Thursday, November 4, 2010

LSC Roundup 11-4

MSU's Tim McGill has lots of incentive - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Midwestern State defensive end Tim McGill has several reasons he’d like to see the Mustangs pick up a road win against No. 4 Texas A&M-Kingsville this weekend.

Of course there’s the obvious — MSU needs it to help ensure a second straight trip to the postseason.

But it goes a little deeper than that for McGill.

That’s because a trip to the playoffs could mean an opportunity to go up against older brother Jernorious, a starting guard for the Central Missouri Mules — currently the No. 2 team in the Super Region Four rankings.

An MSU victory over the Javelinas would also be a nice way for McGill to celebrate his birthday — he’ll turn 21 on Saturday.

But the 6-foot-1, 268-pound junior knows he and his teammates will have to play one of their best games of the season if they want to get their eighth win.

“That’s definitely what I want for my birthday,” McGill said. “We’ve got to win and I think we will. I also would like an opportunity to play against my brother. My parents might make the long trip out to see that one.”

Midwestern State has held a spell over Javelinas recently - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
With good reason, fourth-year Texas A&M-Kingsville football coach Bo Atterberry is slightly leery heading into Saturday night’s Lone Star Conference South Division home ballgame against Midwestern State.

Sure, the Javelinas are ranked fourth nationally and have won four consecutive outings, presumably having cured its offensive ills 56-17 trouncing of Southwestern (Okla.) State. The Mustangs are ranked No. 19 and are 2-2 in their previous four games.

But the 8-1 Javelinas have had little success recently against the Mustangs. Make that no success.

“We sure haven’t,” Atterberry said. “They hadn’t had much against Tarleton, either, so we’re hoping things might be changing this year.”

Respectful rivalry: Buffs vs. Wildcats - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
The West Texas A&M-Abilene Christian rivalry doesn't rise to the level of say ... the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

You won't see WT or ACU fans refer to an opposing player with a vulgar nickname that becomes part of their vocabulary (see Aaron Boone).

The annual Buffs-Wildcats battle - usually with at least a share of the Lone Star Conference South Division title on the line - isn't on par with the annual Big 12 South Division showdown between Oklahoma and Texas.

A hatred bordering on good vs. evil doesn't exist between the Buffs and Wildcats.

However, in these parts, there isn't a bigger game than WT and ACU.

The main difference between this rivalry and the aforementioned bigger rivalries?

Believe it or not, these teams actually like each other - to a degree.

Maybe "like" is too friendly a term.

A healthy degree of respect is probably more accurate.

WT head coach Don Carthel, who hands out compliments to opponents about as often has he changes baseball hats, sounds almost as if he is praising the Wildcats when describing their program.

"We have a rivalry going on 365 days a year between us and their staff, and that makes it unique," Carthel said. "When you line up on Saturday you know all the kids on their team. You've recruited them and they know you. There is good, healthy relationship on both sides of the football, and it makes for a great rivalry."

ACU head coach Chris Thomsen also sees WT-ACU as a special rivalry.

"It is probably rare as far as rivalries," Thomsen said. "I think both teams being as good as both have in the past five or six years kind of push each other. We know those guys are working in the offseason and the summer, and they know we are. The competition level is something that pushes each team, and I think it is good for both teams to have this kind of rivalry."

ACU has all the pieces to beat Buffs, win title - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
West Texas A&M has a good football team on both sides of the ball. But Abilene Christian is a little better.

This isn’t a one-trick pony like past great Wildcat teams. Sure, the offense is putting up points like the 2007 and 2008 teams, but it’s getting the job done on long drives, eating up some clock and giving the defense a chance to rest. In turn, the defense is playing well, too. But it’s a team deal. The Wildcats are among the best in the nation in kickoff and punt returns, and Morgan Lineberry is a capable kicker. He’s kicked a long of 49 yards, that coming last week against Angelo State, and his career-best is 56 yards.

All the pieces fit for a team that’s capable of winning the national title, and the Wildcats will beat the Buffs, go on to the first 11-0 regular-season in program history and win the LSC title. It should be another typical ACU-WT shootout, but the Wildcats have more bullets — and they’ve got a better gunslinger in Gale.

ACU 38, WT 28

Buffs hope to horn in on upset of prime LSC rival - Dave Henry, Special for Abilene Reporter News
Forget the won-loss records vs. common opponents, the stats and the rankings.

Saturday’s Lone Star Conference showdown between Abilene Christian and West Texas A&M — the best rivalry in the LSC — comes down to one bit of inside info.

What will be the color of Thunder X’s horns?

