Friday, April 10, 2009

LSC Roundup 4-10

Sparks flying: A&M-Commerce's Jordan selected by Los Angeles in 2009 WNBA Draft
“Give it to Jordan.”

That was the game plan Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball coach Denny Downing used throughout Britney Jordan’s three-year career with the Lions.

The plan paid dividends for both A&M-Commerce and Jordan, as the senior became the first women’s basketball player in program history to be selected into the WNBA as the Los Angeles Sparks picked her 35th overall on Thursday in the league draft.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Jordan. “I had a great chapter at A&M-Commerce. This is the beginning of a new chapter.”

“I don’t know if I have enough words to say,” said Downing. “Obviously I’m so happy for Britney and the commitment she made to the program.”

Jordan is just the second player in Lone Star Conference history to be selected in the WNBA Draft after Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Crystal Robinson was chosen by the New York Liberty in 1999.

Walk-on Wildcat
Abilene Christian baseball coach Britt Bonneau knew he had something special in Willie Uechi pretty quickly. It was just a matter of finding the walk-on freshman from San Antonio Marshall a place to play.

"It was pretty obvious this guy needed to be in our lineup somewhere," Bonneau said.

So Uechi (pronounced U-E-chee), a second baseman in high school, played wherever there was a need early on his career at ACU. In fact, he opened the season that first year in right field.

"I hadn't taken any balls in right field all year, so it caught me off guard," Uechi said. "I had to find an outfielder's mitt to play with. But it was fun just getting out there to play. I was happy just to be out there
Related: ACU leads LSC entering final baseball series

Been there, done that
When Justin Brown talks, East Central University’s defensive linemen listen — and not just because he weighs 270 pounds. An unpaid (sort of) assistant on ECU head coach Tim McCarty’s defensive staff this spring, Brown was an All-American defensive end on McCarty’s first Tiger squad back in 2004, and in 2005 he came within one cut of making the season-opening roster with the Indianapolis Colts, who were only a season away from winning their first Super Bowl.

“The way they react is that they can see the results you can get from hard work,” Brown said this week as the Tigers neared the halfway point in their spring camp. “They listen to me because I obviously know what I’m talking about because I’m still out there playing.”

UIW kicks off football with first spring game
Like many of his Incarnate Word defensive brethren, linebacker Dakota Mawyer had waited nearly eight long months to finally hit someone in a setting where points were at stake. The payoff for their patience Wednesday night?

Mawyer and the rest of the defense got to represent the visitor's side of the scoreboard in a 49-23 victory against the offense in the program's first-annual spring game at Benson Stadium. Among those in the lively crowd of 450 were program benefactors Tom and Gayle Benson.

Former Clark running back Jerrell Wilkerson, the city's career rushing leader who is on academic suspension, watched from the sideline but was not in uniform.

Lobos' Templeton to play football at Abilene Christian
While riding from Baton Rouge, La. to Longview on Sunday, Melvin Templeton did some soul searching on where to spend the next four years. His search was over by the time he got home, and it has pointed him to Abilene.

The former Longview football player confirmed his decision on Thursday, signing with Abilene Christian University in the Lobo Coliseum foyer. Templeton chose ACU over Howard Payne, as well as trying to walk on at North Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M. Templeton made his decision while he was returning with several other Longview powerlifters from the American Powerlifting Federation's High School Nationals.

"I had to do some soul searching on the ride home. The decision to go to ACU came over me. It was a subtle feeling," Templeton said. "The college reminds me of Longview High School. It felt like home."

Templeton did not play varsity football until this past fall. Templeton played defensive end, linebacker and was the kickoff return team. Templeton frequently had a size disadvantage playing defensive end, but frustrated opposing offensive linemen anyway by the way he bounced off blocks. Templeton helped the Longview football team to a 13-3 record and the state runner-up finish in Class 4A Division I

ACU neck-and-neck with ASU in softball
The Abilene Christian softball team plays Tarleton State in a three-game Lone Star Conference South Division series, beginning with a doubleheader at 5 p.m. today at Poly Wells Field. Game 3 is noon Saturday. It's ACU's last LSC South series at home.

The Wildcats (31-11 overall, 9-3 LSC South) enter the series a half-game back of Angelo State (34-7, 10-3) for the LSC South lead. Angelo State beat Texas Woman's 11-3 on Thursday in Denton. Should ACU and Angelo State finish the regular season tied, the Rambelles own the tiebreaker after winning the series 2-1 against the Wildcats during the weekend in San Angelo. Tarleton State (22-16, 7-5) is two games back for the second and final LSC South tournament berth.

Lady Buffs enter crucial LSC series
After three years of sub .500 ball, the West Texas A&M softball team has a chance at the postseason. The Lady Buffs are tied for fourth in the Lone Star Conference standings with Texas A&M-Kingsville, with each team having one LSC series left. The top four teams advance to the LSC tournament.

WT gets its final series under way at 1 p.m. today against last place Eastern New Mexico in a doubleheader at Lady Buff Yard. Kingsville has the weekend off from LSC play.

Buffs battle SEOSU to wrap up home slate
West Texas A&M closes out its Lone Star Conference home season this weekend needing to start a winning streak to make a run at the upcoming LSC Tournament. The Buffs open their four-game series today against Southeastern Oklahoma State with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at the Amarillo National Bank Dilla Villa.

The two teams meet at noon Saturday in a doubleheader in the Dilla Villa. WT has 12 LSC games remaining - the final two series on the road at Northeastern State and Eastern New Mexico - and sit in 11th place at 11-21. The top six teams make the tournament, and the Buffs are four games out of sixth place.

ASU dominates at home
Adree Lakey and Culley Jo Dawson are going to have a big hand in how well the Angelo State women's track team does at next month's NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Thursday at the David Noble Relays, each of them won two events and each either qualified or improved their qualifying marks for the national meet next month at the LeGrand Sports Complex.

Their big days Thursday helped the ASU team to a big day as well. The Rambelles won the meet in dominating fashion over Tarleton State. The ASU men also won the meet, outscoring McMurry.

"We had a lot of personal bests and a lot of season bests," Lakey said. "I think that everybody is comfortable at home and everybody gets good marks here."

David Noble Relays final results
Team standings - 1. Angelo State 273; 2. Tarleton State 90; 3. McMurry 55; 4. Hardin-Simmons 37; 5. Texas State 31; 6. Texas A&M-Commerce, 22.

Team standings - 1. Angelo State 161; 2. McMurry 103; 3. Tarleton State 98; 4. Abilene Christian, 44; 5. Bacone 43; 6. Texas A&M-Commerce 42.

Lady Buff golfers move up in poll
West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs are ranked seventh in this week's NCAA West Region golf poll, moving up one spot from a week ago.

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico