WBB Small College Recap: Mary Hardin-Baylor climbs to No. 6 and Angelo State falls a spot despite two wins

DIVISION II

IN THE RANKINGS:

West Texas A&M remained No. 14 in this week’s WBCA DII Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Lady Buffs won both of their games last week. WT defeated rival Eastern New Mexico 72-61 last Tuesday on the road before winning 80-63 at home last Saturday afternoon over Texas Woman’s. The Lady Buffs are 16-2 overall on the season and 8-2 in the Lone Star Conference.

Angelo State fell one spot to No. 20 despite two decisive victories in both of their games last week. The Belles defeated Cameron 89-54 at home last Thursday and won 73-62 at home over MSU Texas last Saturday afternoon. The Belles remain home for two more critical LSC games this week as they host Tarleton State on Thursday and Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday. The Belles are 14-2 overall on the season and 9-1 in the LSC.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

Heartland Conference:

Isabel Hernandez, St. Edward’s, Forward, Sr., Rome, Italy

St. Edward’s forward Isabel Hernandez set a new Hilltopper record with eight made three-pointers in a big win over Newman on the road to end the week. The senior averaged 29.5 points per game this week shooting 60-percent from the floor and 58-percent from beyond the arc. She also averaged four rebounds per game and added six steals, six assists and one block over two games during the week. Hernandez is averaging 15.8 points per game this season which ranks third in the Heartland Conference. This is Hernandez’s second player of the week award this season.

Lone Star Conference:

Lexy Hightower, West Texas A&M University, JR, Electronic Media/Broadcasting, Guard, Amarillo, Texas, Amarillo

Hightower continued to lead the Lady Buffs offensively this past weekend as the junior became the 22nd player in West Texas A&M history to reach the 1,000-career point milestone. She reached the plateau in her 80th career game in Maroon & White and her 64th career start. The Amarillo High School product went 16-of-35 (45.7 percent) from the floor including 6-of-14 (42.9) from behind the arc and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line to average 20.5 points per contest in Lone Star Conference wins over Eastern New Mexico and Texas Woman's to wrap-up the opening half of league action. Hightower scored 27 points on Tuesday night in Portales to run her career total to 998 before surpassing the 1K mark on her first shot attempt of the game against TWU on Saturday in Canyon, connecting on a long ball from the top of the key.

DEFENSIVE

Alivia Lewis, Eastern New Mexico University, SO, Animal and Dairy Sciences, Forward, Albuquerque, N.M., Hope Christian HS

Lewis from the Eastern New Mexico women's basketball team had another strong week defensively for the Greyhounds. Lewis averaged 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the Hounds' split between No. 14 West Texas A&M and Texas Woman's. In ENMU's 72-61 loss to the Lady Buffs, Lewis recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and finished just a point shy of a double-double with nine points to go with two blocks. In the Greyhounds 79-78 overtime win over Texas Woman's, Lewis set a new career-best mark with six blocked shots, tying the ENMU school record for most blocks in a single game while also coming away with 14 points and eight board.

AROUND THE CONFERENCE:

Angelo State – Won vs Cameron 89-54; Won vs MSU Texas 73-62

Lubbock Christian – Won at St. Edward’s 66-57; Won at Oklahoma Christian 84-70

Midwestern State – Lost at Texas A&M-Kingsville 71-67; Lost at Angelo State 73-62

St. Edward’s – Lost vs Lubbock Christian 66-57; Won vs Newman 84-56

St. Mary’s – Won vs Rogers State 61-56; Won vs Arkansas-Fort Smith 65-48

Tarleton State – Won vs UT Permian Basin 62-53; Won vs Western New Mexico 66-52

Texas A&M-Commerce – Won vs Western New Mexico 73-60; Won vs UT Permian Basin 92-58

Texas A&M International – Lost vs Arkansas-Fort Smith 89-36; Lost vs Rogers State 65-50

Texas A&M-Kingsville – Won vs MSU Texas 71-67; Lost vs Cameron 80-74

Texas Woman’s – Lost at Eastern New Mexico 79-78 OT; Lost at West Texas A&M 80-63

UT Permian Basin – Lost at Tarleton State 62-53; Lost at Texas A&M-Commerce 92-58

West Texas A&M – Won at Eastern New Mexico 72-61; Won vs Texas Woman’s 80-63

GAMES TO WATCH:

Tarleton State at Angelo State Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

St. Edward’s at St. Mary’s Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

West Texas A&M at Cameron Saturday at 2 p.m.

