Monday, November 30, 2009

LSC Weekly Basketball Release

Lone Star Conference Basketball weekly release (11/30/09)

LSC Basketball Quick Notes
The Lone Star Conference has five men’s teams - Texas A&M-Commerce, Cameron, Midwestern State, Abilene Christian and Tarleton State - and four women’s squads - Texas Woman’s, Southeastern Oklahoma, Tarleton and West Texas A&M - with perfect records this season.

The LSC men have a 40-17 overall record so far this season, including a 25-7 mark in the South Division and 15-10 in the North. The women are 44-27 overall, with a 23-14 mark in the North and 21-13 in the South.

A mix of LSC crossover and non-conference games are on tap this week.

In games played November 24-29, the LSC had one men’s player score more than 30 points, 11 over the 20-point mark and seven double-digit rebounders. Seven men recorded double-doubles. On the women’s side, the league had nine over the 20-point mark and 10 double-digit rebounders, while seven posted double-doubles. Top performances included:
Points, Men: 30, LaMarshall Corbett, ASU vs Fort Lewis
Rebounds, Men: 11, Shavar Burch, ASU at NM Highlands
Assists, Men: 12, Cardell Hunter, A&M-C vs Langston
Steals, Men: 12, Jason Ebie, MSU vs Langston
Points, Women: 28, Casi Rawls, ECU vs Hillsdale Baptist
Rebounds, Women: 16, Ceciley Johnson, WTAMU vs Texas-Permian Basin
Assists, Women: 9, Two players
Steals, Women: 6, Tori Skarke, Tarleton vs Concordia

Players of the Week
Cardell Hunter, Texas A&M-Commerce, Sr., Guard, Dallas, Texas/UT-Arlington

Hunter has led the Texas A&M-Commerce to a 4-0 start. He had 14 points and a career-best 12 assists in the Lions’ 105-82 win over Langston on Saturday, Nov. 28. It is the second time in his career that he has had double-digit assists. He also had 14 points and six assists in the 73-59 win over St. Mary’s.

Wayne Andrews, East Central, Jr., Guard, Lynwood, Calif./Fullerton JC
Andrews recorded three steals and blocked three shots while scoring 14 points and grabbing five rebounds in East Central’s 97-86 season-opening loss at Dallas Baptist. Andrews hit 7-of-10 shots from the field in 29 minutes of play. He shared the team lead in steals in the game as the Tigers forced 29 turnovers on the night.

LaMarshall Corbett, Angelo State, Jr., Guard, Raleigh, N.C./Yancey HS

Coming off a debut with the Rams that saw him earn LSC South Offensive Player of the Week honors, Corbett followed last week by averaging 28.5 points per game and shooting 60.6 percent from the field. Corbett had 30 points in Friday’s 95-92 overtime loss to Fort Lewis and added 27 points in Saturday’s 109-100 loss to New Mexico Highlands. He hit 20-of-33 shots from the field in the two games and hit 6-of-10 shots (60%) from three-point range and 11-of-14 (78.6%) from the free-throw line while at the NMHU Thanksgiving Classic.

Joe Mincey, West Texas A&M, Jr., Guard, Brunswick, Ga./Glyn Academy

Mincey recorded his first double-double as a Buffalo when he hit 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds at Oklahoma Panhandle. The Buffs’ leading rebounder, he also grabbed eight boards to go with 13 points against Southwestern Oklahoma, as well as having a nine-point, four rebound outing against UT-Permian Basin. For the week, the Brunswick, Ga., native had 22 rebounds (7.33 rpg.) while averaging 12.0 points over three contests.

Casi Rawls, East Central, Jr., Guard, Lawton, Okla./Elgin HS
Rawls averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.0 assists as East Central went 2-0 with a pair of victories over Southern Arkansas and Hillsdale Baptist College in the Southeastern Oklahoma State Classic this past weekend. Rawls nailed 9-of-11 shots and finished with a career-high 28 points in the win over Hillsdale. Rawls is averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals through the team’s first four games while shooting 61 percent from the field, 35.7 from 3-point range and 82.1 percent from the free throw line.

Casi Rawls, East Central, Jr., Guard, Lawton, Okla./Elgin HS
Rawls averaged 3.0 steals in East Central’s 2-0 run last weekend. She recorded four of those team-leading steals in the Lady Tigers’ 70-51 win over Southern Arkansas as she and her teammates limited SAU to 30.2 percent shooting and only 1-of-18 from 3-point land (5.6 percent). Offensively, Rawls also averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the two games. She also hit 57.1 percent of her field goal tries in the two games combined.

Felicia Soza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Guard, Beeville, Texas/A.C. Jones

Soza led the Javelinas to a perfect 2-0 weekend at their annual Turkey Day Shootout tournament. First, she had 22 points, five rebounds and four steals in a 90-60 win over Texas A&M-Commerce. Then, she made her first seven shots of the game en route to another 22 points in a 107-68 win over Huston-Tillotson. She went 9-for-12 for the game while making all three of her three-point attempts. She scored the 22 points in just 18 minutes of action.

Tori Northcutt, Eastern New Mexico, Jr., Point Guard, Clovis, N.M./Clovis High School

Northcutt registered four steals and 12 defensive rebounds last week in games against Metro State and CSU-Pueblo. She also had 14 assists along with a six-for-nine performance at the free throw line. Against Metro, she had three steals and seven defensive boards.

LSC Roundup 11-30

Football News
East Coast Bowl Box Score

Grantham passes on senior season
Scott Grantham knows about heavy decisions.

Facing a fourth and five from the 20-yard line in double overtime at Texas A&M-Kingsville during the first round of the NCAA playoffs on Nov. 14, Grantham tucked the ball after seeing an opening. The quarterback could have run out of bounds after gaining enough yardage for the first down, but he didn’t. The El Paso native decided to keep going, and in doing so, he scored after an ESPN “Top 10”-like run.

Then, when it came time for the coaching staff to go for one and tie the game or two to win it, Grantham wanted the ball. And deciding to cut back behind his pulling guard, he gave the Texans the win via the two-point conversion (57-56).

Three years earlier, the quarterback had an even more looming decision to encounter. Grantham was told he would never play football again thanks to Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), an abnormal collection of blood vessels in the brain that can cause seizures or persistent headaches.

Former ACU players do well in NFL
For the most part, it was a good Sunday for two Abilene Christian rookies in the NFL.

In an early game, Bernard Scott rushed 18 times for 87 yards to help the Cincinnati Bengals to a 16-7 win over AFC North rival Cleveland. The Bengals, now 8-3, finished unbeaten in divisional play.....In a late afternoon game against the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears receiver Johnny Knox — Scott’s teammate in 2007 and 2008 at ACU — caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to end a first-quarter drive set up by a 44-yard kickoff return by Danieal Manning, yet another former ACU player.

Volleyball News
Do the math
If you're going to a West Texas A&M volleyball practice, it might be wise to take a calculator.

WT coach Jason Skoch - in his first year coaching the Lady Buffs - has established himself as a thinking man's coach, focusing on mental and psychological preparation.

One of the best examples of this is a drill Skoch calls blocking math. As the players go through blocking drills, he calls out two numbers. If the numbers combined equal an even total, the players are to block to the left. If the product is an odd number, the block is to the right.

"And he times us," junior outside hitter Lauren Thedford said. "If it's not below 2.4 seconds, it doesn't count. Luckily I'm pretty quick up there, but it is tough for some of us. You've got to do it fast, process it and get your body going."

