Preview: Tiger Basketball vs. UMHB/CTXby Adam Ledyard
MARSHALL, Texas (1/3/12) – Looking to improve on their three-game winning streak in Ornelas Gym this week, East Texas Baptist University hosts their last two American Southwest Conference crossover games on Thursday and Saturday. ETBU has won six of their last eight games and has an 8-3 record and is 3-2 in the ASC as they will face the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Thursday and Concordia University-Texas on Saturday.
"We have played two of the best games of our season with a big win over Wisconsin-Stout and we want to take this momentum back into conference play,” says head coach Dustin Howard. "It’s important to protect our home floor in ASC play. Every game is a playoff game from here on out.”
Five games above .500 after a 2-0 record over Christmas break, ETBU will be trying to improve upon their American Southwest Conference record of 3-2. With three straight wins, ETBU’s road only gets harder with the last two ASC crossover games vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor and Concordia-Texas before heading into ASC East play. What has helped the last three games is the defensive pressure by ETBU. ETBU has forced 74 turnovers the past three games with a season high of 30 by Rust College that has turned into 76 points for the Tigers. In Alpine, Sul Ross State gave the ball back to ETBU 20 times and then in the win over Wisconsin-Stout the Blue Devils lost the ball 24 times. ETBU is forcing 20 turnovers a game with 11 steals and scoring 64 points overall. They have improved their shooting to 38% from the floor but are only making 26% of their three-pointers and 54% of the free throws.
Mary Slaughter continues to lead the team offensively with 13 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. She has posted four double-doubles and been named the ASC East Player of the Week and been a member of the D3Hoops.com National Team of the Week. April Leonard follows at 10.2 points per game. ETBU has also had different players step up in different games to lead them to victory. Jaimie Kadlecek, who averages 8.4 points per game, collected a career-high 19 points vs. Wisconsin-Stout and Amanda Rucker netted 22 points and 11 rebounds in Alpine in the ASC win on her way to being named the ASC East Player of the Week.
Thursday will be a homecoming in a sense for Mary Hardin-Baylor head coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor as she comes back to the court where she started her collegiate head coaching career. Taylor was the head coach for ETBU from 2003 through 2007 and posted a 57-48 mark along with an ASC East Championship. The series is locked a seven wins apiece since the NCAA Division III era started for both programs. Each team has also won three games in Marshall while ETBU is 4-3 in Belton taking a win last year to break a five-game losing streak in the series, 66-64.
Mary Hardin-Baylor is currently 2-8 and 1-4 in the American Southwest Conference as they have wins over Southwestern University and the University of the Ozarks. This will be their first game since a loss on December 19th to Wartburg, 67-62, as they dropped six of their last seven games. Averaging 64.5 points per game, they are giving up 78 points per game and turning the ball over 27 times. They steal 10 balls per game while shooting 34% from the floor and 59% from the stripe. Taylor Tucker is the go-to player for the Crusaders as she averages 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 10 starts shooting 45% from the floor.
The team that was picked to win the American Southwest Conference West division comes to Ornelas Gym on Saturday in Concordia-Texas. They bring a 5-6 record to Marshall and are 2-3 in the American Southwest Conference with wins over LeTourneau and the University of the Ozarks. The odds are in favor of Concordia as they have a 7-4 lead in the series and have won the last five meetings. ETBU last defeated Concordia in 2006, 76-57, in Marshall.
Concordia is averaging 68.6 points per game and holding teams to just 66 points and 38% shooting from the floor. They force 24 turnovers a game but turn the ball back over 26 times. Out rebounding their opponents by 4.5 rebounds per game, they average 41.6 rebounds per game. No player on the team is averaging double figures as Brianna Smith leads the team with 8.5 points per game. Domonique Liddell is the leading rebounder at 6.8 rebounds and averages 8.3 points per game. Concordia is coming off a 71-58 win over Rust College ending their five-game skid.
The games can be heard on the ETBUSportsnet at www.etbusports.com along with
PREVIEW: Men's Basketball vs. UMHB/CTX
MARSHALL, Texas (1/3/12) – Pushing for a record above .500, East Texas Baptist University hosts two American Southwest Conference West teams in Ornelas Gym this week. ETBU enters with a 5-6 record and will play host to ASC West pre-season favorite the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Concordia University-Texas on Thursday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (3:00 p.m.).
"We are excited about the improvement our team is showing,” says head coach Bert West. "We got off to a slow start in conference play and now must dig ourselves out of a hole. We have an opportunity to make up ground on most of our ASC East opponents, if we can have success against the best teams in the West this week. UMHB and Concordia are both excellent teams that have great coaches and are used to winning. We are excited about the challenge.”
On a two-game winning streak, ETBU will have to continue improvement on both sides of the ball for 40 minutes. They have put together two strong wins over Sul Ross State, 77-60, in Alpine, Texas, and then had a 17-point lead that led to a four-point win over Centenary College, 68-64. Different players have stepped up their play in both games as Junior Mitchell had 12 points vs. Sul Ross State and Erby Thompson produced 13 points against Centenary. Both players scored in double figures in both games guiding ETBU to the wins. ETBU has forced 41 turnovers in the two wins scoring 42 points and had lead at halftime both times.
ETBU is averaging 73 points per game and has improved their shooting to 42% from the floor. They are also making 32% of their three-pointers and 68% of their shots from the line. They are forcing 18 turnovers per game with 9.3 steals with grabbing 38 rebounds. Jaron Joseph leads the team with 12.9 points per game while Mitchell averages 11.6 points. Kerry McClahan, who has two double-doubles on the year, leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game.
Mary Hardin-Baylor brings an eight-game winning streak into Ornelas Gym and is 5-0 in ASC play. Over Christmas break they earned wins over Rust College and Edgewood College by almost 20 points in each game. They boast the ASC’s second best defense at 65.3 points per game and have the fourth best offense in the ASC at 74.5 points per game. In the series vs. ETBU, they hold a 10-3 advantage with ETBU winning the third game in the series in 2010, 88-76, ending a six-game losing streak to the Crusaders. Three players average double figures for the Crusaders as James Allen leads the way with a double-double in 14.1 points per and 10.4 rebounds game. Kitrick Bell averages 11.6 points while Thomas Orr adds 11.5 points per game. The team forces 14 turnovers a game with 2.1 blocks and 7.6 steals per game.
The ASC’s top offense of 95.3 points per game belongs to Concordia-Texas as they face the Tigers on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Concordia just upset #5 Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is riding a six-game winning streak into Marshall. They are 4-1 in ASC play with their lone loss to Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss., 97-85. They are shooting 47% from the floor and making 40% of their three-point shots averaging 10 made per game. They force 25 turnovers a game with 14.4 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. Nick Haynes is the leading scorer at 19.1 points per game and is followed by Dwayne Patterson’s 16.6 points and Terry Corprew’s 10.5 points per game. Patterson is also the leading rebounder at 7.1 per game.
Both games can be heard on the ETBUSportsnet at www.etbusports.com along with live stats. Mike Midkiff will be the play-by-play announcer for both games.