IN THE RANKINGS:
West Texas A&M moved up another spot to No. 2 in the latest WBCA NCAA DII Coaches’ poll. The Lady Buffs are 12-0 on the season after winning two Lone Star Conference road games last week. WT defeated UT Permian Basin 69-33 on Thursday and beat Western New Mexico 64-49 last Saturday.
Angelo State moved up three spots in this week’s poll to No. 18. The Belles improved to 9-1 on the season after defeating Texas Woman’s 84-61 in their only action last week. The Belles will conclude their three-game LSC homestand this week as they host Eastern New Mexico on Thursday and No. 2 West Texas A&M on Saturday.
St. Mary’s (Tex.) moved up four spots to No. 21 this week. The Rattlers defeated Texas A&M-Kingsville 71-57 last week at home in non-conference action. The Rattlers continue Heartland Conference play this week as they travel to St. Edward’s on Thursday before hosting Lubbock Christian on Saturday afternoon.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Bria DeGrate, Newman, Guard, Sr., Grand Prairie, Texas
Newman senior Bria DeGrate led the Jets to a resounding win over Southwestern to close out 2018. The Grand Prairie, Texas native scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor for her second 20-point game of the season. DeGrate also pulled down seven rebounds dished out four assists and came away with one steal. The senior is leading the 8-5 Jets with 13.6 points per game which ranks sixth in the Heartland Conference. This is DeGrate’s first player of the week award this season.
Lone Star Conference:
Brynae Thompson, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, JR, Interdisciplinary Studies, Guard, Houston, Texas, Cy-Fair HS
Thompson's career day on Saturday led Texas A&M-Kingsville to its first LSC win of the year at the SPEC with a hard-fought 72-70 decision against Texas Woman's. Thompson totaled 28 points on a .556 clip from the floor, leading all Javelinas for the eighth time during the 2018-19 campaign, and played a pivotal role down the stretch in sealing the win. With 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter and the score tied 69-69, Thompson drove down the length of the court and made a contested layup while drawing the foul. She converted the and-one for a 72-69 lead with 10 seconds left as the Javelinas held on for the win. On the year, Thompson leads TAMUK with a 14.6 scoring average on a .476 shooting rate through 11 games.
Tyesha Taylor, West Texas A&M University, SR, Criminal Justice, Center, Temple, Texas, Temple HS
Taylor continued to dominate in the paint for the third ranked Lady Buffs this past week as the senior post led WT to Lone Star Conference road victories at UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico to move to 12-0 overall and 4-0 in league play. The Temple native went 9-of-10 from the floor including 7-of-8 from the free throw line to average 12.5 points per contest to go along with eight rebounds and seven blocks on the weekend. The Lady Buffs held the Falcons and Mustangs to a field goal percentage of .307 while allowing just 41.0 points per contest. Taylor was a dominant force on Saturday afternoon in Silver City as the New Mexico State transfer went 8-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the free throw line for 18 points, she registered an incredible seven blocks to tie for sixth in program history for blocks in a single game.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Angelo State – Won vs Texas Woman’s 84-61
Lubbock Christian – Won vs Eastern New Mexico 64-48
Midwestern State – Lost vs Texas A&M-Commerce 70-57; Lost vs Tarleton State 80-68
St. Edward’s – Did not play last week.
St. Mary’s – Won vs Texas A&M-Kingsville 71-57
Tarleton State – Lost at Cameron 83-79; Won at MSU Texas 80-68
Texas A&M-Commerce – Won at MSU Texas 70-57; Won at Cameron 86-67
Texas A&M International – Lost at Texas State 89-25 (Exhibition)
Texas A&M-Kingsville – Lost at St. Mary’s 71-57; Won vs Texas Woman’s 72-70
Texas Woman’s – Lost at Angelo State 84-61; Lost at Texas A&M-Kingsville 72-70
UT Permian Basin – Lost vs West Texas A&M 69-33; Lost vs Eastern New Mexico 61-55
West Texas A&M – Won at UT Permian Basin 69-33; Won at Western New Mexico 64-49
GAMES TO WATCH:
Eastern New Mexico at Angelo State Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s at St. Edward’s Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
West Texas A&M at Angelo State Saturday at 2 p.m.
Eastern New Mexico at Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lubbock Christian at St. Mary’s Saturday at 1 p.m.
IN THE RANKINGS:
Mary Hardin-Baylor moved into the top 10 at No. 7 in the latest D3hoops.com Coaches’ poll. The Cru enter the week 14-0 after winning two road games in the American Southwest Conference last week. The Cru won at Belhaven 60-38 last Thursday and defeated Louisiana College 96-67 last Saturday.