Men's Basketball News
A&M-C men post 105-82 win over Langston
BASKETBALL: ASU comes up short against Fort Lewis in OT
WT hoops teams sweep tournament
Midwestern men on a hot streak
Mustangs earn their sixth consecutive win
MSU men defeat Langston, improve to 5-0
Lions Pick Up 73-59 Win Over St. Mary's
M. Basketball. Buffs Dive Into LSC Crossover Action
M. Basketball. Buffs Defensive Pressure Downs SWOSU, 74-55
M. Basketball. Buffs Shoot Down UT-Permian Basin, 74-51
Texans run past Wildcats, 90-47
Men Fall to Buffs, 74-65
Men Tame Grizzlies, 74-64
M. Basketball: SE Men Earn Hard-Fought 65-55 Win
M. Basketball: Mustangs run past St. Mary's for sixth-straight win
M. Basketball: Ebie, Mustangs turn over Langston, 74-56
Hounds Steal Ball, Game From Mountaineers
Aggies win Classic, cruise to 3-0
Highlands holds off Rams
Rams fall in OT, 95-92

Women's Basketball News
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Rattlers rally in second half to knock off Rambelles
BASKETBALL: UTPB hands 'Belles second loss of season
Lady Buffs top UTPB to remain unbeaten
Defensive effort not enough for MSU women
MSU ready to get back to work
Records Fall in Hoggie Win
A&M-Commerce Falls to Texas A&M-Kingsville, 90-60
Nicole Anderson Picks Up Win Number One as Lions' Head Coach
W. Basketball. Permian Basin Fights, but Lady Buffs Hold on to Win, 73-62
W. Basketball. Lady Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Victory Over St. Mary's, 70-49
TexAnns win on the road in Austin
W. Basketball: SE Improves to 5-0 with 80-59 Win
W. Basketball: Women's Hoops Cruises to 105-45 win
W. Basketball: MSU's late charge not enough, RiverHawks survive 56-51
Zias Hold on for Win over Two-Time Defending RMAC Champions
Zia Rally Falls Short Against Metropolitan State
Rawls' 28 points ignite ECU victory
Lady Tigers slam Southern Arkansas
Aggies drive through Drovers
ASU falls to Rattlers
'Belles stunned by UTPB

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gritty Grantham not returning for senior season at Tarleton State

Sub-headline - Record-setting QB says decision is final

Sports Editor

Scott Grantham accomplished a lot for a player who was once told he would never take a snap in a college football game.

Now, after three seasons in which he compiled a 27-7 record as a starter, the Tarleton State quarterback who already has a bachelor's degree in business management is calling it quits.

Grantham, the school's career record holder for touchdown passes with 57, says he won't return for his senior season of eligibility with the Texans.

"This has not been an easy decision by any means. I've been thinking and praying about it and doing everything I've been taught when it comes to making good decisions," said Grantham, who played much of the season with an injured throwing shoulder. "It's been a long, tough year, but it's also been an incredible experience with a great team. I'm very grateful for the opportunities I've had and I'm thankful it all happened at Tarleton - it's a special place."

Tarleton coach Sam McElroy was not surprised by Grantham's decision.

"I respect his decision and have no arguments with it. He was pretty beat up the last half of the season, keeping his shoulder in a sling until Wednesday each week then throwing some passes on Thursday and starting on Saturday," McElroy said. "He's already graduated and he's marrying a great girl next spring. I respect everything he's done for this program and for Tarleton, and I know he will be successful in whatever he pursues in life."

Grantham, 22, leaves the football program as the school's No. 2 career passer with 7,860 yards. He is also No. 2 in career attempts with 997 and No. 2 in completions with 550. He is No. 2 in passing yards per game at 231.2 after posting the fourth and fifth best seasons ever by a Tarleton QB with 2,985 passing yards this season and 2,882 as a freshman in 2007.

The trigger puller led Tarleton to its second Lone Star Conference co-championship this fall, as well as its second co-championship in the LSC South.

The Texans also won an NCAA Division II playoff game for the second time in school history with Grantham providing the winning touchdown and two-point conversion in double overtime.

Grantham made the biggest play of his career when he broke tackles and used a highlight-reel spin move to scramble for a 20-yard TD on fourth-and-five after the Texans fell behind 56-49 against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Nov. 14. He then took the snap and followed lead blockers off right tackle for a two-point conversion that lifted Tarleton to a dramatic 57-56 win.

"It would be difficult to match that experience even if I played for another 10 years," Grantham said. "It was an incredible season for a great team."

It was incredible - especially considering Grantham was once the victim of a condition that nearly robbed him of the opportunity to play at all.

Grantham suffered from serious headaches in the summer of 2006 and ended up making a late-night run to the emergency room in his hometown of El Paso. He was later diagnosed with Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), an abnormal collection of blood vessels in the brain that can cause seizures or persistent headaches.

Because of where the AVM was located, doctors told Grantham there was a 50 percent chance he could lose half his envision.

The field general believed his college career was over, but Dr. Kris Smith in Phoenix performed a new procedure known as gamma knife radiation, and Grantham has had no effects since.

He hoped to return to the gridiron at New Mexico State, where he signed after earning district and city MVP honors at El Paso Franklin High School. But team doctors weren't comfortable with him returning, so he transferred to Tarleton.

The rest is history.

Grantham's decision leaves the Texans with a number of candidates for the starting QB job next season, including Casey Page, currently a junior, from Hereford. Page was the No. 3 signal caller for Tarleton this year behind Grantham and backup Kelan Luker.

"We don't have anyone else on campus that has attempted a pass in college. Naturally, that's a concern," McElroy said.

Jake Fenske, who was a redshirt freshman this season and played his high school ball at Round Rock McNeil, and Aaron Doyle, who redshirted this fall after starring at nearby Evant, will also compete for the job.

"We have some guys on campus we're excited to see compete for the job (in spring ball)," McElroy said.

The head coach also said the quarterback position now becomes a point of emphasis as coaches hit the recruiting trail.

Friday, November 27, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-27

Football News
Area Colleges: SHSU searches for defensive coach
It's no secret Todd Whitten's failure at Sam Houston State was an inability to fix its defensive woes. Whitten, fired as football coach Monday after the Bearkats finished 5-6, tried to resolve the issue in the offseason by replacing former defensive coordinator Duane Dirk with Scott Stoker, Northwestern State's coach for the previous seven seasons.

But the problem worsened.
The next coach likely will be someone with a strong defensive background, unlike Whitten, who was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach early in his career.

Some possible applicants being mentioned are Tarleton State coach Sam McElroy, Louisiana-Lafayette defensive coordinator Kevin Fouquier, Central Missouri coach Willie Fritz and Pittsburgh linebackers coach Joe Tumpkin. All but Tumpkin applied for the Sam Houston job along with Whitten in 2005.

Men's Basketball News
Rams taking aim at a 7-0 start for 2nd straight year
As expected, the Angelo State men’s basketball team is off to a fast start this season. The Rams are 3-0 after victories against Texas-Permian Basin, Texas A&M-International and Lone Star Conference rival Southeastern Oklahoma.

They will try to keep their perfect record intact this weekend when they travel to Las Vegas, N.M. for the New Mexico Highlands Classic. ASU will face Fort Lewis on Friday and New Mexico Highlands on Saturday.

Should the Rams win those two games, they will be two wins away from matching their 7-0 start from a year ago.

'Shell-shocked' Buffs try to change fortune
It's hard to imagine a college basketball team in America looking forward to its home opener more than the West Texas A&M Buffs. WT (1-3) closed out its season-opening four-game road swing with a 77-71 overtime loss at Oklahoma Panhandle State.

The Buffs debut at home against Texas-Permian Basin (0-2) in the opening day of the Holiday Inn WT Thanksgiving Day Classic at noon today at the First United Bank Center in Canyon. WT coach Rick Cooper said his team, with two returning starters, is looking for consistency.

"We are a little shell-shocked right now," Cooper said after the loss to Panhandle State, which led by as many as 13 points. "We've played four games on the road, had hoped to go 3-1, and we are coming home at 1-3. We just need to get better. We need to take a look at who's taking our shots and who is making them."

Women's Basketball News
Gerlich: Lady Buffs passing early tests
West Texas A&M Lady Buffs head coach Krista Gerlich learned a lot about her team last week at the Al Kaly Classic at Pueblo, Colo. WT beat Metro State by 13 points after trailing by one at halftime on Day 1. The next night, the Lady Buffs beat CSU-Pueblo by four points in overtime after trailing by three at halftime.

''I wasn't sure how much fight we had in us,'' Gerlich said. ''But after those two games, I saw quite a bit. We trailed at halftime in each game and played well in the second half of each to win them.''

The Lady Buffs (3-1) are back home this weekend as they host the WT Thanksgiving Classic beginning today at the First United Bank Center in Canyon.

Women End Arkansas Trip
The Southwestern Oklahoma State University women's basketball team finished off its two-day road trip through Arkansas with a Wednesday matinee matchup with Arkansas Tech University. The Bulldogs were beaten 98-68 by the Golden Suns.

The loss dropped SWOSU to 0-5 on the year while ATU remained unbeaten through four games. SWOSU will next play again on Thursday, Dec. 3 against Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-25

Football News
Daktronics All-Super Region 4 Football Team Announced

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Washburn's Zach Watkins and Midwestern State's Zack Eskridge claimed top honors on the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Super Region 4 team as announced Tuesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Watkins, a senior linebacker from Independence, Mo., garnered defensive player of the year status and was named to the team for the fourth-straight season. He is a two-time first-team selection (2008 and 2009) after earning second-team acclaim as a freshman and sophomore in 2006 and 2007.

The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year led the conference with 108 tackles this season.

Eskridge, a 2009 Harlon Hill finalist, gained top offensive honors after leading NCAA Division II with a 180.2 pass efficiency rating for Lone Star Conference tri-champion Midwestern State.

Eskridge completed 71.3 percent of his passes for a school-record 3,295 yards. The junior signal caller connected for 29 touchdowns and threw six interceptions.

Midwestern State senior wide receiver Andy Tanner, who set school records with 75 receptions for 1,186 yards and 12 touchdowns, and senior center Lance Calloway joined Eskridge on the first team as the Mustangs joined MIAA champion Northwest Missouri State with three first-team offensive selections.

The dynamic duo of senior running back LaRon Council, who rushed for 1,289 yards and 19 touchdowns as a Harlon Hill finalist, and sophomore wideout Jake Soy, who accounted for 67 catches for 1,266 yards and 22 TDs, joined Willie Upshaw Finalist Brett Grozinger as first-team offensive performer for Northwest Missouri.

Abilene Christian's Tony Washington, who is the other finalist for the Upshaw award, joins Calloway and Grozinger as first-team member on the offensive line alongside West Texas A&M senior J'Marcus Webb and Texas A&M-Kingsville senior Markeith Wesley.

Nebraska-Omaha's Mike Higgins (43 catches for 770 yards and nine TDs) is the first-team tight end, while Texas A&M-Kingsville junior Fred Winborn (1,335 rushing yards, 17 TDs) is the other running back.

Special teams’ honors went to senior return specialist Jerome Hewitt of Southeastern Oklahoma and senior place kicker Garrett Lindholm of Tarleton State.

Northwest Missouri led the first-team defensive selections with two as senior safety Myles Burnsides, the 2008 Ron Lenz Daktronics Defensive Player of the Year, and sophomore linebacker Chad Kilgore earned honors for the Bearcats.

Tarleton State sophomore Marcus Phillips and Central Washington senior Buddy Wood joined Watkins and Kilgore at linebacker, while Central Oklahoma sophomore Giorgio Durham was the other first-team safety.

Abilene Christian sophomore Aston Whiteside is now a two-time first team selection on the defensive line and is joined by Texas A&M-Commerce senior William Green and Angelo State sophomore Calvin Fance.

Midwestern State senior Micah Hill and Eastern New Mexico junior Rodney Mitchell topped the cornerback ballot, while Dixie State junior Mike Langston was named the top punter.

The team, which is sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged leader in scoring, timing and programmable display systems, is voted on by member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

LSC Selections
First Team
Offensive Player of the Year - Zack Eskridge, MSU
QB - Zack Eskridge, MSU
RB - Fred Winborn, TAMK
WR - Andy Tanner, MSU
OL - Tony Washington, ACU
OL - Lance Calloway, MSU
OL - J'Marcus Webb, WTAM
OL - Markeith Wesley, TAMK
RS - Jerome Hewitt, SOSU
K - Garrett Lindholm, TSU
DL - Aston Whiteside, ACU
DL - William Green, TAMC
DL - Calvin Fance, ASU
LB - Marcus Phillips, TSU
DB - Giorgio Durham, UCO
DB - Micah Hill, MSU
DB - Rodney Mitchell, ENMU

Second Team
RB - Keithon Flemming, WTAM
TE - JJ Ford, MSU
OL - R J Brisbon, TAMC
OL - Jorge Guerra, TAMK
DL - Eugene Sims, WTAM
LB - Nathan Uland, ENMU
LB - Fred Thompson, ACU
LB - Kevin Washington, ACU
LB - Bryan Braman, WTAM
DB - Tony Harp, ACU
DB - Tae Evans, WTAM
P - Kyle Hopf, TSU

Durham Tabbed First-Team All-Region
Mitchell and Uland Selected Daktronics All-Super Region 4
ACU athletes Washington, Hines collect postseason honors
Pair of Javs named to All-Super Region 4 first team
Oklahoma scene: OU, OSU football players honored
Local Sports Roundup, 11/25
Wesley, Winborn Earn 1st Team All-Region Honors
William Green and R.J. Brisbon Earn 2009 Daktronics All-Region Honors
Three named to Daktronics All-Region team
Daktronics names WT men, women honorees

Football: Mavs excited to face team from Texas
Even though West Texas A & M is a red-hot team with five NFL prospects, UNO coach Pat Behrns said he couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity his team will have to play the Buffaloes in the Dec. 5 Kanza Bowl.

“They’re a very talented football team,” Behrns said. “And preparing for them confirms more than ever for us the reason we wanted to play in this game. We know now what you’ve got to do to get through the (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association), with Northwest Missouri State as the benchmark. And if we ever want to get beyond that, we’d also have to go through the Lone Star (Conference).”

Three to Play in All-Star Game

PETERSBURG, Va. – Three Southwestern Oklahoma State University football players have been selected to play in the 2009 East Coast Bowl Game, a contest designed for NCAA Division I-AA, II, III and NAIA draft eligible seniors who have excelled at their respective program.

Wide receiver Johnathan Haggerty, tight end Joe Sawyer and cornerback Jeff Lemon have all accepted invitations to play in the all-star game that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 28 in Petersburg, Virginia. A number of professional scouts will be on hand to observe practice and testing of the players when they arrive to town on Wednesday. Last year, 19 players who participated in the game signed NFL contracts.

Haggerty, a native of Dallas, Texas, ended 2009 with a school-record 54 catches while totaling 748 yards and six touchdowns. He ended his career as SWOSU’s all-time leader in a number of categories including most receptions (173), yards (2,726) and touchdowns (23). He caught passes for over 100 yards or more in six career games, including his last one when he caught 11 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown against LSC North champ Texas A&M-Commerce.

Sawyer, from Ogden, Utah, again finished among the top tight ends in the conference catching 36 passes for 343 yards and one touchdown. A transfer from Snow Junior College, Sawyer caught 86 passes for 862 yards and six touchdowns in his two-year career with the Bulldogs.

Lemon, a native of Columbus, Ga., played two seasons for SWOSU after transferring from the College of Dupage. He led the Bulldogs in interceptions each year and finished with eight in his career, including five as a junior. He finished with 61 career tackles while starting in 20 of 22 games.

The East Coast Bowl game has quickly become a Thanksgiving tradition in Petersburg area and will be played at Historic Cameron Field. The selection committee gathered nominations from schools in just about all 50 states, which eventually was narrowed down to the top 75 Division I-FCS, II, III and NAIA athletes. Players will report to Petersburg the day before Thanksgiving and spend the holiday doing various community visits as well as practice sessions for NFL scouts. The game itself is set-up as a scholarship event, with all of the revenue generated going into a fund for a local high school senior who plans on attending a Division I-FCS, II or III college.

Event Website
LSC Players
Sharod Basey - MSU
Jermelle Cudjo - UCO
Johnathan Haggerty - SWO
Matt Hanson - MSU
Jeffrey Lemon - SWO
Jeremy Palmoore - UCO
Joe Sawyer - SWO
Andy Tanner - MSU

Men's Basketball News
No LSC teams in the top 25, but Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Tarleton State and future LSCer Incarnate Word are all receiving votes.

Turnovers Doom St. Mary´s Men´s Basketball Against Texas A&M-Kingsville
Javelinas Sneak by Rattlers
M. Basketball. Buffs Drop 77-71 Overtime Contest at Panhandle State
Tigers drop opener at Dallas Baptist
Panhandle State drops WT in overtime
Men Win First Game - SWO
Hounds Power Past Lubbock Christian, 69-54

Women's Basketball News
Meyers sisters sting UTPB as ACU evens record
Meyers lead ACU past UTPB
'Belles down TAMIU, 85-72
Bronchos Run Past USAO
Women Fall at Henderson State - SWO
TexAnns improve to 4-0 with 109-29 win over Concordia

Volleyball News
W. Volleyball. Daktronics Volleyball South Central Region Team Announced
Hines voted to all-region team
Lauren Flynn Named to the 2009 Daktronics South Central Region First Team
Adom Named All-Region

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-24

Football News
Sam Houston begins quest for new coach
Word spread quickly Monday morning that Sam Houston State University football head coach Todd Whitten had been fired. Whitten, who has been at Sam Houston state for five years, has had three losing seasons and no playoff appearances.

