FRISCO – Friday was the women’s turn to showcase their talent at the Comerica Center during the Lone Star Conference quarterfinals. This year, the women’s bracket is wide open, with the top seven teams in the conference finishing within two games of each other in the regular season standings.
Here is a recap of Friday’s quarterfinals with the advancing teams playing in the semifinals beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Texas A&M-Commerce 80, Cameron 65
Texas A&M-Commerce had a huge third quarter to race past Cameron 80-65. However, the celebration was dampened by an injury late to the LSC Player of the Year, Dyani Robinson.
Texas A&M-Commerce used a balanced attack against the Aggies, with six players scoring in double figures, led by Robinson with 16 points. Desiray Kernal (12 points, 16 rebounds) and Juliana Louis (12 points, 14 rebounds) recorded a double-double for the Lions.
"We didn't have a player play over 30 minutes today," Texas A&M-Commerce coach Jason Burton said. "That's what's so special about this team is our depth. On a weekend like this, you need to have legs on Sunday. We have a lot of players that can play, and we're confident in the rotation we have."
“They outrebounded us by about 20 and got to the free throw line for about 20 more (shots),” Cameron coach Emma Andrews said. “I think those are two big stats in a championship tournament are a big deal. We’re a little undersized, and that showed today.”
Robinson departed with an apparent leg injury, with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter. Burton was hesitant to address the injury to Robinson but said he expects her to be ready to play in the semifinals in just over 24 hours.
The Lions advance to the semifinals against UT Tyler at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Maighan Hedge led the Aggies with 20 points, while Katie King added 18 points and Kassie Boorer contributed 12 points.
“When we got in the locker room after the game, we talked about our seniors and what this team has accomplished this year,” Andrews said. “Today’s end of the game situation was harder for us. You have those teams you love, and this is one of those for me, and I’m sad to see this season end.”
UT Tyler 59, Texas Woman’s 46
UT Tyler has turned up its defense during the LSC tournament, and that defense was vital in the Patriots' 59-46 upset win over No. 2 seeded Texas Woman’s on Friday.
The No. 7 seeded Patriots advance to the semifinals and will meet Texas A&M-Commerce at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
UT Tyler used its zone defense to hold Midwestern State to 38 points and 20 percent shooting in the first round on Tuesday. On Friday, the defense was equally impressive, allowing the Pioneers to shoot 25 percent from the field on 14-of-56 shooting.
“They beat us twice during the regular season, and they have a very good team,” UT Tyler coach Rebecca Alvidrez said. “Our defense has been great all year. Before the tournament, we talked about being at a crossroads, and they’re showing they’re committed to this team and this season.”
“It felt like there was a lid on the basket, and that’s a credit to UT Tyler and their defense,” TWU coach Beth Jillson said. “We did a poor job against the zone. We have to be able to open up the floor, but ultimately, you have to be able to knock down shots.”
Destini Whitehead scored 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Patriots, with Lovisa Hevinder adding 15 points and Montse Gutierrez contributing 10 points.
“We had lost to this team twice, and we talked about how we deserve to win this game and deserve to be here,” Whitehead said. “We played a full 40 minutes tonight, and we all came together for the entire game.”
Sadie Moyer scored 15 points to lead a Pioneers team, who will find out their NCAA tournament fate during the selection show on Sunday night.
“We have a young team with a lot of freshmen, and this environment is new for some of our older players because of CoVID,” Jillson said. “This is a big-time stage, and it’s going to pay off dividends for us moving forward, but we are disappointed because we wanted to win the tournament.”
West Texas A&M 75, Texas A&M International 56
West Texas A&M and Texas A&M International each have many good players. However, the Lady Buffs possess one trait the Dustdevils can’t match yet: experience inside the Comerica Center.
The experience of WT was apparent from the opening tip in a 75-56 win. The Lady Buffs advance to play Lubbock Christian at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“Our girls have been playing well, and they’ve been focused, and they wanted to come out today and make a statement,” WT coach Josh Prock said. “The experience helps, and it helps when you have kids that have been here and understand how to play here.”
“There are little things when you’ve never been a place like I didn’t know what door to use to come in tonight,” TAMIU coach Nate Vogel said. “We are young, but we’re sick of using that as an excuse. (WT) having been here has helped them, and hopefully, it helps us down the road.”
Junior Zamorye Roberts led the Lady Buffs with 28 points while hitting 7-of-13 shots from 3-point range. Junior Lauren Taylor scored 14 points, and senior Alivia Lewis added 11 points for WT.
“Karley (Motschenbacher) and I have been sharing the point guard role, and that has opened me up to find more looks and still distribute the ball,” Roberts said. “It’s about whatever the team needs, but they left me open, and I was feeling confident and having fun.”
Freshman Evelyn Quiroz led TAMIU with 17 points, while sophomore Rai Brown added 10 points and six rebounds for the Dustdevils.
“I’m proud of our group. We had some ups and downs this year with injuries and stuff,” Vogel said. “We’ve shown a lot of fight. I’m thankful to be this team’s coach.”
Lubbock Christian 60, Angelo State 51
The number 13 is associated with becoming a teenager and a series of popular nightmare movies. But, for Lubbock Christian, the 13 consecutive victories in conference tournament play are only another number in a long line of impressive accomplishments.
On Friday, the key for LCU was a suffocating defense in the first half leading to a 60-51 victory over Angelo State.
The Lady Chaps advance to the semifinals and will play West Texas A&M at 6 p.m. Saturday.
LCU held the Rambelles to 17 points on 8-of-23 shooting in the opening half. The Lady Chaps held a six-point lead at the half after having their struggles on offense.
“Tonight’s game was a fight,” LCU coach Steve Gomez said. “It was a tough game, and it wasn’t a clean game, but you want to play so well that if you lose, it was because the other team was better.”
“It was a battle, and (LCU) goes into these games expecting to win them,” ASU coach Alesha Ellis said. “I’m proud of our players today. They showed a lot of heart and grit tonight. I know we’re growing as a team, and I’m proud of their effort today.”
Juliana Robertson recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Laynee Burr added 17 points for LCU.
“I’m focusing on taking the shots that I need to take for the team,” Robertson said. “I have to focus on scoring because that’s not my strong suit. But the coaching staff has been adamant about showing me what I can do to help the team.”
Tayjanna McGhee-Pleasant registered a double-double for ASU with 19 points and 13 rebounds, with Payton Brown adding 14 points for a team that will await to see if they are selected to the NCAA tournament Sunday night.
“The beginning of the was tough and a learning experience for all of us,” Ellis said on her team’s 0-8 start to the season. “We mixed a lot of players from returners to freshmen, to some (transfers) we brought in, and it took time for it to mesh. But they had every reason to give up, and they didn’t, and that’s why we were able to turn the season around.”