East Texas Baptist moved up to two spots to No. 13 in the poll after the Tigers improved to 12-1 with a couple ASC wins at home last week. The Tigers defeated McMurry 79-48 on Thursday before winning 62-47 against Hardin-Simmons on Saturday. The Tigers have a big road game at UT Dallas on Thursday this week.
UT Dallas fell out of the top 25 following a tough 78-75 loss at home to No. 2 Thomas More last Saturday. The Comets will resume conference play this week with a huge game as they host No. 13 East Texas Baptist on Thursday before hosting LeTourneau on Saturday afternoon.
Austin College fell out of the top 25 this week despite an 11-2 overall record and winning both of their Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference games on the road last week. The ‘Roos did lose 96-65 on the road to then No. 12 Mary Hardin-Baylor on Dec. 29. The ‘Roos responded by defeating JWU (Denver) 94-61 last Friday and beating Colorado College 79-54 last Saturday.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
American Southwest Conference:
EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Delanei Stephens, Jr., F, Ozarks
Ozarks junior forward Delanei Stephens (Coal Hill, Ark.) posted three straight double-doubles while leading the Eagles to a 3-0 record and the program’s best conference start since the 2005-06 season. She scored 16 points and 12 rebounds in a 76-67 overtime win at Concordia Texas. Stephens followed with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 62-60 victory over Howard Payne, then followed with 27 points and 14 boards in a 66-59 win against Sul Ross State. For the week, Stephens hit 50 percent (19-of-38) from the field and averaged 18.3 points, 12 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game to earn her second career Player of the Week award.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kaycie Dunkerley, Jr., G, Concordia Texas
Concordia Texas junior guard Kaycie Dunkerley (Azle, Texas) scored 20-plus points in three of the Tornados five games during the winter break as they went 4-1 with four consecutive road wins. In a 61-53 victory against Manchester, she posted her third double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Dunkerley followed by knocking down a career-high seven three-points, scoring 23 points and dishing out eight assists with five rebounds in a 72-70 win at Louisiana College. During the break, she averaged 19.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game while hitting 25 three-pointers and leading the nation three-pointers made.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kendall Rollins, Jr., G, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor junior guard Kendall Rollins (Fulshear, Texas) averaged 18.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as the No. 12/13 Cru went 5-0 over the break. She shot 52 percent (32-of-62) from the field and 56 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range. Rollins also averaged 2.2 assists and 2.6 steals per contest to earn her third player of the week award of the season and fifth of her career. In an 84-73 win over UT Tyler, she had 28 points with eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:
BRYCE FRANK OF AUSTIN COLLEGE, a senior forward from Granbury, Texas, has been named the SCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played from Monday, December 17 through Sunday, January 6.
Frank averaged 18.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game leading the No. 25 Roos’ to a 4-1 mark over the holiday break. The league leader in scoring also recorded three double-double performances, bringing her total to nine on the season and shot 64.4 percent from the field.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Austin College – Won at JWU (Denver) 94-61; Won at Colorado College 79-54
Concordia Texas – Won at Louisiana College 72-70; Won at Belhaven 64-53
Dallas – Lost vs Trinity 89-51
East Texas Baptist – Won vs McMurry 79-48; Won vs Hardin-Simmons 62-47
Hardin-Simmons – Won at LeTourneau 65-48; Lost at East Texas Baptist 62-47
Howard Payne – Lost at Ozarks 62-60; Lost at UT Tyler 68-59
LeTourneau – Lost vs Hardin-Simmons 65-48; Won vs McMurry 79-75 OT
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won at Belhaven 60-38; Won at Louisiana College 96-67
McMurry – Lost at East Texas Baptist 79-48; Lost at LeTourneau 79-75 OT
Schreiner – Lost at Southwestern 64-57
Southwestern (Tex.) – Won vs Schreiner 64-57
Sul Ross State – Lost at UT Tyler 89-63; Lost at Ozarks 66-59
Texas Lutheran – Lost at Trinity 70-45
Trinity (Tex.) – Won at Dallas 89-51; Won vs Texas Lutheran 70-45
UT Dallas – Lost vs Thomas More 78-75
UT Tyler – Won vs Sul Ross State 89-63; Won vs Howard Payne 68-59
GAMES TO WATCH:
East Texas Baptist at UT Dallas Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Southwestern at Austin College Friday at 6 p.m.
Centenary (La.) at East Texas Baptist Saturday at 1 p.m.
Texas Lutheran at Austin College Saturday 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.