IN THE RANKINGS:
West Texas A&M dropped one spot to No. 18 this week’s WBCA DII Top 25 Coaches’ Poll despite two impressive wins on the road last week. The Lady Buffs defeated Tarleton State 76-62 last Thursday night and won 71-60 over Texas A&M-Commerce last Saturday. The Lady Buffs continue their stretch of four games in seven days as they host Eastern New Mexico on Tuesday night before traveling to face Texas Woman's on Thursday night. West Texas A&M is currently 23-3 overall and 15-3 in the Lone Star Conference.
Angelo State advanced one spot to No. 22 this week after winning two games last week. The Belles was dominating as they defeated Western New Mexico 88-51 on Thursday night and won 95-52 over UT Permian Basin on Saturday afternoon. The Belles finish their regular season schedule this week on the road when they play MSU Texas on Thursday night and Cameron on Saturday afternoon. Angelo State is 20-4 overall this season and 15-3 in the LSC.
Lubbock Christian fell five spots to No. 25 after having their 14-game winning streak snapped last week. The Lady Chaps lost a controversial 69-67 decision at Newman last Thursday when a charging call against the Jets was overturned to a block call after review. The Lady Chaps rebounded with a dominating 93-44 win over Oklahoma Christian on Saturday afternoon. Lubbock Christian will play the final game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon when they host St. Edward's. Lubbock Christian is 22-5 overall and 12-1 in the Heartland Conference.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Bria DeGrate, Newman, Guard, Sr., Grand Prairie, Texas
Newman senior Bria DeGrate helped the Jets overcome a 10-point deficit in the final 3:09 in a come from behind upset win over No. 20 Lubbock Christian. DeGrate led the Jets with 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field with a brilliant outside shooting performance knocking down 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. She also added in five rebounds, four assists and four steals in the upset win. For the season, DeGrate is averaging 13.9 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game both of which rank in the Top 15 in the Heartland Conference. This is DeGrate’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 HS
Hightower continued to lead the Lady Buffs offensively this past weekend as they picked up Lone Star Conference road victories at Tarleton and Texas A&M-Commerce to move to 23-3 overall while sitting tied atop of the league standings with one week remaining in the regular season. The Amarillo High product went 15-of-25 (60%) from the floor including 6-of-9 (66.7%) from behind the arc to average 18.5 points per contest while grabbing 10 rebounds (one offensive, nine defensive) to go along with three assists, one block and a pair of steals. Hightower scored 25 points in Stephenville on Thursday night followed by a 12-point performance on Saturday in Commerce as the junior has scored at least 10 points in five straight contests.
Abby Spurgin, West Texas A&M University, SO, Education (K-6), Center, Fredericksburg, Texas, Fredericksburg HS
Spurgin dominated in the paint for the Lady Buffs this past weekend as the sophomore led WT to Lone Star Conference road wins at Tarleton and Texas A&M-Commerce to move to 23-3 overall. The Fredericksburg native went 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) from the floor and 5-of-8 (62.5) from the charity stripe with 13 rebounds (seven offensive, six defensive), one assists, six blocks and two steals in the pair of wins as WT held a pair of high-scoring offenses to 61 points per contest and a .402 shooting percentage. Spurgin had her second double-double of the season on Thursday night in Stephenville followed by a 21-point performance in Commerce on Saturday with 19 coming in the first half.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Angelo State – Won vs Western New Mexico 88-51; Won vs UT Permian Basin 95-52
Lubbock Christian – Lost at Newman 69-67; Won vs Oklahoma Christian 93-44
MSU Texas – Won vs Cameron 79-70; Won vs Texas Woman’s 72-62
St. Edward’s – Did not play last week.
St. Mary’s – Lost at Rogers State 72-66; Lost at Arkansas-Fort Smith 63-48
Tarleton State – Lost vs West Texas A&M 76-62; Won vs Eastern New Mexico 80-75
Texas A&M-Commerce – Won vs Eastern New Mexico 62-55; Lost vs West Texas A&M 71-60
Texas A&M International – Lost at Arkansas-Fort Smith 68-41; Lost at Rogers State 71-44
Texas A&M-Kingsville – Won vs UT Permian Basin 73-65; Lost vs Western New Mexico 62-59
Texas Woman’s – Won at Cameron 71-67; Lost at MSU Texas 72-62
UT Permian Basin – Lost at Texas A&M-Kingsville 73-65; Lost at Angelo State 95-52
West Texas A&M – Won at Tarleton State 76-62; Won at Texas A&M-Commerce 71-60
GAMES TO WATCH:
West Texas A&M at Texas Woman’s Thursday at 7 p.m.
Tarleton State at Western New Mexico Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
St. Edward’s at Lubbock Christian Saturday at noon.
Eastern New Mexico at Texas Woman’s Saturday at 2 p.m.
Texas A&M-Kingsville at MSU Texas Saturday at 2 p.m.
UT Dallas, Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Texas Lutheran Earn D3 Tournament:
UT Dallas won the American Southwest Conference by defeating Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas on Saturday night and was rewarded as the host of the first and second round games of the NCAA D3 women's national tournament beginning Friday, March 1.