"I was disappointed and upset," said quarterback Bryan Randolph. "He has done a lot for the program."
Some candidates who could be considered for replacing Whitten include Abilene-Christian's Chris Thomsen, West Texas A&M's Don Carthel, and Blinn College's Brad Franchione, Jr.

"I don't know," said Carthel, who has coached four conference champions en route to a 90-53-1 career record. "I'd have to talk with them and think about it."

Bengals' Scott off and running
After getting just 29 carries in his first nine games with the Cincinnati Bengals, rookie Bernard Scott was handed the ball 21 times on Sunday in Oakland. The former Vernon High School star and graduate of Wichita Falls High School got his first NFL start ran for 119 yards. Cedric Benson, the regular starter, sat out with a hip injury.

Scott’s performance as a running back came just one week after he returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Pittsburgh and was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

“Bernard’s doing what we expected him to do,” Lewis said on “To play as much as he did today, he worked through it. You’ve got to make sure we know what’s going on and doing things the right way. Brian (Leonard) gave us some good snaps in there (36 yards on 13 carries) and Larry gave us two good snaps.”

Men's Basketball News
Buffs look for consistency in road outing against OPSU
The West Texas A&M Buffs will be thrilled to play their first home basketball game of the season this weekend in the Holiday Inn WT Thanksgiving Classic. But first WT must handle one more road trip at 8 tonight, visiting the Panhandle State Aggies in non-conference Division II men's college action.

WT veteran coach Rick Cooper - in his 17th season - plays a roster loaded with new faces and said the bonding experience for his players on the road has been a good thing. But he says consistency on the floor is lacking.

"We have a learned a lot and have played some pretty good people on the road," Cooper said. The quicker you get your strengths and weaknesses pointed out to you, it helps. Right now, what we are focusing on doing is playing together and playing consistent."

NSU men win
Northeastern State used a 13-0 run midway through the second half and 29-of-39 free throw shooting to defeat Southern Arkansas 61-53 on Monday at W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia, Ark. Morlon Burnett led the RiverHawks (2-1) with 22 points. Jason Jones, who hit 15-of-17 free throws, added 19, and Antonie Branch scored 10. Dade Sanchez led Southern Arkansas (2-1) with 15 points.

NSU held a 30-26 lead at the half, but Southern Arkansas quickly scored four points to pull even. After the Muleriders tied the game for the final time at 35-all, the RiverHawks scored 13 straight points to take control.

Livingston, Marks Lift Bronchos
Blake Livingston and Keith Marks combined for 13 points in a game-deciding 15-6 run midway through the second half that sparked No. 17-ranked Central Oklahoma to a 76-73 triumph over Emporia State here Monday night.

Wildcats Cruise to 104-49 win
For the second time in three games the Wildcats scored over 100 points as they rolled to a 104-49 victor over Hillsdale College Monday night inside Moody Coliseum.

Recruiting News
Women's Basketball Signs One in Early Period
Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball coach Scott Hyland announced that he had signed one student-athlete during the early signing period that recently ended. Hyland and the Javelinas signed Chelsea Solis, a 5-8 wing out of Wagner High School in San Antonio. As a junior, Solis averaged 5.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game en route to earning second team all-district honors on a team that went 32-3.

“Chelsea is an above average athlete that is very skilled with the ball,” said Hyland. “She handles it well, attacks the basket and finishes well or can shoot the 3. She does a lot of little things that help you win games. This summer her game really developed. We followed her all summer long and she even came to our camp in late July so we got a chance to see her up close. I feel she has a very bright future in our program.

Softball Inks Two Players
Southwestern Oklahoma State University has secured the services of two current high school softball stars who are expected to play for the Bulldogs beginning in the fall of 2010.
SWOSU coach Tami Loy announced that Tuttle's Lacey Stonebraker and Weatherford'sBailey Bell signed National Letters of Intent during the NCAA early signing period last week.

Stonebraker will join three other Tuttle Tigers on the SWOSU team. She previously played with current Bulldogs Audra Chambless, Cassie Chambless and Sara Harwell in high school. Stonebraker played a number of infield positions for Coach Jerry Bates where she was a member of two state championship teams in 2007 and 2008 and a runner-up squad in 2009.

Softball Adds Two
Central Oklahoma softball coach Genny Stidham added two state high school standouts during the early signing period that ended recently. Agreeing to join the UCO program in 2010-11 were Hannah Justus of Catoosa High School and Carly Skinner of Verden High School.

A projected shortstop-third baseman for the Bronchos, Justus was an All-Conference and All-Metro pick as a senior at Catoosa. She was also a state qualifier in track last spring.

Skinner was a two-time Conference Offensive Player of the Year selection at Verden, earning All-State honors this past fall. The catcher/shortstop batted .582 as a junior before hitting .581 as a senior.

"Hannah and Carly are both excellent ball players and I look forward to having them in our program," Stidham said. "They're good athletes with great work habits and will have a chance to come in next year and help us."

Softball adds five for 2011
Angelo State softball coach Travis Scott has announced the addition of five players that will join the Rambelles for the 2011 season as three high school players and two transfers signed with ASU during the early signing period last week.

Pitchers Clarissa Molina, a junior transfer from Midland College, and freshmen Heather Newton of Coahoma and Mary Katy McKay of Madill (Okla.) will allow the Rambelles to re-load in the circle while junior transfer Renee Martin from Texarkana College and freshman Morgan Spearman of Kennedale will give ASU depth in the outfield.

"We feel very good about the signing of three top quality pitchers," said Scott, entering his seventh season at the helm of the Rambelles this spring. "Pitching was a priority out of this class and we feel as if we couldn't have done much better in replacing Chelsea Nelson and April Haywood."

Monday, November 23, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-23

Football News
Division II playoffs: ACU bows again to Northwest Missouri St.
Turnovers were the key to Abilene Christian’s season opening win against Northwest Missouri State. On Saturday against No. 2 Northwest Missouri in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, Abilene Christian’s fortunes were reversed in a big way as the Wildcats lost 35-10 to the Bearcats.

For the second year in a row, ACU’s season ended with a loss to Northwest Missouri. Last year, the Bearcats downed the unbeaten Wildcats 45-36 on their way to a fourth straight national championship game appearance.

“We’re pretty disappointed with the way we performed,” Abilene Christian coach Chris Thomsen said. “But also give a lot of credit to Northwest. They did a tremendous job in all three phases of the game.”

Central's defense dominates
Top-ranked Central Washington stymied No. 12 Tarleton State in cruising to a 27-6 victory Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in Ellensburg. The Texans, who entered the game averaging more than 400 yards per game offensively, were unable to establish anything on the ground, being held to minus-14 yards rushing. It was the fourth time this season CWU held an opponent to negative rushing yards.

“This defense never surprises me,” Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett said. “...They’ve done an amazing job all year. Even when we gave up that interception, to hold the opponent to only a field goal in a critical time in the first quarter was a huge stop.”

The Texans were coming off a 57-56 double-overtime victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville where the Texans had put up 530 yards of offense. The Wildcats held them to 178 yards.

“This is the toughest time we’ve had running the football all year,” Tarleton State coach Sam McElroy said.

Season ends with 35-10 loss
No. 12 Tarleton falls in the playoffs

Volleyball News
WT v-ball squad going to Minnesota
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs will be traveling to St. Paul, Minn., for the NCAA Division II Volleyball Elite Eight. Fifth-ranked WT will face California University of Pennsylvania in a quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

WT put in a bid to host the Elite Eight at the First United Bank Center but lost to host school and overall top seed Concordia-St. Paul. The Lady Buffs (37-3) were the third seed out of the South Central Region and upset regional top-seeded Central Missouri to advance to the Elite Eight. California (Pa.) was the No. 1 seed out of the Atlantic Region.

