Tarleton State started the season strong last weekend as they defeated Rogers State 65-46 last Friday and then won 79-69 over St. Mary’s (Tex.) on Saturday. Kaylee Allen averaged 18.5 points and Katie Webster averaged 13 points and 6.5 boards to lead a Texanns team expected to be a challenger to West Texas in the Lone Star Conference.
St Edward’s entered the season predicted to finish towards the bottom of the Heartland Conference but started strong with two big wins last weekend. The Hilltoppers beat Colorado Christian 85-83 in overtime last Friday before defeating a solid Colorado School of Mines team 69-62 on Saturday. The Hilltoppers shot 37.8 percent from the 3-point line while only allowing the opposition 27 percent from 3-point range.
West Texas A&M began the season with extremely high expectations and did not disappoint last weekend defeating Colorado-Colorado Springs 84-51 to open the season last Friday and followed that up with an 80-53 drubbing of Regis (Colo.). The Lady Buffs was impressive on both end of the floor as they averaged 52 percent shooting from the floor and only allowed 33.3 percent shooting to overwhelmed opponents.
Texas Woman’s entered the weekend wanting to pick up a victory against two teams predicted to finish in the middle of the Heartland Conference. However, they left without a win as they lost 58-53 last Friday to St. Mary’s (Tex.) before falling 81-62 to Rogers State on Saturday. The Pioneers played good defense but struggled shooting the ball as they averaged 35.7 percent shooting from the floor for the weekend.
Midwestern State played tough in both games last weekend but were unable to pull out a victory as they opened the season with a 76-75 loss to Oklahoma Christian before falling 65-60 to host Newman on Saturday. The Mustangs struggled to defend the 3-point line last weekend as they allowed opponents to shoot 38.9 percent.
Texas A&M International entered the season predicted to finish towards the bottom of the Heartland Conference but played tougher than expected this weekend while unable to earn a win, falling 55-51 to Chadron State on Friday and lost 62-57 to a Black Hills State team predicted to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Dustdevils struggled last weekend to shoot the ball averaging 33.3 percent from the field.
GAMES TO WATCH:
St. Mary’s vs UT Permian Basin Friday at 4 p.m. in Lubbock, Texas
West Texas A&M at Colorado School of Mines Friday at 7 p.m. in Golden, Colo.
St. Edward’s at Texas A&M-Commerce Friday at 7 p.m. in Commerce, Texas
Oklahoma Christian vs. Angelo State Saturday at 2 p.m. in Denton, Texas
Oklahoma Christian at Texas Woman’s Sunday at 4 p.m. in Denton, Texas
No. 12 East Texas Baptist entered the season with high expectations and began the season looking strong as they convincingly won both of their games on the road last week. The Tigers defeated conference foe McMurry 86-52 last Thursday before scoring an 86-43 victory over Schreiner. The Tigers shot over 50 percent from the floor in both games and held both opponents under 40 percent from the field in each game.
Hardin-Simmons opened the season with a resounding win in head coach Kendra Hassell’s debut for the Cowgirls. HSU went on the road last Saturday and departed with an 83-53 victory over Centenary (La.). The Cowgirls defense was spectacular as they forced 30 turnovers against the Ladies. Karlea Ritchie had an impressive game as she scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the game.
Texas Lutheran began the season last weekend predicted to finish near the bottom of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference with their first game of the season on the road last Thursday against Concordia (Tex.) who is predicted to be near the top of the American Southwest Conference. The Bulldogs left Austin, Texas with a convincing 74-63 win over CTX. The Bulldogs then played NCAA DI UT Rio Grande Valley last Saturday and the game went as expected as UTRGV won 82-38.
UT-Tyler had a rough beginning to the season last week as they opened with a 71-60 overtime loss to NAIA Huston-Tillotson. The Patriots are hoping to finish their final season in NCAA DIII with an ASC title before they head to NCAA DII next season. The Patriots will need to shoot the ball better moving forward as they only shot 34.8 percent from the floor and made 4-of-18 3-point attempts.
University of Dallas entered the season with lowered expectations predicted to finish toward the bottom of the SCAC this year. The Crusaders were unable to shoot well the entire game and fell 77-59 to NAIA St. Thomas. UD only converted 17-of-69 shots for 24.6 percent from the field including only making 6-of-26 attempts from 3-point range. The Crusaders did play tough defense as they held St. Thomas to only 37.8 percent from the floor.
McMurry opened the season with as tough a schedule as anyone in the country. The War Hawks opened the season last Thursday with an 86-52 loss at home to No. 12 East Texas Baptist. The War Hawks then stepped up to play two NCAA DI schools on the road on Saturday and Sunday. McMurry lost 100-37 in an exhibition to Lamar on Saturday and took a 92-41 defeat to Houston Baptist on Sunday. The War Hawks have predictably struggled to shoot the ball as they have only made 33.6 percent of their field goals this season.
GAMES TO WATCH:
Southwestern (Tex.) at Hardin-Simmons at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Abilene, Texas
Schreiner vs LeTourneau at 1 p.m. Friday in Marshall, Texas
No. 16 UT-Dallas at No. 17 Washington-St. Louis at 7 p.m. Friday in St. Louis
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Birmingham-Southern at 4 p.m. Saturday in Birmingham, Ala.
UT-Tyler at Whitworth at 9 p.m. Saturday in Spokane, Wash.
Cory Hogue is Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball small college correspondent follow him on Twitter at @HoagieSports and be sure to visit his website (linked below) for more coverage of Division II and Division III collegiate athletics.