Thunder X, WT’s authentic buffalo mascot, was sporting pink-colored horns when last spotted at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium on Oct. 23.

The color, part of WT’s breast cancer awareness campaign, did not seem to sit well with Thunder X, who stormed onto the field in angry fashion - jumping, bucking and snorting while dragging a few members of the WT Herdsmen into the end zone. And Thunder X continued to show vigorous displeasure following kickoff.

This could mean another offensive explosion is on the way, which wouldn’t be the first time these teams have lit up the scoreboard.

So sit back and get ready for what promises to be another classic WT-ACU matchup.

Don’t be surprised, though, if the 12th man is not a man, but a hairy, hacked-off bison.

WT 39, ACU 31.

Lone Star Conference rankings 11/4/2010 - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Oklahoma state colleges power poll: Northwestern State holds onto top spot - Scott Munn, The Oklahoman

ASU FOOTBALL: .500 within reach - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
The good news for the Angelo State University football team following its 33-20 loss to Abilene Christian on Saturday is that the Rams are done playing nationally ranked teams this season. They are also done playing teams from the Lone Star Conference South Division.

ASU’s final two games are against LSC North foes Southeastern Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma — two teams with a combined 5-13 record. The Rams must win both to finish the season with a 5-5 record.

ASU is in this position after losing five of its past six games, the latest coming to rival ACU this past week. The Rams were in the game for most of the contest. They led 7-3 after the first quarter but found themselves down 16-7 after the Wildcats scored 13 unanswered second-quarter points. ASU cut the deficit to 16-13 early in the third quarter, but ACU got into the end zone twice before the period ended. The Rams outscored the Wildcats 7-3 in the final period, but the 30-13 advantage ACU had going into the fourth was too much to overcome.

“It is what it is,” ASU head coach Dale Carr said. “We watched the tape with our guys, and there are a few mistakes and a few things they could have done correctly. There are other things they have to do outside the perimeters of the plays that they have to do to win.

“It was a well-played game on both sides. I thought there were more penalties than both sides are used to getting. It is strange to be playing this way and still not be winning games.”

Former Tarleton kicker Lindholm ready if NFL calls - Marc David, Abilene Reporter News
The life of a kicker is a lonely existence.

Everyone knows when you miss a crucial kick. Everyone knows there are only 32 National Football League place-kicking jobs available. Everyone knows that kickers rarely get drafted.

Garrett Lindholm knows this. The former Tarleton State record-breaking kicker spends parts of each day staying in shape hoping for a call from an NFL team. He knows the odds are against that happening this season. But he continues to run, work out, lift weights and kick around his Austin area home. And he keeps tabs on the NFL kickers.

Lindholm, 22, was signed by the Atlanta Falcons but cut the last week before training camp. His contract was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts and he was cut before the last preseason game. He was in three games for the Colts, kicking off eight or nine times (two reached the end zone, he said) and one extra point.

“I’ve seen other NFL kickers,” said Lindholm, who earned a business administration degree last December at TSU. “I know I am capable. I just need the right opportunity.”

ASU SOCCER: Rambelles look to extend historic season - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
Prior to the start of the 2010, Angelo State University head soccer coach Travis McCorkle blamed injuries, lack of preparation and the team’s goals-against average for his squad missing the Lone Star Conference tournament for the second consecutive year in 2009.

A promising start to last season turned sour when the Rambelles lost six games during an eight-game stretch and found themselves outside of the playoff picture before they finished the year with wins in two of their last three games.

This year, they made sure there was no mid- nor late-season collapse.

“Last year, we were a little disappointed in our results,” senior goalkeeper Melanie Peterson said. “Winning that last game last year against Midwestern really gave us the momentum and confidence that we needed to open this season and know that we can win games, we can go to the conference tournament, and we can go to regionals.”

“This season we started off with 12 freshmen, and we really didn’t know what was going to happen,” junior forward Brandie DeBacker said. “Our team chemistry is really strong. From the beginning of the season, we have been building, and it seems like we are peaking at just the right time. We are going to the conference tournament, and we have had a lot of big wins.”

ACU has plenty on the line at LSC soccer tourney - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
It has been a record-breaking season for the Abilene Christian women’s soccer team.

They’ve scored more goals, won more matches and finished higher in the Lone Star Conference regular-season standings than any other Wildcats team in the program’s four-year history. Now, they’d like accomplish a few other things for the first time — win the LSC tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats (14-3) on Friday play the winner of today’s Angelo State-Texas A&M-Commerce game in the LSC tournament semifinals. The tournament is being played at Midwestern State’s soccer field in Wichita Falls. Midwestern (15-2) is the No. 1 seed and plays today’s Incarnate Word-Central Oklahoma winner in Friday’s other semifinal.