W. Volleyball. Lady Buffs Travel to Minnesota for NCAA Elite Eight

Cross Country News
ACU's Sang runs to 4th place at DII national XC meet
Amos Sang finished fourth at the NCAA Division II national cross country meet Saturday in Evansville, Ind. Sang, who missed the national meet last year with an injury, covered the 10K course on the Southern Indiana campus in 30 minutes, 48 seconds. The top four places were separated by 11 seconds.

Ruben Mwei of Adams State was the individual winner.

Sang earned All-American honors for his effort. Jared McNeil of Tarleton State finished 34th out of 187 runners with a time of 32:27.2 to earn All-American honors. He’s the first TSU cross country runner to achieve that recognition, adding it to national honors he received last spring in track and field.

All-American Korir finishes 23rd
McNeil named USTFCCCA All-American

Soccer News
WT soccer team loses in California
The West Texas A&M women's soccer team's quest for a national championship has been stopped. After making the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history, the Lady Buffs fell to California State-Dominguez Hills, 5-2, on Sunday at La Jolla, Calif.

"It was a great season," WT coach Butch Lauffer said. "I am really proud of our team. I am disappointed how the game turned out, but it was a good season."

#13 Lady Buffs Fall in Elite Eight Action, 5-2, to #15 Cal State-Dominguez Hills

Men's Basketball News
Buffs lose 2nd straight in tourney
Missouri-St. Louis guard Beaumont Beasley scored 23 points and the Tritons shot 51 percent from the field in handing West Texas A&M its second straight loss, 81-64, on Saturday at the Southwestern Oklahoma State Classic in Weatherford, Okla.

''We are simply a very immature team at this point,'' said WT head coach Rick Cooper. ''We will make a run to cut into a lead, then we'll proceed to take either an ill-advised shot or commit a turnover that leads to a fast break at the other end. 'I knew this team would have some teething problems early in the season. You know that, but at the same time you hope that you don't actually see it play out. It's a matter of working and working to correct what we aren't doing properly.''

ASU routs Texas A&M International
The Angelo State men’s basketball team (3-0) had five players score in double figures as it routed Texas A&M International (0-3), 83-62, Saturday night. The Rams and DustDevils were concluding play in the Texan Tip Off Classic in Stephenville.

Cole leads ACU men to win
Giordan Cole scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Abilene Christian to an 84-59 men’s win over Dallas Christian.

Hagan, Green pace Mustangs past Newman, 72-65
Chris Hagan and Craig Green dropped in a game-high 17 points each to lead Midwestern State to a 72-65 win over Newman (Kan.) Saturday night. The Mustangs, who improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2003-04, open the River City Classic Friday afternoon against Langston (Okla.) on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

ACU Rolls Dallas Christian 85-59
Meyer Leads ACU Past SEU 72-62
Corbett's 30 lifts Rams
Tough Loss (UCO)
Bronchos Fall To Rockhurst
Greyhounds Split Season Series With WNMU Mustangs
Southeastern Drops Low Scoring Slugfest
SE Falls to Rams at Tarleton Classic
Men Bounced by ATU, 67-53
Men Open with UMSL
Texans improve to 3-0 on the season with 54-43 win over SOSU
Texans record win over Dustdevils
Hogs Too Tough for Dogs
M. Basketball. Buffs Fall to Missouri-St. Louis, 81-64
M. Basketball. Buffs Fall to Arkansas Tech, 78-63

Women's Basketball News
No. 10 Lady Buffs beat CSU-Pueblo in overtime
The No. 10-ranked West Texas A&M Lady Buffs needed overtime to defeat host Colorado State-Pueblo, 74-70, on Saturday on the final day of the Al Kaly Classic at Pueblo, Colo. Jamie Simmons led the Lady Buffs with 17 points, while Maddy Brown added 16, including going 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Rambelles rally from huge halftime deficit
The Angelo State women’s basketball team (2-1) overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to squeeze out a 71-69 win over St. Edward’s (0-3) Saturday night in Austin.

The ‘Belles trailed the Hilltoppers, 43-27, at the intermission but opened up the second half with a 14-0 run courtesy of a three-pointer and two two-pointers by junior Camille Perkins, a three-point shot by sophomore Paige Weishuhn, a layup by freshman Lyndsey Youngblood and two free throws by freshman Ashley James to pull to within two, 43-41, with 15:51 left in regulation.

Wildcats Fall 67-63 to Cardinals
UIW hands 'Belles first loss
Aggies battle hard at WFU Invite
Falling Stars (UCO)
Bronchos Rally Past OBU
Missouri Southern State Overcomes Clay's 20 Points to Defeat Zias
Zia Basketball Team Sees 3-Point Shooting Streak Snapped at #7 Emporia
No. 5 Fort Lewis too much for Mustangs, 82-54
SE Survives Double OT with 82-78 Win
SE Cruises to 68-49 win over UTPB
Women Make Late-Game Push
Women Battle Back Against OCU
TexAnns win third straight with 93-51 victory over WNMU
TexAnns cruise to 75-46 win over Pittsburg State in Denton
Tiffany Mitchell Records Double Double in 71-51 Loss to No. 1 Michigan Tech
Lions Fall to Drury in Season Opener, 98-60
Javelinas Pick Up Win Over Nebraska-Omaha
Jennies Top Javelinas
TWU basketball comes from behind to defeat Pittsburg State
Pioneers cruise to a 20-point victory over Western New Mexico
#10 Lady Buffs Drop CSU-Pueblo in Overtime, 74-70
Lady Buff Basketball Over Metro State, 57-44

Saturday, November 21, 2009

LSC Game Day 11-21

Watch Tarleton Live
Watch Abilene Chrisitan Live

D2 Scoreboard

Game Notes
Abilene Christian*
Tarleton State*
Northwest Missouri
Central Washington

For ACU, road to longer season goes through Northwest again
Abilene Christian has become one of the better football programs in Division II — reaching the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, including two straight trips to the second round.

Now, the Wildcats have a chance to knock off one of the country’s best Division II football programs in Northwest Missouri State University when it really matters — in the playoffs. That’s something ACU failed to do last season in its quest to win its first NCAA football title — or any national title since winning the NAIA crown in 1977.

And if ACU is to finally win that title and join that elite status like Northwest Missouri State or Grand Valley State, then they’ll have to finally beat one of those teams to get there.

“For us to turn that corner, sooner or later you’ve got to go through them,” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “That’s where we are again two years in a row. That’s where we want to be. We just hope to be able to figure it out.”

ACU preview: Wildcats face Northwest hurdle again
What’s riding on this game: Winner advances to play Tarleton State-Central Washington winner in third round of NCAA Division II playoffs on Nov. 28. If ACU wins, the Wildcats would play at either Tarleton State or Central Washington. If Northwest wins, then it would play at Central Washington or host Tarleton State.

Central Washington goes on the defensive this year
This season, the No. 1-ranked Wildcats have put more focus on stopping other teams than outscoring them.

Walking off the field a year ago after a 49-42 loss to West Texas A&M in the first round of the Division II playoffs, Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett knew the Wildcats needed a dramatic makeover.

When Central's record-breaking offense couldn't score enough points to mask its defensive flaws, Bennett, the former quarterback coach who groomed Kyle Orton at Purdue, became intent on forging a championship-caliber defense.

"Everybody wants to talk about the offensive player of the year and [former CWU quarterback] Mike Reilly breaking all of Jon Kitna's records and Johnny Spevak catching 20 touchdowns and 14,000 yards and 95 catches, but the bottom line is defense wins championships," Bennett said. "Certainly you have to have a good offense and you have to have very good special teams, but defense wins championships.

"If you can keep the game close, your offense is always taking the field with a chance to win. We knew we were close, but we had to make some changes."

Friday, November 20, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-20

Football News
Tarleton QB gets a second chance
Sun Tzu, the famed ancient Chinese warrior, is credited for the wisdom that "opportunities multiply as they are seized." Of course, no one, much less Sun Tzu, had heard of Tarleton State 2,500 years ago, but those words seem true when you consider the opportunities that have multiplied since Scott Grantham took his second chance at football and life.

The next opportunity for the Texans and their standout quarterback is a date with NCAA Division II’s No. 1-ranked Central Washington in a second-round playoff game at 2 p.m. Saturday in Ellensburg, Wash.