No. 18 UT Dallas (24-4, 14-2) will play Texas Lutheran in the first round. The Comets have won 15 straight games and enter the tournament will full confidence after defeating the No. 9 Cru for the ASC title.
Texas Lutheran (19-9, 12-4) earned the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference automatic bid with a 68-62 upset win over three-time SCAC defending champion Trinity.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (25-3, 15-1) has had a tremendous season and earned on of 20 at-large bids to the tournament this year after being left out of the tournament last season. The Cru will play Rhodes (17-11, 7-7) in the first round as the Lynx won the Southern Athletic Association championship and earned the automatic bid.
The noticeable Lone Star State exclusions this year are East Texas Baptist, Trinity, and Austin College.
No. 16 East Texas Baptist (23-4, 14-3) advanced to the Elite 8 last year after winning the ASC tournament title but was left out this year after losing 64-62 to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the ASC semifinals.
Trinity (22-5, 14-2) was left out of the tournament despite winning the SCAC regular season title. The Tigers lost 68-62 in the SCAC championship game on Sunday in a game played at Texas Lutheran.
Austin College (20-6, 13-3) got off to a hot start this season but lost their final two games to miss out on the tournament this season. The 'Roos were knocked out of the SCAC semifinals 72-68 by eventual champion Texas Lutheran.
IN THE RANKINGS:
Mary Hardin-Baylor fell three spots to No. 12 in this week’s D3hoops.com Women’s Top 25 Coaches’ Poll after falling in the American Southwest Conference championship game 63-58 to UT Dallas last Saturday night. The Cru opened the ASC tournament by defeating Louisiana College 76-54 and won a close 64-62 battle over East Texas Baptist in the semifinals. UMHB received an at-large bid to the NCAA D3 national tournament and will play Rhodes in the first round on Friday, March 1. The Cru enter the tournament 25-3 overall this season.
UT Dallas advanced two spots this week to No. 16 after winning the ASC conference tournament. The Comets also earned the automatic bid to the NCAA D3 tournament and will host the first and second round beginning Friday, March 1. The Comets opened the conference tournament with an 80-64 win over McMurry in the quarterfinals and then won 75-64 over Hardin-Simmons in the semifinals. UT Dallas defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor 63-58 to earn the championship. UT Dallas enters the tournament 24-4 overall this season and will play the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference winner Texas Lutheran at 5 p.m. Friday.
East Texas Baptist fell four spots to No. 20 this week after falling in the conference semifinals to Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 45-43 win over Howard Payne in the quarterfinals before falling 64-62 on a last second shot by the Cru. The Tigers were left out of the conference tournament despite their national ranking and finish the season with a solid 23-4 record.
ALL CONFERENCE TEAMS:
American Southwest Conference:
Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Victoria Pena 2 Jr. G UT Dallas Helotes, Texas
Kendrick Clark Jr. G East Texas Baptist Georgetown, Texas
Hannah Holt 2 Jr. G Mary Hardin-Baylor Lumberton, Texas
Alicia Blackwell Jr. G Mary Hardin-Baylor McKinney, Texas
Raenett Hughes So. G UT Dallas College Station, Texas
2 Two-Time All-Conference
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:
2018-19 ALL-SCAC FIRST TEAM
Bryce Frank, Austin College, 6-2, Sr., Forward, Granbury, Texas
Abby Holland, Trinity, 6-0, Jr., Forward, Georgetown, Texas
McKenzee Gertz, Colorado College, 5-11, So., Guard/Forward Fort Collins, Colo.
Cecily Woolfolk, Southwestern, 6-0, Jr., Center, Crowley, Texas
Tara Molina, Texas Lutheran, 5-2, So., Guard, San Antonio, Texas
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Austin College – Lost vs Texas Lutheran 72-68
Concordia Texas – Did not play last week.
Dallas – Did not play last week.
East Texas Baptist – Won vs Howard Payne 45-43; Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 64-62
Hardin-Simmons – Won vs Ozarks 67-49; Lost vs UT Dallas 75-64
Howard Payne – Lost vs East Texas Baptist 45-43
LeTourneau – Did not play last week.
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won vs Louisiana College 76-54; Won vs East Texas Baptist 64-62; Lost vs UT Dallas 63-58
McMurry – Lost vs UT Dallas 80-64
Schreiner – Lost vs Texas Lutheran 66-41
Southwestern (Tex.) – Lost vs Colorado College 62-50
Sul Ross State – Did not play last week.
Texas Lutheran – Won vs Schreiner 66-41; Won vs Austin College 72-68; Won vs Trinity 68-62
Trinity (Tex.) – Won vs Colorado College 65-61; Lost vs Texas Lutheran 68-62
UT Dallas – Won vs McMurry 80-64; Won vs Hardin-Simmons 75-64; Won vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 63-58
UT Tyler – Did not play last week.
GAMES TO WATCH:
Texas Lutheran at UT Dallas Friday at 7 p.m.
Mary Hardin-Baylor vs Rhodes Friday at 5 p.m.
Cory Hogue is Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball small college correspondent follow him on Twitter at @LSSportsDaily and be sure to visit his website (linked below) for more coverage of Division II and Division III collegiate athletics.