ACU has a lot on the line this weekend. Not only are the Wildcats seeking their first LSC tournament title, but they’re trying to remain on track to get into the South Central Region tournament for the first time in history. To do that, they might have to win Friday’s game, at the very least, and that would require another first — a win at the LSC tournament. ACU is 0-2 in LSC tournament play, bowing out in the first round the previous two years.

ASU Volleyball Capsule, 11/4 - San Angelo Standard Times
The Rambelles look to extend their winning streak and end the regular season on a winning note this week, beginning tonight against the Zias. ASU has won eight straight matches and 11 consecutive conference contests. ... ASU is coming off a 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday. Chelsea Gibson led the Rambelles with 15 kills. Kaelen Valdez added 10. Valdez led the ASU defense with 15 digs. Kayla Smith and Caroline Cleveland each had nine. Alex Woolsey had 39 assists. ... ENMU is coming off a 3-1 loss to Tarleton State on Saturday. ... ASU is 33-19 all-time against ENMU. The Rambelles won last year’s meeting in three games. ... ASU will close out the regular season Saturday when it hosts West Texas A&M.

Wildcats seek to end WT's record reign on volleyball court - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Jordan Schilling and Ijeoma Moronu have been playing volleyball together since they were both 17 and on club tea,s in Dallas. The two Abilene Christian seniors would like nothing more than to play together a little longer, preferably on their home court at Moody Coliseum.

To to that, they’ll have to do something they’ve never done before — and that’s beat West Texas A&M.

The No. 20 Wildcats play West Texas A&M at 7 tonight in a Lone Star Conference women’s volleyball match at Moody Coliseum. Both teams are unbeaten in LSC play, and the winner clinches at least a share of the LSC title and be host of the LSC tournament Nov. 11-14.

It’ll be an emotional night for ACU’s three seniors — Shawna Hines, Schilling and Moronu. They’ve never beaten WT or advanced to the NCAA tournament, and the road to the NCAA tournament for LSC teams has gone through WT the last four years.

“We’re pumped about that game,” Schilling said. “We’re gunning for them. We want to win. We’re going to go out, we’re going to fight our hardest. Our biggest goal is to host the conference tournament, and to do that, we have to beat WT.”

ASU cross country teams also making their mark - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
With the success Angelo State University is having this fall in women’s soccer and volleyball, it is easy to overlook what the school has done in cross country.

The Rams and Rambelles compete Saturday at the Lone Star Conference championships in Abilene. The women have won their past two meets while the men have finished second and third in their past two competitions.

This weekend’s competition features an 8K race for the men beginning at 9:30 a.m. and a 6K race for the women beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Sherrod Residential Park.
Texan basketball ranked No. 11 by NABC preseason poll - Tarleton State Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Tarleton Texan men’s basketball team has been ranked No. 11 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in the 2010-11 preseason poll.

The Texans, who last year reached the program’s seventh NCAA South Central Regional in nine seasons, lost just two seniors off of last year’s 24-8 squad.

Tarleton is the highest-ranked team from the South Central region in the poll.

“Being recognized for the quality of our program is nice,” said Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman. “Our coaching peers believe we have one of the top programs in the nation, and that is a big honor. Year in and year out we are ranked in the polls, but when it comes down to it, these polls help us more in recruiting than on the basketball floor. We still have to go out and play 100 percent every night in order to win. The recognition is nice, but it is where you finish that makes all the difference.”

The Texans are joined by fellow Lone Star Conference schools Central Oklahoma at No. 18 and Midwestern State at No. 20. The only other South Central Region member is No. 16 Central Missouri.

Defending Division II champion Cal Poly Pomona, who has played in the last two title games, is ranked No. 1 heading into the season.

Tarleton opens the 2010-11 campaign on Saturday, Nov. 13 when it hosts Arlington Baptist at 7 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.

Mustangs start 20th in NABC/Division II Preseason Coaches Poll - MSU Sports Information
The air of excitement around Midwestern State basketball is growing as the Mustangs are a part of another preseason national poll.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches/Division II ranking does give MSU an early No. 20 ranking, but its message in between the lines just might have Mustangs fans up in arms.

According to the poll which is topped by defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona, Midwestern is 17 spots off of its No. 3 final ranking in 2009-10 and is no better than the fourth-best team in the South Central Region.

The top honor belongs to MSU rival and LSC bridesmaid Tarleton State who checks in at No. 11. The Mustangs toppled the Texans four times last season including a regular season sweep and wins in the Lone Star Conference title game and NCAA South Central Regional.