All of this almost never was 3 1/2 years ago.

The evening after a summer workout in 2006, Grantham, then a redshirt freshman at New Mexico State, started suffering from severe headaches, so severe that in the middle of that night he was taken to the emergency room.

Tarleton State has a secret weapon
If Saturday’s NCAA Division II second-round playoff game between 12th-ranked Tarleton State and No. 1 Central Washington comes down to a field goal, the Texans are confident in their not-so-secret weapon. Kicker Garrett Lindholm has kicked two field goals of more than 50 yards this season, including a school-record 64-yarder last week as time expired to send the Texans to overtime and ultimately victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The kick is the second-longest in D-II behind Tom Odle of Fort Hays State, who hit one from 67 yards in 1988. That’s an NCAA record, regardless of classification.

“I knew Coach would let me kick it if we got close enough,” Lindholm said. “I actually told the backup kicker to go tell coach I was good from 65 or anything closer.”

Northwest faces Abilene Christian for 4th time in two years
Despite being separated by conferences and more than 700 miles, there may not be a football team in the country Northwest Missouri State knows better than Abilene Christian. When the Bearcats (10-1) host the Wildcats (9-3) at noon on Saturday, it'll be the fourth time in two years the Division II powerhouses have faced each other.

ACU leads the series 2-1 including the Bearcats' only loss this year. Northwest also lost to ACU in its 2008 season-opener. The Bearcats avenged that loss later that year in the playoffs.

"We know a lot about them. They know a lot about us," Northwest coach Mel Tjeerdsma said.

Wide receiver Jake Soy said he's had plenty of time to get acquainted with Abilene's defensive backfield.

"We've played these guys so many times it feels like another conference game," Soy said. "I know their whole secondary's first and last names. It's like I know them personally."

CWU football notebook: Jerome Williams' films all have happy endings
Central Washington University defensive back Jerome Williams is a little bit Michael Moore with some Frank Capra thrown in.

The all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference senior from Seattle has been documenting his final football season with a digital video camera that he got prior to the Wildcats’ home opener on Sept. 12.

“I’ve been carrying it around and taking footage of games,” Williams said. “I give updates at halftime and say the score is ‘this to this.’”

Volleyball News
Lady Buffs reach semifinals
The No. 3-seeded West Texas A&M Lady Buffs cruised to a three-game sweep of Truman State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional volleyball tournament Thursday in Warrensburg, Mo. The Lady Buffs (35-3) advanced to the semifinals with the 25-21, 25-7, 25-18 win against the Bulldogs.

"We served well today, so their passing wasn't that strong," WT first-year coach Jason Skoch said. "It made it obvious that they were going to their good players for the kill. It was one of those things where since they weren't in their system, we were able to control their strongest players."

Soccer News
Lady Buffs to face familiar opponent
For the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs soccer team, it's sweet to be in the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history, coach Butch Lauffer said.

"It's great for our players and our staff because it doesn't happen all the time," Lauffer said. "We are trying to find the right balance between preparing and enjoying it. It's fantastic, and now it's time to get over the next hump and win two games this weekend."

The Lady Buffs topped Truman State, 1-0, in the NCAA Division II South Central Region final Sunday to advance to today's match in the round of 16 against St. Edward's at 6:30 p.m. in La Jolla, Calif. St. Edward's made it to this round with a 1-0 win against Incarnate Word on Sunday.

Men's Basketball News
Gholson: Two good: McCasland off to MSU's best start
It’s a meaningless stat for sure. They don’t hand out big trophies for 2-0 starts.

But I have been watching Midwestern basketball for almost 50 years. And to think that Grant McCasland is the school’s first head coach to win his first two games is really unbelievable. In fact, when MSU sports information director Trey Reed called me Wednesday afternoon to tell me about it, I told him to go back to the archives and double check his research.

Midwestern has had some great coaches. Surely one of them started off 2-0. Reed’s research confirmed that none had.

Buffs, Lady Buffs to play in two-day tourneys
West Texas A&M tiptoed into its men's basketball season like a tornado treats a telephone pole. Yeah. Not at all.

The Buffs opened their season Tuesday night with an overtime thriller against New Mexico Highlands, winning, 89-87, at Las Vegas, N.M. WT sophomore Alex Davis tied the game in regulation with 0.7 seconds remaining by making his only shot - a 3-pointer. Then senior guard Nick Burns capped a career scoring night, draining a 10-foot fade-away jumper with 2.4 seconds left in overtime.

"I liked the way we competed throughout and saw a lot of good things for our first game," said WT 17th-year head coach Rick Cooper, who has a roster loaded with new faces along with two returning starters. "The win came against a very good, very well-coached team. We weren't doing anything fancy on that last possession. We just wanted to get the ball in the hands of our best offensive players."

Blowout win starts Cameron's season
GUYMON, Oklahoma (November 19) – A 31-point blowout victory on the road was exactly what Cameron head coach Wade Alexander ordered for opening night. The Aggie men’s basketball (1-0) blew out the Aggies of Oklahoma Panhandle State University (0-2) tonight in Guymon to begin their 2009-2010 season. Tonight’s game was scored 89-58 in favor of the Black and Gold.

Women's Basketball News
Buffs work on 'D' after season-opening win
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs will try to start the basketball season with two straight wins when they meet Metro State at 4 p.m. today in the Al Kaly Classic at Pueblo, Colo. WT, an NCAA Division II Elite Eight qualifier last season after winning its second straight Lone Star Conference championship, opened the season with a 59-50 win against Incarnate Word on Sunday.

''I thought we played well for an opener, and against a good team,'' Lady Buffs head coach Krista Gerlich said. ''We always go into games with the goal to hold our opponent to under 55 points, so in that regard we were successful. We did have some lapses on defense that we worked on in practice.''

Lady Tigers sink St. Gregory's, 74-70
Guard play was a big factor Thursday night as East Central University secured its first basketball victory of the 2009-10 season. The junior guard combination of Casi Rawls and Krista Bullis combined for 41 points and freshman guard Regan Browne chipped in 10 as the Lady Tigers knocked off host St. Gregory's University 74-70 at the W.P. Wood Field House.

Cross Country News
Sang Returns to National Meet
Running at ACU brings high expectations and junior Amos Sang is living up to those as he will make his third trip to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships November 21.

McNeil set to compete at XC National Championships
Jared McNeil will represent Tarleton this weekend when he travels to Evansville, Ind. to compete in the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21 on the University of Southern Indiana campus.

Recruiting News
Hoggies Sign Four in Early Period
Texas A&M-Kingsville third year softball head coach Blake Miller announced the signing of four student-athletes during the early signing period on Thursday. The four signees are Ali Bodnar, Taylor McGill, Taylor Munguia and Kym Rigard.

TWU basketball signs Tabbatha Thurmond
The Texas Woman’s University basketball head coach Beth Jillson announced the signing of Tabbatha Thurmond (The Colony, TX/The Colony) to a National Letter of Intent. She will join the Pioneers in the fall of 2010.

Softball. Lady Buff Softball Inks Mallory Wyatt To Letter of Intent
CANYON, Texas - West Texas A&M softball coach Kevin Blaskowski has announced the signing of Mallory Wyatt to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period. Wyatt, a native of Watauga, Texas who attends Keller HS, will join Alyssa Lemos, Haley Colwell and Chloe Wurst as members of the Lady Buffs 2010 recruiting class.

TexAnns sign two for softball
Tarleton head softball coach Julie Mata announced the signings of two Connors State College transfers for the 2010-11 school year. Samantha Swanda and Alexandria Orf signed paperwork as part of the early signing period.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Volleyball - Lady Buffs advance

West Texas A&M has just sweptTruman State (25-21, 25-4, 25-18). Natalie Johnson had 9 kills, and Melissa Harper, Laura Prinsen and Laren Purdy each had 8. Katie Rickwartz had 36 of WT's 42 assists.

Next up for WT, the winner of the Washburn-Nebraska Omaha matchup. The second round game will take place tomorrow evening at 6:00 PM.

Nine finalists for Harlon Hill Trophy

FLORENCE, Ala. -- A field of 24 candidates has been trimmed to nine national finalists in regional voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.

The finalists were selected by the NCAA Division II sports information directors in regional voting and will now be placed on the national ballot where all 148 of the division's SIDs will select the award's 24th winner.

