Football: Talented Buffaloes have finishing kick
Apparently when West Texas A&M coach Don Carthel was putting together his 2009 football schedule, Florida and Alabama weren’t available. So Carthel lined up the Division II equivalent, playing then-No. 1 Grand Valley State in the opener and traveling to current No. 1 Central Washington in Week 3. Losses in those two games contributed to a loss of confidence during a 1-5 start that has the Buffaloes playing in Saturday’s Kanza Bowl against the University of Nebraska at Omaha rather than making a fifth straight trip to the Division II playoffs.
“We couldn’t get a game around here, so we had to go quite a distance to find one,” Carthel said from Canyon, Texas. “We had a feeling it was going to be a struggle at first, but once we started to get some good results we got some confidence back.”
West Texas A&M’s slow start also included two Lone Star Conference losses to eventual playoff teams: 23-16 in overtime to Texas A&M-Kingsville and 31-19 at Midwestern State. The Buffs’ finishing kick includes wins over then-No. 1 Abilene Christian and then-No. 7 Tarleton State, the Lone Star’s other playoff teams.
“We lost 27 seniors from last year,” Carthel said. “We had four new receivers and four new players in the secondary — and those two areas weren’t making plays early. When those two areas grew up, we got a lot better.”
Buffs stampede to Kanza Bowl
The 2009 football season was a split season for West Texas A&M. The Buffs lost their first three games and five of six but turned their season around with victories in the last five games to earn a berth in the Kanza Bowl.
"We had a tough schedule playing three number one teams in the nation," Buffs coach Don Carthel said. "We lost 27 seniors last year, so it was kind of a rebuilding year for us and it took us a while to really jell."
East Coast Bowl Dish: Small-college stars get a look
PETERSBURG, Va. — A look at some of the players at the East Coast Bowl, an all-star game featuring Division I-AA, Division II and Division III prospects, who helped themselves with a strong week of practice and in Saturday's game:
• Midwestern State WR Andy Tanner (5-11 1/4, 183) had pedestrian 40 times (4.69 and 4.53 seconds) but displayed smooth athleticism and ball skills. He lacks explosiveness to escape jams or burst out of cuts to separate from man-to-man coverage. He does show a knack for finding open spots in coverage and great body control and hands to catch off-target passes. Unless he can consistently run in the low-4.5 range this spring, he won't be drafted.
AMEDRO, BELL AND GRAZIANO INVITED TO HARLON HILL BANQUET AS TOP THREE FINISHERS
The voting has concluded for the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year Award, and while the results of that voting won't be announced until December 11, three players have received invitations to attend the 24th Annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet for the naming of the top player in Division II.
Junior quarterback Zach Amedro of West Liberty (W.V.) University, senior running back Joique Bell of Wayne State (Mich.) University and senior quarterback Nick Graziano of Arkansas Tech University have emerged as the top three vote-getters from a field of nine finalists in voting by the sports information directors at the 148 schools that compete in Division II football.
Rams linebacker K.C. Asiodu partially blocked a punt by Seattle's Jon Ryan with 10:47 left in the third quarter. The punt traveled only 19 yards.
"I made a little up-and-under move, and I felt a little piece of it," Asiodu said. "It really hurt, but I was happy to see the ball went a little short."
The blocked punt was the first by the Rams since linebacker Drew Wahlroos blocked one by the Jacksonville Jaguars' Chris Hanson on Oct. 30, 2005. Wahlroos' blocked punt was recovered by linebacker Brandon Chillar and returned 29 yards for a touchdown.
Asiodu said he blocked a few punts at Central Oklahoma. "I think I had three or four in college, but this is definitely my first block in the National Football League," Asiodu said.
It is being reported on Footballscoop.com (no relation) that "Murray State: We hear Tarlton (sic) State defensive coordinator Cary Fowler is going after the Murray State job." Fowler was an assistant at Murray State for four seasons, before becoming the defensive coordinator at Midwestern State.
Also from Footballscoop, "Sam Houston State: According to one Texas newspaper this morning, “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.”
and this "Sam Houston State: One of the newspapers in Texas says this morning, “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.” We will have our guys start making some calls to find out more names."
Men's Basketball News
Mustangs top Jarvis to get out to 7-0 start
In the box score, it was a mere two points. But Melvin Clark’s put-back of a miss by Antonio Jones with 50 seconds to play was one of the big rewards of Midwestern State’s 97-64 win over Jarvis Christian on Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Clark’s basket meant all 13 MSU players made the scoring column.
“The big thing about a game like this is we have guys who practice hard every day and deserve an opportunity to play. We were able to get minutes for those guys,” said first-year coach Grant McCasland, whose Mustangs are off to a 7-0 start. McCasland said he understands the reward a reserve feels when he gets playing time. “That was me,” he said. “When I was at Baylor, I was a walk-on who seldom got to play.”
ACU drops heartbreaker, 85-82
Dallas Baptist outscored ACU 7-0 over the final 2:34 of the seconde half Monday night as the Patriots walked out of Moody Coliseum with a hard-fought 85-82 win over the Wildcats in a non-conference men's basketball game.
Red Hot Greyhounds Fly Past UTPB Falcons, 52-41
Junior forward Tyler Jefferson (Fort Worth, Texas/Tyler JC) recorded his first double double of the season, registering 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Eastern New Mexico University men's basketball team (4-1) to a 52-41 victory over visiting University of Texas of the Permian Basin (1-4), Monday night at Greyhound Arena. With the win, the Greyhounds are on their first three-game winning streak since January 2007.
Bronchos Roll Over USAO
Inside dominance and a balanced attack paved the way for Central Oklahoma Monday night at Hamilton Field House as the Bronchos overwhelmed Science and Arts of Oklahoma 96-72.
Cameron men continue hot start
The Cameron Aggie men’s basketball team stayed on the winning track this evening after defeating the Saints of Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College by the score of 72-49. In front of a large crowd in the Aggie Gym, the CU men stayed focused throughout the game and captured their fourth consecutive win to open up their 2009-2010 season in the best way possible.
Women's Basketball News
Jav A Record: TAMUK Women Shoot Down International
The Texas A&M-Kingsville women's basketball team has been shooting the ball exceptionally well recently and on Monday night they set an NCAA record in their 115-59 win over Texas A&M-International at Kingsville Hampton Inn Court.
The Javelinas (5-1) drained 12 consecutive three-pointers to end the first half which broke the old NCAA record of 10 consecutive three-pointers made. The Hoggies made a school record 19 trifectas in the game and the 115 points was also a school record.
Mustangs try to end skid against struggling St. Edward's
The Midwestern State women’s basketball team will try to end a three-game skid tonight when they take on St. Edward’s in the second of three home games this week.
Cardinals blitz ACU, 60-44
Nia Torru scored 18 of her game-high 20 points in the first half Monday night as Incarnate Word blistered ACU, 60-44, in a non-conference women's basketball game at Moody Coliseum.
Aggies pound Saints 101-59
The Cameron Aggie women’s basketball team looked sharp all night as they pounded the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Saints 101-59. They scored on their first possession of the game and remained in control the rest of the way. The last time the Aggie women scored 100 or more points in a game was a 104-69 win over Langston College during the 1986-1987 season.