The region runner-up Mules of Central Missouri are 16th while Central Oklahoma in its final season in the LSC is 18th.

Midwestern returns two starters and five letter winners off of last season's squad led by 2010 Sporting News Preseason honorable mention All-American Chris Hagan, who averaged 14.1 points and four assists last season and senior forward Charlie Logan who set a school record with 51 dunks last season.

The Mustangs open exhibition play Thursday night at Baylor as the Bears open the season ranked No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll before taking on No. 8 Purdue next Tuesday in West Lafayette, Ind.

MSU opens the season against Fort Hays State (Kan.) and Emporia State (Kan.) on Nov. 12-13 at the South Central Region Challenge in Bartlesville, Okla.

UCO Ranked 18th In Coaches Poll - UCO Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 3) – Three-time defending Lone Star Conference North Division champion Central Oklahoma will enter the 2010-11 season with a No. 18 ranking, according to the NABC/Division II Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll.

The Bronchos, who were also ranked 18th by Division II Bulletin, return seven lettermen from last year's 22-7 team that made its fifth appearance in six years in the national tournament. UCO has won 74 games the last three years and is the unanimous pick to win its fourth straight LSC North title this season.

Defending national champion Cal Poly-Pomona topped the poll, followed by Indiana (Pa.) and Findlay. Two other LSC teams made the rankings, with Tarleton State coming in 10th and defending league champion Midwestern State 20th.

UCO will play both those teams at home during a three-day span this season, hosting TSU on Jan. 6 and MSU on Jan. 8.

The Bronchos of eighth-year head coach Terry Evans go to Oklahoma City University Thursday to take on the Stars in a 7 p.m. exhibition game and then will host an alumni team at 7 p.m. Saturday.

UCO opens the season Nov. 12-13 at the High Desert/South Central Challenge in Las Vegas, taking on No. 16 Central Missouri on the second day of that event.

NABC/Division II Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll
1. Cal Poly-Pomona
2. Indiana (Pa.)
3. Findlay
4. Bellarmine
5. Grand Valley State
6. Florida Southern
7. Bentley
8. St. Cloud State
9. Winona State
10. Seattle Pacific
12. Tarleton State
13. Arkansas Tech
14. South Carolina-Aiken
15. Metropolitan State
16. Central Missouri
17. Rollins
18. Central Oklahoma
19. Saint Joseph's
20. Midwestern State
21. Alabama-Huntsville
22. Merrimack
23. Philadelphia
24. Montevallo
25. Clark Atlanta

Lady Buffs Basketball Ranked No. 7 in USA Today/ESPN Division II Preseason Poll - WT Sports Information
LILBURN, Ga. - The West Texas A&M Lady Buff Basketball team has been tabbed to open the season at No. 7 in the USA Today ESPN Division II Coaches Preseason Poll, according to a release from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association on Wednesday.

WTAMU went 30-4 last season, claiming its third consecutive Lone Star Conference Tournament Championship and advancing to the school’s seventh consecutive NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament. The Lady Buffs finished the season ranked No. 12 in the final poll released by the WBCA.

Arkansas Tech will open the 2010-11 season ranked No. 1 after receiving 15 first-place votes for a total of 671 points. Delta State claims the No. 2 spot with four first-place nods and a total of 621 points. The Lady Buffs, who received 460 points in the poll, will play both of these teams in late December with both games to be played on the road.

Tusculum College garnered two first-place nods for 569 points and will open the season at No. 3 in the poll, while Lander University follows at No. 4 with a first-place vote and 516 points. Holy Family collected 478 total points to round out the top five.

Last season’s national champions, Emporia State, gathered the final six first-place votes and will open the season at No. 6, just ahead of the Lady Buffs.

Along with Emporia and the Lady Buffs, other South Central Region teams earning preseason nods in the poll were Washburn at No. 9, Drury at No. 16 and LSC North Division foe, Northeastern State coming in at No. 22.

Four other regional and LSC teams received votes, including St. Mary’s (26), Tarleton (15), Central Oklahoma (3) and Southeastern Oklahoma (1).

The Lady Buffs have four preseason Top 25 opponents on the upcoming 2010-11 schedule. Along with the afore mentioned Arkansas Tech and Delta State, WT will travel to face No. 12-ranked Fort Lewis in Durango, Colo., on Nov. 20, and will then face the RiverHawks in LSC Crossover action on Dec. 20, at First United Bank Center.

The Lady Buffs will tip-off the 2010-11 season at the St. Mary’s Classic in San Antonio on Saturday, Nov. 13, against the host Rattlers. WT will conclude the tournament that Sunday, Nov. 14, against Central Missouri.

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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