Texas A&M-Commerce at Angelo State Saturday at 2 p.m.

St. Mary’s at Lubbock Christian Saturday at 1 p.m.

DIVISION III

IN THE RANKINGS:

Mary Hardin-Baylor continues to set program records this season as they climbed one spot to No. 6 in this week’s D3hoops.com Women’s Top 25. The Cru won two road games last week as they defeated Howard Payne 74-69 last Thursday and won 71-46 against Sul Ross State on Saturday. The Cru are currently 19-1 on the season and 11-0 in the American Southwest Conference.

East Texas Baptist remained steady at No. 15 this week after recording two road victories last week. The Tigers defeated UT Tyler 72-64 last Thursday and then defeated Ozarks 69-56 on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers have won five games in a row and are 17-2 overall and 9-2 in the ASC as they remain tied atop the East Division with UT Dallas.

UT Dallas moved up two spots this week to No. 21 as they extended their current win streak to six games with two road games last week. The Comets earned a dominating 74-36 win over Belhaven last Thursday before defeating Louisiana College 78-57 on Saturday. The Comets improved to 15-4 overall on the season and 9-2 in the ASC. The Comets are tied atop the East Division with East Texas Baptist.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

American Southwest Conference:

EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Victoria Pena, Jr., G, UT Dallas

UT Dallas junior guard Victoria Pena (Helotes, Texas) averaged 24.0 points per game while shooting 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from three-point range as the No. 23 Comets picked up two divisional road victories. In Saturday’s 78-57 win at Louisiana College, Pena was 9-for-16 from beyond the arc for a career-high 35 points. She was 11-for-24 overall and a set a program record for three-point attempts and had six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Earlier in the week, Pena had 13 points and five assists in just 22 minutes in a 74-36 victory at Belhaven. This is her fifth career Player of the Week award.

WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Keilee Burke, Fr., F, Hardin-Simmons

Hardin-Simmons freshman forward Keilee Burke (Belton, Texas) scored a season-best 17 points, hauled in 13 rebounds, blocked four shots and had three steals as the Cowgirls won their fourth straight game, a 72-64 victory over McMurry on Saturday. Burke shot 8-of-13 from the floor in the game.

Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:

TARA MOLINA OF TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, a sophomore guard from San Antonio, Texas, has been named the SCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played from Monday, January 21 through Sunday, January 27.

Molina posted a triple-double on Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to victory over Trinity with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The sophomore’s performance on Saturday marks the 21st time that a SCAC women’s basketball player has recorded a triple-double since the league started tracking the stat in 2001-02 and the first time since 2015 that a player has accomplished the feat.

AROUND THE CONFERENCE:

Austin College – Won vs Centenary 70-61; Won vs Schreiner 75-53

Concordia Texas – Lost at Sul Ross State 61-60; Lost at Howard Payne 61-35

Dallas – Lost vs Colorado College 75-57; Lost vs JWU (Denver) 62-56

East Texas Baptist – Won at UT Tyler 72-64; Won at Ozarks 69-56

Hardin-Simmons – Won vs McMurry 72-64

Howard Payne – Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 74-69; Won vs Concordia Texas 61-35

LeTourneau – Lost at Ozarks 56-37; Lost at UT Tyler 61-44

Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won at Howard Payne 74-69; Won at Sul Ross State 71-46

McMurry – Lost at Hardin-Simmons 72-64

Schreiner – Lost at Austin College 75-53; Lost at Centenary 56-50

Southwestern (Tex.) – Lost vs Trinity 80-53;

Sul Ross State – Won vs Concordia Texas 61-60; Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 71-46

Texas Lutheran – Won vs Trinity 70-66

Trinity (Tex.) – Won at Southwestern 80-53; Lost at Texas Lutheran 70-66

UT Dallas – Won at Belhaven 74-36; Won at Louisiana College 78-57

UT Tyler – Lost at Ozarks 75-72; Lost vs East Texas Baptist 72-64; Won vs LeTourneau 61-44

GAMES TO WATCH:

Ozarks at East Texas Baptist Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Austin College at Trinity Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Mary Hardin-Baylor at Hardin-Simmons Saturday at 1 p.m.

Howard Payne at Sul Ross State Saturday at 1 p.m.

Texas Lutheran at Colorado College Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

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