The top two players from each of Division II's Super Regionals advance to the national ballot, but three players advanced from Region 3 due to a tie in the voting.

Advancing from Super Regional 4 are Northwest Missouri State senior running back LaRon Council and Midwestern (Texas) State University junior quarterback Zack Eskridge. Northwest Missouri State is hosting a second round playoff game Saturday, while Midwestern State lost

Council, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., has rushed for 1,202 yards on 212 carries and has 16 rushing touchdowns this season. He averages 109.3 rushing yards and 8.73 points per game. He also has 271 receiving yards and averages 133.9 all-purpose yards per game. He has led the Bearcats to a 10-1 record and the No. 2 seed in Super Regional Four.

Eskridge, a junior from Rowlett, Texas, leads Division II in passing efficiency in 2009 with a 180.75 rating. He threw for 3,295 yards and 29 touchdowns this season, completing 236 of 330 pass attempts with only six interceptions. He completed 71.5 percent of his passes. He is also 12th nationally in passing yards per game (274.6) and 16th in total offense (286.9). He led Midwestern State to a 9-3 record this season.


Zach Amedro QB 6-0 190 JR West Liberty Moundsville, W.V.
Harrison Beck QB 6-2 220 SR North Alabama Clearwater, Fla.
Joique Bell RB 6-1 223 SR Wayne State (Mich.) Benton Harbor, Mich.
LaRon Council RB 5-10 210 SR Northwest Missouri St. Kansas City, Mo.
Zack Eskridge QB 6-4 215 JR Midwestern State Rowlett, Texas
Nick Graziano QB 6-1 227 SR Arkansas Tech Moraga, Calif.
Trevor Harris QB 6-2 215 SR Edinboro Waldo, Ohio
Brad Iciek QB 6-1 200 SR Grand Valley State Grandville, Mich.
Isaac Odim RB 6-0 215 JR Minnesota-Duluth Rochester, Minn.

Complete Release

Game Previews - NCAA Playoffs Week 2

It will be hard to top the opening week of the 2009 NCAA Football playoffs, but Abilene Christian and Tarleton State will give it their best shots.

Last weekend, ACU returned the opening kickoff for a TD, turned two Midwestern State turnovers into 10 points and held off the Mustangs 24-21. The offense gained just 252 yards on the day, but put most of it together on 3 consecutive scoring drives, which was just enough to overcome the Mustangs. The defense harassed Zack Eskridge all day long, sacking him 8 times.

Meanwhile, Tarleton State outscored Texas A&M-Kingsville 57-56 in double overtime to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Garrett Lindholm hit a 64 yard field goal as time expired to tie the game at 46 all. After the teams traded field goals in the first OT, the Texans found themselves down 7 when Fred Winborn scored his 4th TD of the day. On fourth down, needing to pick up 5 yards, Scott Grantham instead took it all the way in, breaking several tackles along the way. The Texans then went for two, and once again it was Grantham, barely squeaking in.

#16 Abilene Christian at #2 Northwest Missouri
A rematch of this season's season opener and last year's Super Region 4 final. The Wildcats won the season opener 19-14 with a strong defensive effort. ACU's first 9 points came by way of a safety and a 42 yard fumble recovery and the defense held NWMSU to just 230 yards and one offensive TD. The Wildcat offense was not able to must much either, just 164 total yards and one TD, which was set up by an ACU interception. ACU was able to sustain just one drive of more than 35 yards.

The Teams
Since then, Northwest Missouri has reeled off 10 straight wins in dominating fashion. Washburn was the only other team to hold NWMSU to under 30 points, and the only team to keep the Bearcat's margin of victory to single digits. Since facing ACU, NWMSU is averaging 47.6 points and 520 of total offense. Junior QB Blake Bolles has completed 68% of his passes for 3,204 yards, 35 TDs and just 7 Ints. Jake Soy is his favorite receiver, hauling in 61 passes for 1,116 yards and 22 TDs. Should ACU focus too hard on Soy, six other Bearcats have at least 20 catches. LaRon Council is once again the leading rusher, picking up 1,202 yards and 16 TDs in 2009. Up front, juniors Jason Wiseman and Brett Grozinger both garnered first team all-MIAA honors, joining Bolles, Council and Soy.

The defense is always stout in Maryville, as evidenced by 17.8 points and 301 yards allowed per game. Teams have only been able to average 87 yards rushing, but have picked up 214 yards through the air. The team had 22 interceptions, and sacked opposing QBs 35 times during the season. The Bearcats were honored with 4 first team, 2 second team and 4 honorable mention selections to the all-MIAA team on defense.

Abilene Christian has had a tougher time of it since Week One. The Wildcats won their next six games and ascended to the #1 spot in the national polls, but dropped three of the next four games, limping into the playoffs with the #6 seed. The defense has been solid all year, giving up just 18.4 points and 283 yards per game. The running defense has been especially stellar, holding the opposition to just 46 yards per game and 1.7 per carry. Similar to NWMSU, the ACU pass defense has given up yards (236 per game) because teams have not been able to run the ball. Led by Aston Whiteside and Fred Thompson, ACU totalled 41 sacks on the season, while picking off 15 passes.

The offense has sputtered of late, averaging just 22 points per game over the last five weeks. Of course, playing Midwestern State twice, as well as Tarleton State and a rejuvenate West Texas A&M team will slow down almost any offense. Darryl Richardson and Reggie Brown have been a productive duo this year, combining for 1,829 yards and 22 TDs and another 313 receiving yards and 2 more TDs. Redshirt freshman Mithcell Gale continues to be the starter at QB, and has thrown for more than 1,500 yards and 10 TDs while completing 60% of his passes. Edmund Gates is the leading receiver with 41 receptions for 600 yards and 5 TDs.

The Game
A lot of people expected these teams to square off in the playoffs this year, but most probably thought it would be in the regional final next week. Both sport top-notch defenses, but ACU's offense is struggling at the wrong time of the year. The Bearcats offense is hitting on all cylinders right now, and they seem to save their best for the playoffs. NWMSU 38-21.

#12 Tarleton State at #1 Central Washington
Central Washington is the number one team in the nation and the only undefeated D2 remaining. They started the season at #14, but survived a tough five week opening stretch that saw them defeat the defending national champion, Minnesota-Duluth, on the road as well as Mesa State and IAA Idaho State and West Texas A&M at home. The defense has been very stingy, allowing just 11.6 points and 243 yards per game. Ony three teams have scored more than 10 points in a game, with the season high 27 against Humboldt State. The run defense is one of the nation's best holding teams to 61 yards per game. Teams have had to take to the air, and have averaged 181 yards passing. The Wildcats defense has only picked up 23 sacks and 13 interceptions.

The offense has not put up spectacular numbers - 28 points and 354 yards per game. Senior Cole Morgan took over the starting QB spot in week 9 and has passed for 1,000 yards and a 7-2 TD-Int ratio. Freshman Ryan Robertson started the first 8 games, and has thrown for 1,275 yards and 13 TDs. All-American Johnny Spevak is the top receiver with 66 catches for 893 yards and 11 TDs. Randall Eldrige and Bryson Kelly combined for 1,265 yards and 9 TDs rushing.

Despite playing in the LSC South, the Texans are giving up just 20.4 points and 316 yards per game. Teams are passing for 210 yards and rushing for 106 yards per game. Only one team other than TAMK scored more than 28 points against the Texans. Marcus Phillips and Matt Knicky each have 95 tackles to lead the team. Phillips also leads the team in tackles for loss (10.5) and his 3 interceptions is just one behind Brandon Johnson.

Despite being overshadowed by the defense, the offense is averaging 33.3 points and 404 yards per game. Evan Robertson and Roderick Smith have combined for 1,649 yards and 16 TDs on the ground. Last week's hero, Scott Grantham has quietly passed for 2,793 yards and 19 TDs. Devin Guinn and Jahmeel Hobson are easily the top targets - they have 123 of the team's 199 receptions, 1,961 of the team's 2,966 yards, and 15 of the 20 passing TDs.

The Game
Central Washington proved themselves to be a top team with the tough schedule early in the season. But since then they have faced the conference counterparts Humboldt State, Dixie State and Western Oregon two times each, so it is unclear on just how battle-tested they will be coming into the game. There is no question that Tarleton has been tested recently, with battles against Abilene Christian, Angelo State, West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville in the past four weeks alone. That has left them a bit banged up and there may be a hangover from last week's emotional win in Kingsville. We look for the Texans to overcome a slow start and shock the nation with another close win, TSU 31-28.

