FG%, 62.1 FT%, 93 reb., 33 ast., 16 stl.
• #15 Dakota Rawls (So., F): 216 pts. (10.8 ppg), 43.4 FG%, 38.0 3FG%, 88.2 FT%, 94 reb., 9 stl.
• #11 Chris Talkington (Jr., G): 194 pts. (10.8 ppg), 41.5 FG%, 45.7 3FG%, 83.0 FT%, 79 reb.
• #3 Brian Hammond (Jr., G): 201 pts. (10.1 ppg), 33.2 FG%, 75.8 FT%, 39 reb., 61 ast., 16 stl.
Synopsis: Angelo State heads into the week with a 5-15 mark overall and is 2-10 in Lone Star Conference play as the Rams will travel to Tarleton State Wednesday before hosting the Lions. The Rams have dropped five straight and 11 of their last 13 and have yet to notch a road victory. Angelo State is the top free throw shooting team in the conference, hitting 72.3 percent from the line, but rank last in scoring defense, field goal defense, three-point defense and rebounds.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 83rd meeting between A&M-Commerce and Angelo State as the Lions hold a 42-40 all-time series lead, including a two-game winning streak after toppling the Rams 75-58 at the Field House on December 8th. The Lions have won nine of the last 12 meetings against the Rams as head coach Sam Walker is 10-8 all-time against Angelo State, including a 3-6 mark at the Junell Center in San Angelo.
The Week That Was
Another sluggish start proved costly for A&M-Commerce as the Lions fell behind 15-2 early at Tarleton State and never recovered, falling to the Texans 68-55 Saturday evening. A&M-Commerce trimmed the deficit to two in the first half and nine in the second, but a handful of extended scoring droughts proved to be too much to overcome. Devondrick Walker led the way with 19 points for A&M-Commerce, including hitting five of his six three-point attempts, with five rebounds while Preston Whitley added 12 points and five boards off the board. Andrew Davis had another solid outing, pulling down eight rebounds with seven points, but the rest of the Lion lineup scored just 17 points as A&M-Commerce dropped their sixth decision in the last eight games.
First Half Struggles
Since the calendar has turned to 2013, A&M-Commerce has had its troubles starting games, digging itself a handful of early deficits. The Lions have had five games in which they have trailed by double-digits in the first half, the latest of which came Saturday when A&M-Commerce trailed Tarleton State 15-2 through the first five minutes. The Lions are 1-4 in those games, as the sole victory came against Midwestern State on January 9 when A&M-Commerce fell behind 22-10 in the first half before rallying to topple the Mustangs 74-66 in head coach Sam Walker's 202nd career victory.
Walker Responds in Rematch With Texans
Junior forward Devondrick Walker responded with an impressive performance at Tarleton State Saturday, finishing with a team-high 19 points and five rebounds against the Texans. Walker was money from three-point range, hitting five of his six attempts from beyond the arc and becoming the first Lion to hit five three-pointers in a game since both Preston Whitley (six) and Stefon Carson (five) each did it in the victory over Southern Arkansas back in December. Walker was held in check in the first meeting with the Texans, finishing with just two points and three rebounds, but did have a career-best two blocks against Tarleton State on January 26th at the Field House.
Davis Claims Capital One Academic All-District Honors Once Again
Senior forward Andrew Davis has once again been one of five players named a Capital One Academic All-District IV first team selection, announced Thursday by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). It marks the second-straight year Davis has been an All-District selection as he was a third team Academic All-American in 2011-12. The 2011-12 Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year, Davis currently leads the LSC in defensive rebounds per game (5.2) while sitting fourth in rebounds per game (7.1), fifth in field goal percentage (57.5%) and 11th in offensive rebounds per game (1.9). He has also excelled in the classroom, boasting a perfect 4.00 GPA majoring in finance and has been a two-time LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll and six-time A&M-Commerce President's List selection.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Top-10
With the 2012-13 season beginning its second half, 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, second in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds per game. Tyrie Wooten is among the leaders in three categories, sitting sixth in assists, eighth in assist/turnover ratio and tied for ninth in steals. Preston Whitley is sixth in points per game and eighth in three-point field goal percentage while Devondrick Walker (free throw percentage) and Stefon Carson (assist/turnover ratio) ranking third in their respective categories.
A&M-Commerce remains on the road following this weekend's games, traveling to San Antonio for its final showdown with Incarnate Word on Wednesday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m. The Lions then return home for a battle with LSC rival Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday, February 16th, tipping at 4 p.m. The game against the Javelinas marks the Lions' Pink Zone game for 2013 as A&M-Commerce seeks to raise funds to help find a cure for breast cancer.
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