Texas A&M University-Commerce continues its four-game road swing, traveling into the Metroplex for a meeting with Northwood on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Christian Academy in Cedar Hill. The Lions will try to improve to 9-0 on the year, which would move the 2013-14 squad into sole possession of the second-longest winning streak to start a season.
Lions on the Web
Lion fans unable to make it to Northwood for the game Tuesday night will have to rely on in-game Twitter updates to receive updates on the game @Lion_MBB. No live stats or live video will be available and KETR 88.9 FM will be carrying the women's basketball game from Abilene Christian, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Scouting the Knights
2013-14: 1-3 overall, 0-0 Sooner Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Last Three Games: L at Our Lady of the Lake (95-91), L vs. St. Thomas-Houston (85-76), L vs. York (Neb.) (104-103)
Head Coach: Ray Wilkerson. Second season at Northwood (5-25, .167)
Key Knight Players:
· #3 B.J. Dale (Sr., G): 21.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 45.7 FG%, 40.0 3FG%, 69.2 FT%, 11 ast., 1 blk., 4 stl.
· #5 Everett Pleasant (So., F): 21.5 ppg, 13.8 rpg, 46.4 FG%, 35.7 3FG%, 56.7 FT%, 6 ast., 8 blk., 4 stl.
· #24 Jerrick Massenburge (So., F): 14.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 51.5 FG%, 40.0 3FG%, 80.0 FT%, 1 ast., 6 blk., 4 stl.
· #2 Chase Franklin (Fr., G): 8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 47.4 FG%, 28.6 3FG%, 50.0 FT%, 6 ast., 1 blk., 6 stl.
· #23 Jordan Johnson (So., G): 7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 52.2 FG%, 35.0 FT%, 12 ast., 9 stl.
Synopsis: Northwood is in its second season of basketball, starting the program in the 2012-13 season. The Knights are 1-3 on the year but have been an explosive offensive team, averaging 93.3 points per game with a pair of 100+ point games. Northwood has shot 44.1 percent from the floor on the season, including 31.7 percent from three-point range, while shooting 62.8 percent as a team from the free throw line.
Tuesday marks the first-ever meeting between A&M-Commerce and Northwood and is the first half of a home-and-home series as the Lions and Knights will meet again in less than a week, squaring off on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Field House.
The Week That Was
A&M-Commerce kept its undefeated record intact with a pair of victories in Arkansas over the weekend, but did so in completely different styles. Friday against Southern Arkansas, the Lions raced out to a 17-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game, then never saw the lead dip below 12 in a 96-78 rout of the Muleriders. The following night, A&M-Commerce found itself trailing by as many as nine in the opening half and by six in the waning minutes, but the Lions hit the key shots when it mattered and rallied past the Reddies 75-74 as A&M-Commerce has now won 18 of its last 19 games against Natural State opponents.
A Start For the Record Book
With the 8-0 start on the season, A&M-Commerce has found itself among some elite company. It is now tied for the second-best winning streak to start a season, pulling even with the 1953-54 team that advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals. The Lions need two more wins to match the program's best-ever season-opening winning streak as the 1947-48 squad opened up the year 10-0 en route to qualifying for the NAIB district playoffs.
Macauley Tabbed LSC Defensive Player of the Week
Junior center Christian Macauley was named the Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday following a pair of impressive performances in Arkansas over the weekend. Macauley recorded his second career double-double in A&M-Commerce's 96-78 victory over Southern Arkansas, notching 11 points and 10 rebounds, then notched a career-best six blocks against Henderson State (one shy of the program's single-game record), helping the Lions to the 75-74 victory over the Reddies. It is the first LSC Player of the Week for the men's basketball program in 2013-14 and the 25th overall for A&M-Commerce since the start of the 2013-14 athletic season.
Lights Out Walker
Senior forward Devondrick Walker had arguably one of the best weekends of his A&M-Commerce career, providing a key role in the two Lion victories in Arkansas. Walker closed out the weekend shooting 9-of-12 from the floor (75.0%), including going perfect from both three-point range (7-of-7) and the free throw line (2-of-2). After notching eight points against the Muleriders, Walker recorded a team-high 19 points against the Reddies, hitting the game-tying three pointer with 23 seconds remaining in regulation.
Balanced Scoring Keys Lion Surge
One of the hallmarks of the 2013-14 A&M-Commerce season has been the balanced scoring for head coach Sam Walker's Lions. Through the first eight games of the year, four different Lions have been the team's high scorer, with junior LaDon Carnegie topping the list four times. Carnegie leads A&M-Commerce by averaging 16.1 points per game, just ahead of Devondrick Walker's 12.0 points per game. Tyrie Wooten ranks third at 11.5 ppg with Kameron Price averaging 10.3 points for A&M-Commerce. De'Andre Carson just missed cracking the list as the freshman is averaging 9.9 points per game through the first eight games of his A&M-Commerce career.
A&M-Commerce remains in the Metroplex to close out its four-game road swing, completing the back end of the home-and-home series with Dallas Baptist Friday at 7 p.m. at the Burg Center. The Lions then return home to kick off an extended four-game homestand spanning nearly a month, beginning with another meeting with Northwood on Monday, Dec. 9.