Saturday, March 13, 2010

South Central Regional News

Women's Basketball: WTAMU and NSU prevail in first-round games at regional
RiverHawks Overcome Slow Start to Bounce UCO in South Central Regional

Starting with a blowout

By Les Giles

The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs proved their 21-point win against St. Mary's in late November was no fluke.

In the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II South Central Region women's basketball tournament Friday at the First United Bank Center, the No. 1-seeded Lady Buffs used a 17-2 run in the first half to down the Rattlers, 78-50, and advance to today's semifinals against Emporia State.


Tarleton women KO'd in first half

E-T Sports Staff

CANYON-Emporia State hasn’t relinquished a place in the National top 25 poll in 104 consecutive weeks.
Tarleton State cracked the national poll for the first time in school history this year.

And for 32 minutes, 47 seconds, the TexAnns (23-7) gave the Lady Hornets (25-5) from Emporia all they could handle.

However, it was the seven-minute, 13-second , 22-0 run by the Hornets that allowed them to cruise to a 90-71 victory in the opening round of the South Central Regional Tournament at First United Bank Center Friday.

The Lady Hornets advanced to meet top-seeded host West Texas A&M in Saturday night's semifinal round after WT thumped St. Mary's 78-50 in the late game Friday.

“We just didn’t play well in the first half,” Tarleton head coach Ronnie Hearne said. “Everyone in the gym saw that and then they saw the team we are capable of being in the second-half. We got way down, way too early, and that was too much to come back from.”

Jumpers by JoAnne Jones and Sonya Sundberg with an Emporia 3-pointer in between gave Tarleton a 4-3 advantage at the 18:25 mark in the first half before Emporia’s Cassondra Boston drained another 3-bomb to put Emporia on top for good.

When the scored reached 10-8, Emporia began its 22-0 run to lead 32-8 with 8:02 left in the first half.

Over that stretch, Tarleton was 0-7 from the field and turned the ball over 10 times.

The streak came to a halt at the 7:47 mark when Brittnie Haley managed to convert a tip-in.

Including Haley's tip, the TexAnns outscored ESU 18-17 for the remainder of the half and went to the locker room trailing 49-26.

Tarleton shot just 32 percent in the first half while Emporia hit 52 percent.

“When we went in at halftime, all of us came together for JoAnne (Jones),” said sophomore guard Shelby Adamson regarding her lone senior teammate. “We said we didn’t want this to be her last 20 minutes at Tarleton and we had to play better."

“I just love these girls,” said Jones with tears in her eyes.

Jones and the TexAnns took the court in the second half and immediately looked like a different team.

The TexAnns forced a turnover on the opening play and Morgan Stehling connected for her first two points of the game to cut the lead to 49-28.

The Stehling layup started a 17-5 Tarleton run that brought the TexAnns to within 12 with 15:35 left.

They couldn't sustain the push, however, as turnovers and missed opportunities allowed Emporia to answer with a 28-16 run to rebuild a 24-point lead with 3:43 remaining in the TexAnns’ season.

Tarleton shot 38 percent from the field for the game while Emporia hit 50 percent. ESU also hit 58 percent from beyond the arc compared to Tarleton’s 25 percent.

Adamson scored 21 points to lead the TexAnns before fouling out with 2:04 left. She also had five assists and three steals.

Jones scored 10 to go along with her game-high four blocked shots in her final game at Tarleton.

Stehling finished with 12 - all in the second half - while Tara Towns netted nine and Haley scored seven.

Sundberg and Lisa Parker each tallied five. Parker also led the team with six rebounds. Kelsey Benford added a bucket to finish the TexAnn scoring.

Boston led all scorers with 22 while Alli Volkens had 21 off the bench for Emporia.

The Lady Hornet bench outscored the Tarleton bench 42-13.


Gholson: Will MSU-UIW history repeat itself?
Any of you who think Incarnate Word is just some church school pushover, please think again.

I can say that because I was around back in 1992 when everyone associated with Midwestern State basketball was feeling the same way.

MSU finished the regular season 26-6 that year. Two of those losses were at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

The Indians (as we knew them then) were 12-1 inside D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

They had dominated the University of the Incarnate Word 81-73 in San Antonio earlier in the year.

When the NAIA District 8 playoffs opened, MSU was the No. 1 seed. Incarnate Word just got in at No. 8.

“Goin’ to Kansas City — Kansas City, here we come.”

Or so everyone around here was thinking.

But former MSU assistant coach Danny Kaspar — in his first season as head coach — brought an Incarnate Word team to town and pulled off a stunner, 93-88. In all the years I worked with Gerald Stockton, I can’t remember him ever being as shocked over a loss as he was after this one.

Now here we are 18 years later — same schools, same place, same 1 vs. 8 seedings.


Nick of Time, March 12: Assistant Haggerty has inside scoop
“If you can’t beat them, join them” is a cliché’ with which we are all familiar.

But for Nelson Haggerty, it was a case of “after you beat them, then join them.”

A year ago at this time, Haggerty was sitting on Central Missouri’s bench and doing everything he could to help the Mules beat Midwestern State.

Playing in front of a friendly crowd in Warrensburg, Mo., UCM beat MSU 80-72, ending the season for the Lone Star Conference champions.

Not long after that, Grant McCasland replaced Jeff Ray as Midwestern’s head basketball coach and enticed his fellow Baylor alum to switch sides.

Today, Haggerty is McCasland’s right-hand man and doing everything possible to help the Mustangs win.


Cardinals bring fast pace into matchup
Two back-to-back conference champions with a combined 99 victories the past two years will hit Gerald Stockton Court in D.L. Coliseum running at 6 p.m. today when Midwestern State takes on Incarnate Word in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament.

“They want to play fast, and they want to score. This is not a grind-it-out, run-a-bunch-of-sets type team,” MSU coach Grant McCasland said of the 23-6 Cardinals.

The fast pace is OK with the Mustangs.

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