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.

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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