Texas A&M University-Commerce puts its undefeated record on the line this Wednesday when the Lions host Dallas Baptist University at 7 p.m. at the Field House. The game against the Patriots marks the Lions' fourth Heartland Conference opponent on the season, posting a 3-0 mark already in 2013-14.
Lions on the Web
Fans unable to make it to the Field House for Wednesday's showdown with the Patriots can still catch every Lion play. A live video stream will be available at LionAthletics.com with a subscription required. 88.9 KETR will carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood on the call, and you can also hear the game streamed online at KETR.org. Live stats are available at LionAthletics.com, while Twitter followers can get in-game updates through the A&M-Commerce Men's Basketball Twitter account @Lion_MBB.
Scouting the Patriots
2013-14: 1-2 overall, 0-0 Heartland Conference
Last Three Games: L at East Central (76-67), W vs. Dallas Christian (93-74), L vs. East Texas Baptist (78-77)
Head Coach: Blake Flickner (Kansas, 1998). Eighth season at Dallas Baptist (125-97, .563)
Key Patriot Players:
• #24 Jonathan Perry (R-So., F): 20.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 40.5 FG%, 22.2 3FG%, 89.3 FT%, 4 ast., 3 blk., 4 stl.
• #23 Charles Allen (So., F): 13.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 48.5 FG%, 35.0 3FG%, 50.0 FT%, 5 ast., 6 stl.
• #00 Myles Johnson (R-Fr., F): 13.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 51.7 FG%, 47.1 3FG%, 100.0 FT%, 2 blk., 2 stl.
• #10 Wesley Gipson (Jr., G): 8.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 60.0 FG%, 70.0 FT%, 5 ast., 3 stl.
• #31 Remy Ndiaye (Sr., F): 7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 37.5 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 57.1 FT%, 2 blk., 2 stl.
Synopsis: Dallas Baptist enters Wednesday's game with a 1-2 record on the season, coming off a 76-67 loss at East Central Saturday, Nov. 16. The Patriots opened up the year with a nail-biting 78-77 defeat at home against East Texas Baptist before a convincing 93-74 win over Dallas Christian. Dallas Baptist is averaging 79.0 points per game, shooting 45.1% from the floor and 30.7% from three-point range.
A&M-Commerce and Dallas Baptist get together for the 20th time Wednesday evening. The Lions have posted a 12-7 overall record (.632) all-time against the Patriots. A&M-Commerce swept the season series against Dallas Baptist in 2012-13, rallying for a 91-87 overtime victory at the Field House before routing the Patriots 92-62 at the Berg Center as head coach Sam Walker notched his 200th career victory. Coach Walker is 2-1 all-time against Dallas Baptist as the series resumed following a 25-year hiatus in 2011-12, including a 1-0 mark against the Patriots at the Field House.
Second Half Surge Leads Lions Past Deacons, 101-89
Trailing by six early in the second half, A&M-Commerce put together an extended 33-8 run that spanned eight minutes, including a 17-0 outburst, as the Lions notched a 101-89 victory over Bloomfield (N.J.) College in the opening game of the 2013 Tarleton Texan Tip-Off Classic in Stephenville. Five Lions scored in double figures on the afternoon, led by a career-best 20 from Kameron Price, who went eight-for-12 from the floor and four-of-four from the free throw line. Kenny Brown also notched a career-best with 15 points and eight rebounds, including a perfect seven-of-seven from the floor, while Christian Macauley added 14 points and eight rebounds. A&M-Commerce shot a blistering 59.0 percent from the floor in the second half, finishing the game by shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
A&M-Commerce Outlasts St. Edward's, 96-87
A&M-Commerce's early season momentum continued to roll in Stephenville as the Lions improved to 5-0 with a 96-87 victory over St. Edward's at the 2013 Tarleton Texan Tip-Off Classic. As they did the previous afternoon, the Lions used a second half scoring surge to pull away from the Hilltoppers, fueled on by 25 points from LaDon Carnegie and 24 from Devondrick Walker, both of which tied their career-bests. Carnegie finished the game hitting five of his nine shots, including three out of of four three-pointers, while going 12-of-14 from the free throw line to help preserve the victory. Walker was just as impressive for A&M-Commerce, hitting seven of his 10 shots while going perfect from both the three-point arc (2-of-2) and the free throw line (8-of-8) and was named to the Tarleton Texan Tip-Off All-Tournament team. Tyrie Wooten and Christian Macauley each finished with 12 points on the afternoon, including eight rebounds for Macauley, with De'Andre Carson adding 10 points in the victory for A&M-Commerce.
One of the keys to a successful season is a strong start, and the Lions are off to one of their best under head coach Sam Walker. With the 5-0 mark through the first five games of the season, it marks just the second time the Lions have won the first five games of the season, matching A&M-Commerce's 5-0 start in 2011-12. Under Walker, A&M-Commerce has a history of fast starts, posting a 4-1 record through the first five games on five other occasions, the last of which came in 2009-10 when A&M-Commerce opened up the season with a 9-1 record.
Carnegie Coming on Strong
Transfer LaDon Carnegie has been one of the biggest surprises for A&M-Commerce early in the 2013-14 season as the junior has already put up some impressive numbers. Carnegie is leading the Lions in scoring, averaging 18.0 points per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native has notched three 20-point games through the first five games of the season, scoring 25 points against both Oklahoma Panhandle State and St. Edward's, while recording his first double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the home opener against Southern Arkansas. Carnegie has been efficient from all over the court, hitting 56.3 percent of his three-point attempts (9-of-16) and is shooting 83.8 percent from the free throw line (31-of-37).
Macauley In The Middle
A key contributor early in 2013-14 for head coach Sam Walker has been junior transfer Christian Macauley, who has been an intimidating presence in the middle for the Lions. The 6' 9" center is averaging 8.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as Macauley pulled down eight rebounds in each of the Lions' three victories last weekend. He recorded a career-best 14 points against Bloomfield College, then notched 12 the following afternoon against St. Edward's. Macauley's best rebounding game came in the season opener when he had 13 rebounds to go along with eight points against UT-Permian Basin. He leads the Lions with nine blocked shots on the season, including three against Southern Arkansas.
Walker Against the Heartland Conference
Walker has fared very well against Heartland Conference opponents as the Lions' head man has compiled a 21-6 (.778) record against current conference members. Since the Heartland became a member of the South Central Region, A&M-Commerce has scheduled a handful of opponents each year. The Lions remain undefeated against four institutions. A&M-Commerce is 3-0 on the year against Heartland schools and will see their fourth Wednesday evening when it takes on Dallas Baptist.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Leaders
Through the first two weeks of the 2013-14 season, A&M-Commerce has already established itself among the Lone Star Conference leaders in a handful of categories. The Lions rank second in the LSC in scoring offense (93.2 ppg) and rebounding average (43.8 rpg) and third in field goal percentage (.473), free throw percentage (.761) and assists (17.4 apg). Individually, LaDon Carnegie ranks among the LSC leaders in five different categories, sitting sixth in scoring average (18.0) and field goal percentage (.500) while Christian Macauley is third in both rebounding (8.4) and blocks (1.8).
A&M-Commerce will take an extended nine-day break for the Thanksgiving holiday before heading to Arkansas for a pair of games against Great American Conference opponents. The Lions will travel to Magnolia, Ark., for a rematch with Southern Arkansas on Friday, Nov. 29, before making the trip north to Arkadelphia to face Henderson State on Saturday, Nov. 30.