St. Mary’s (Tex.) finished last season with a respectable 16-13 record. But respectable is not the standard for the Rattlers and they are making a statement early this season. The Rattlers are currently 4-1 after three wins last week. The Rattlers went on the road and won 67-49 over Texas A&M-Kingsville last Tuesday. The Rattlers then went to the Lubbock Christian Classic and won 74-59 over UT Permian Basin on Friday before defeating Southern Nazarene 56-47 on Saturday.
Angelo State have been a solid team for many seasons and are tough again this season as they are 2-0 after winning two games last weekend. The Belles defeated Oklahoma Christian 69-62 on Saturday then won 84-57 of West Alabama last Sunday in the Texas Woman’s University Tournament. The Belles have had three straight 20-win seasons and are on their way to another impressive campaign this year.
No. 7 West Texas is a team that should appear regularly in this section this season. The Lady Buffs are on a mission to host the south central regional this year after having to travel to Lubbock Christian for the regional last season. WT had a solid week as they defeated Colorado School of Mines 84-73 last Friday and survived 66-63 over Metro State-Denver last Saturday in Denver.
UT Permian Basin played two very tough teams last week and left with two large defeats. The Falcons are now 1-3 on the season as they prepare to travel to Colorado for a pair of games this weekend. UTPB lost 74-59 last Friday to a talented St. Mary’s (Tex.) team and fell 82-39 last Saturday to host No. 10 Lubbock Christian. The Falcons will not face such tough competition on consecutive days the rest of the season.
Texas A&M International will most likely have a tough season this year but hope to be more competitive as the season progresses. The Dustdevils are now 0-4 to start the year and a tough week began with a visit to NCAA DI Houston Baptist last Wednesday where they left with an 81-48 defeat. TAMIU then traveled to Salt Lake City for a pair of games and fell 89-58 last Friday to Westminster College before a 73-66 defeat to Colorado Christian.
Texas A&M-Kingsville only played one game last week but it was how the team was defeated that places them in the tough week category. The Javelinas were outscored by 22 points in the first half on their way to a 67-49 defeat at home to St. Mary’s (Tex.). The Javelinas are 1-2 this season and have yet to play a game away from their home arena. They have a one more game at home this week before they travel to Austin, Texas to face St. Edward’s.
GAMES TO WATCH:
UT Permian Basin at Regis (Colo.) Friday at 6 p.m.
Central Missouri at St. Mary’s (Tex.) Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Texas A&M-Kingsville at St. Edward’s Saturday at 2 p.m.
Central Missouri vs Lubbock Christian Saturday at 1 p.m.
Texas A&M-Commerce at Southeastern Oklahoma State Sunday at 2 p.m.
No. 14 UT-Dallas opened the season with high expectations. The team also opened the season with a tough opponent and traveled to St. Louis to play in the McWilliams Classic. The Lady Comets played the host No. 17 Washington-St. Louis on Friday night and came away with an impressive 86-77 victory. The Lady Comets followed that performance with a 70-62 win over Ithaca on Saturday to win the McWilliams Classic.
Trinity (Tex.) women went to Tacoma, Wash. to play in the McArthur Classic. The Lady Tigers walked away victorious and defeated Pacific Lutheran 66-57 on Friday night. The Lady Tigers then held tough and won a close 57-55 contest against Puget Sound. Trinity is now 3-0 on the young season and looking like they will be a force in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Austin College have opened the season in an impressive manner as they are 3-0 after winning two games in the SCAC/SAA Challenge in Conway, Ark. The Kangaroos took a 77-59 win last Saturday over Millsaps and a 65-54 victory over Hendrix on Sunday. The Kangaroos look like they could challenge for the SCAC title this season and will be tested this week as they play host to No. 14 UT-Dallas on Saturday.
UT-Tyler traveled to Spokane, Wash. last weekend to play in the Whitworth Tournament. It was a tough weekend for a Patriots team who is playing their final season in NCAA D3 as they transition to NCAA D2 and the Lone Star Conference next season. The Lady Patriots lost to Whitman College 74-62 last Friday before falling 74-70 to host Whitworth on Saturday night.
Schreiner played two quality teams last weekend and walked away still winless on the season. The Mountaineers played in the ASC/SCAC Crossover event and lost 61-47 to LeTourneau on Friday before falling 55-38 to No. 12 East Texas Baptist on Saturday. Schreiner is now 0-3 on the young season but have played a tough schedule including two games against the No. 12 Lady Tigers. Schreiner did improve off their first performance against ETBU and lost by 43 in the first game and only 17 in the last meeting.
Southwestern (Tex.) opened the season last weekend and suffered two losses. The Pirates played a talented Hardin-Simmons on Thursday and fell 62-40. The Pirates then played tough against Howard Payne but came up just short with a 73-71 defeat. The schedule for the Pirates does not get easier any time soon as they play No. 14 UT-Dallas this week before playing Concordia Texas and Hardin-Simmons in the TLU Classic this weekend.
GAMES TO WATCH:
East Texas Baptist at Colorado College Saturday at 3 p.m.
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran Saturday at 3 p.m.
Birmingham-Southern vs Howard Payne Sunday at 11 a.m.
LeTourneau at Millsaps Sunday at 3 p.m.
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Schreiner Sunday at 4 p.m.
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