LSC Roundup 11-19

Football News
Abilene Christian football player to meet father for first time
Nick Jones used to wonder what his father looked like, how he sounded, what kind of man he was. Mostly he wondered whatever happened to him. He had only his mother's brief, unsatisfying synopsis to go on: His father was deployed overseas before he knew she was pregnant, and she never saw him again.

She didn't have much else to offer, and Nick didn't ask. But he never quit thinking about it. He grew up big and strong and handsome in Dallas and Amarillo. Good enough to win back-to-back NCAA Division II titles in the discus his first two years at Abilene Christian. Tough enough to earn a starting job at defensive end for the Wildcats, who will play Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo., on Saturday in a second-round NCAA Division II playoff game.

He grew up fast, too. Married his high school sweetheart at 18. Became a father at 19. And still he wondered what happened to his own dad. Until late one night last month, when his wife, Miriam, shook him awake.

"I think I found your father."

Bearcats face familiar foe Abilene Christian in playoffs
The Bearcats come off the bye week looking forward to a familiar opponent in Abilene Christian.
Abilene beat Midwestern State 24-21 in the first round of the playoffs to advance to play the ’Cats this weekend.

“It’s become a game where it’s fun,” sophomore wide receiver Jake Soy said. “We’ve played these guys four times. I know all of their secondary by first and last name basis. We play these guys more than we play our conference teams I feel.”

The ’Cats have faced Abilene Christian three previous times in the last two years. Northwest has lost the last two season openers to the Wildcats, but beat them in the playoffs last year on their way to the National Championship game. Northwest fell to Abilene for its lone loss this year in the season opener in Abilene, Texas 19-14.

“We really had some mistakes in that one that we can’t have this time,” head coach Mel Tjeerdsma said. “We had a fumble returned for a touchdown; they got the ball after an interception on the 25-yardline and they got two points on a safety when we threw it over the punter’s head and out of the endzone. We can’t have those things happen this time.”

Bearcats get familiar foe for 1st playoff game
Familiarity is breeding excitement — rather than contempt — around Bearcat Stadium this week, as Northwest Missouri State prepares for its fourth meeting with Abilene Christian in two years. Northwest and Abilene kick off their second-round NCAA Division II playoff game at noon Saturday in Maryville with the Wildcats holding a 2-1 edge in the recent series.

But Northwest has won when it counts, winning last season’s playoff game in Abilene, Texas, en route to a fourth straight appearance in the national championship game. The Bearcats want to do the same thing this year but with the backing of a huge home crowd.

Northwest uses bye to prepare for playoff run
Before playing its final regular-season football game last week, Northwest Missouri already had a NCAA Division II playoff spot and fourth straight MIAA title locked up. Senior cornerback E.J. Hawkins and senior defensive Sean Paddock played anyway despite having injuries that previously sidelined them.

After Northwest Missouri soundly beat Central Missouri 56-14, defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick called them and sophomore cornerback Ryan Jones the MVPs of the game because of their willingness to play hurt.

"It is kind of tough, but you want to be with the guys," Hawkins said of playing hurt. "You don't want to let them down. Your friends are out there. It means a lot to them. You can make a difference in a ball game. You may not be a 100 percent, but you can get the job done."

'Buffalo' Guerrero still grateful to coaches at Corpus Christi Miller, Texas A&I
He was christened Margarito Guerrero, but his friends know him simply as “Buffalo.” That’s a fitting nickname for a hard-charging defensive tackle who ranks as one of the best players in the history of perennial small-college football power Texas A&M-Kingsville, formerly Texas A&I.

Guerrero earned first-team Little All-America honors as a senior in 1970, when the Javelinas finished 11-1 and won their second consecutive NAIA Division I national championship under legendary coach Gil Steinke. Guerrero was named the most valuable lineman in the NAIA semifinals his junior year, and made the second-team Little All-America squad that season. Now 63 and living in Benavides, Guerrero is one of four Hispanics who have earned All-America honors as Javelinas. The others: Willie Crafts, Jaime Martinez and Roberto Garza, now a starting guard for the Chicago Bears.

Guerrero was at Javelina Stadium on Nov. 14 when Tarleton State beat his alma mater 57-56 in a wild NCAA Division II first-round playoff game.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” Guerrero said. “The game is so fast now. To me, it’s too fast. The players are bigger, stronger and quicker. With the way offenses spread you out now, you have to put your best and smartest athletes on defense.”

Volleyball News
Coach cites WT's improvement
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs are almost a different team than when they last played the schools in this week's NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament.

Future is bright for Rambelles volleyball
Just three seasons ago, the Angelo State University volleyball team was 6-21. The Rambelles only won 19 matches from 2005-2007. Then a coaching change was made and an immediate impact was felt as the ’Belles went 20-14 in 2008 and advanced to the Lone Star Conference tournament for the first time since 2004. Then this past season, ASU went 19-14 and advanced to the LSC tournament for the second straight year.

Soccer News
WT junior named Daktronics South Central Playor of the Year
Buff junior forward Ben Everson has been named the Daktronics South Central Region Soccer Player of the Year. Everson headlined a list of 13 student-athletes earning first-team all-region honors.

Joining Everson on the first team were teammates Jacob Fynboe Jensen, Nicki Nielsen and Aaron Thornton. Sophomore goalkeeper Sebastian Furness was named to the second team. Everson continued his offensive dominance in his third season at West Texas A&M in 2009. He scored 15 goals and added one assist for a total of 31 points for the Buffs, who were ranked as high as third in the nation.

Three Lady Buffs earn soccer honor
Three members of the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs soccer team have been named to the Daktronics All-South Central Region team announced Tuesday. Lindsay McHorse and Kelly Skehan were named to the first team, while teammate Miriam Dominguez was honored with a spot on the second team.

McHorse leads the Lady Buffs in goals (13), assists (8) and total points (32) while Dominguez has totaled 19 points on the season with six goals and seven assists. Skehan has become the go-to goalkeeper for WT this season, tallying 1533:26 minutes between the pipes in 17 matches. She has allowed just six goals while tallying 65 saves and seven shutouts for a record of 12-2-3.

Murphy honored by ESPN The Magazine
Tyler Murphy became Midwestern State’s first academic All-American in 10 years Wednesday when he was named an ESPN The Magazine second-team Academic All-American. Murphy, a biology major from Winfield, British Columbia, carries a 3.96 grade-point average.

The two-time Southwest Soccer Conference Academic Player of the Year has tallied six goals and eight assists while appearing in 70 matches as a midfielder and defender during his four years at MSU.

Men's Basketball News
Mustangs defeat St. Mary's in home opener
Midwestern State began its home debut with an all-out, hustling defensive effort that fueled an 83-72 win over St. Mary’s University on Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

“We got after it. They wanted to play here tonight,” said first-year coach Grant McCasland, whose team is off to a 3-0 start. “Give credit to (assistant) Nelson Haggerty for having the team prepared to play on short notice.”

Hoggies Open Season with W
A 15-0 second half run led the Texas A&M-Kingsville men’s basketball team to a season opening win at Texas A&M-International on Wednesday night, 70-58.

Tigers fall at Division I UTSA
East Central placed four players in double figures, but it wasn't enough as NCAA Division I Texas San-Antonio received a combined nine 3-pointers from its top two scorers and held a 52-25 rebounding advantage to beat the Tigers 103-80 Wednesday night at the Convocation Center in ECU's final exhibition.

Recruiting News
TexAnns add Latta to softball roster
Tarleton softball coach Julie Mata has announced the signing of Kelsey Latta to a national letter-of-intent. Latta will begin playing for the TexAnns in 2010-11.

Schindler announces signing of Murrah to NLI
Tarleton head volleyball coach Mary Schindler announced Tuesday that Stacie Murrah has signed a National Letter of Inten to join the TexAnns for the 2010 season.

Watson signs power-hitting catcher
This week Cameron’s head softball coach Beth Watson added a high-caliber, power-hitting catcher to her 2011 squad. Alex Milligan, a senior at Moore High School (Moore, Oklahoma) officially signed on to play for the Black and Gold this week and expectations are already at a high.

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