Under Review – March 5, 2018

Allie Smith, Sports Editor

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Men’s Basketball

The Lone Star Conference Championship tournament happened this weekend and No. 13 WT brought home the hardware.

On the men’s side, the weekend started on Friday with an 86-70 win against Eastern New Mexico in Denton, TX at Texas Woman’s Kitty Magee Arena after a leak at Dr. Pepper Arena forced the games to migrate from Frisco. WT began the night with a quick 22-4 lead with barely less than 12 minutes in the half and they never looked back. Senior Jordan Evans provided a solid 20 point night while junior Ryan Quaid snagged four offensive rebounds to help the Buffs. This put WT in a semifinal against the No. 4 seed Texas A&M-Commerce at 8:30 pm in the newly-dry Dr. Pepper Arena.

The Buffs were up to the challenge and handled the lions by beating them 73-63 on Saturday. The game began slow but ramped up in the second half. The Lions took the lead a couple times, but in the end, they could not hold out against the five turnovers it had in the last 5:05. Senior David Chavlovich put together another one of his usual but impressive performances as he contributed 23 points to the victory. Chavlovich and sophomore Drew Evans each grabbed three offensive rebounds on the night and helped secure their name on the 2018 LSC Championship lineup card against UT Permian Basin on Sunday at 3:30.

WT hauled home the conference title on Sunday in a close 80-76 victory over UTPB to secure the program’s seventh LSC championship and eventually, the top seed to host the regional tournament. These two programs happen to also be the top two scorers in the LSC. While UTPB attempted to run away with an early lead but the back-and-forth began and continued throughout the game until the LSC Tournament MVP Chavlovich’s layup took the lead with 1:18 left in the game. Freshman CJ Jennings scored two free throws and Chavlovich extended the lead to 77-73 with 22 seconds left in the tournament. A rebound with two seconds left from junior Gach Gach secured the win for the Buffs.

Now they get to head home to Canyon to host the regional tournament, beginning on Thursday. Their first matchup comes against No.8-seed Colorado School of Mines in the First United Bank Center at 6:00 pm.

 

Women’s Basketball

The LSC tournament started for the No. 23 Lady Buffs with a convincing 70-49 against rival Midwestern State on Friday. The game began on Thursday, where WT led 32-26, but Dr. Pepper Arena had an indoor “rain delay” heading into the third quarter. Sophomore Lexy Hightower and senior Madison Parker each contributed 13 points and Parker snagged 14 rebounds. Sophomore Megan Gamble also had five steals and junior Tiana Parker had four blocks for the Lady Buffs. This set up the next team on the lineup, third seed Texas A&M- Commerce.

The Lady Buffs continued to build that ever-important postseason momentum on Saturday as they took care of the Lady Lions, 68-55. Gamble hit the leaderboard with 17 points for the WT cause while T. Parker went up for 10 rebounds and seven blocks on the night. This helped propel WT to its 21st conference title game against Tarleton State, who upset the tournament’s top seed Angelo State.

WT ran away with the title game against Tarleton 80-66 to claim the program’s 14th LSC Tournament Championship title on Sunday. Gamble became the tournament’s MVP while Hightower an T. Parker snagged spots on the All-Tournament team. T. Parker handled the TexAnn offensive effort by getting six blocks and six rebounds while junior Tyesha Taylor scored 16 points on the night. Three other Lady Buffs hit double-digits as well (Hightower with 15, Gamble with 14, and M. Parker with 10).

The Lady Buff’s claimed the LSC’s automatic bid to the postseason thanks to their tournament title and will head to the regional tournament at Lubbock Christian on Friday to take on Arkansas-Fort Smith at 2:30 PM at Rip Griffin Center.

 

Baseball

The No. 14 WT baseball team extended their winning streak to five as they took all four games against LSC opponent Tarleton State. These games do not count towards their conference record but definitely helped build morale as they continue to head forward into the heat of their season.

The Buffs’ sparked a dominant offense that highlighted the final three games of the series, plating a whopping total of 44 runs in their three days of play. Only the first game had a score where WT scored less than 14 runs.

In the series opener and the tightest round of this non-conference fight, junior right-handed pitcher Joe Corbett struck out 12 batters while pitching seven innings in a 3-2 victory.

Senior outfielder Jimmy Cubillos’ pair of sacrifice hits that scored Nelson Paredes in the fifth inning and Blake Weaver in the seventh inning. These ended up being the key to the Buffs’ claim to the win column.

The Buffs will look to keep their winning ways rolling as they make the long road trip to Kingsville to face the Javelinas in a four-game series starting on Friday, March 9.

 

Softball

The WT softball team took the first and last games of their three-game Lone Star Conference opening series this weekend as they ramp up

The Lady Buffs bounced back from a road loss to regional rival Lubbock Christian by taking two games in a three-game series against Tarleton to ramp up Lone Star Conference play.

A four-year starter and two-time NFCA All American, senior Ashley Hardin tied the career record of home runs in walk off fashion to claim the Lady Buffs’ 6-4 victory to take the series from the TexAnns.

Junior Kylee Moore continued her solid offensive outing as she sent two to out of the confines of Schaeffer Park throughout the weekend as she ups her tally to 10 homers so far on the season.

Senior Kilee Halbert and junior Shayne Starkey shined in their respective performances in the week, with Halbert striking out a total of 13 batters in two games and Starkey recording five strikeouts in the wins.

The Lady Buffs will start a eight-game road skid with a quadruple header against Western New Mexico in Silver City, NM on March 9-10 followed by double headers against Regis University on March 13 and Colorado State-Pueblo the next day. They will finish the Spring Break tour at home against conference rival and last year’s national championship runner up, Angelo State on March 16-17.

The games in Colorado build-up leads to an important conference series at Schaeffer Park against Angelo State at home on March 16-17.

-Nick Alvarado

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