For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Texas A&M-Commerce Women’s Basketball team is in the NCAA Division II tournament. First, a brief history of Women’s Basketball at Texas A&M-Commerce, and then a preview of what they face in a second seeded Colorado-Mesa team on Friday.
Since the program started in 1971, the Women have only had one conference title and now have 2 national tournament appearances. The 2006-07 team went to the NCAA Elite 8 and won the Lone Star Conference Regular Season Championship and tournament. Only two coaches have had winning overall records, Denny Downing, and current Head Coach Jason Burton. Burton also has the highest winning percentage overall (.602) and in conference play (.620), and it really is not even close. Burton has also been the only Coach to have never had a losing record in his tenure. Not a lot of noteworthy History as noted, but aside from Burton’s tenure, the Lions have had some success in the mid-2000’s under Downing and that has really been about it. Things do look good and promising under the current leadership as evidenced by the past 5 years, in particular, the past 3 seasons. Now, onto the preview of the game.
The Lions face a very good Colorado-Mesa team. The Mavericks are 26-3 overall and 20-2 in the RMAC conference and won the RMCA tournament. Now for point of reference, the Lions and Mavs both have some mutual opponents. The first, Western New Mexico, was beaten by Mesa 73-48, white the Lions defeated the Mustangs by 12 and 13 points both times. Both also defeated a ranked Metro State team by 5 points, while the Mavs defeated CSU-Pueblo by 9 points while the Lions lost to the Thunderwolves by 7 in overtime. The Lions have also give top seeded West Texas A&M good games before the Lady Buffs have pulled away all 3 times.
Mesa averages 64 points per game on offense while holding their opponents to 50 points per game. The one thing I am happy to see is that Mesa is not a good 3 point shooting team at a .319 percentage, as 3 point shooters have done well against the Lions. They shoot 41 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line. For comparison, the Lions average 74.5 points per game, while allowing 64.1 a game. The Lions shoot 40 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3 point range, and 69 percent from the free throw line.
Friday, March 15, 7 PM Central Time
Brownson Arena, Grand Junction, Colorado.