the Rim Report: ASC Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
February 10, 2003
Above the Rim Report . . .
Race to the Finish: With two weeks remaining, not only are the races for the American Southwest Conference men's basketball divisional titles tight, but the fight for a spot in the postseason ASC Tournament is also close. Mississippi College and University of the Ozarks begin the week deadlocked atop the East Division with East Texas Baptist nipping at their heels. McMurry holds a one game advantage ahead of Sul Ross State in the West with the two slated for a rematch in Alpine, Texas, on the last day of the regular season (February 22).
ASC Championship Tournament: The 2003 ASC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament will be hosted by the top-seeded East Division team over the February 28-March 1 weekend. The top two seeded squads in each division earn qualification to the conference tournament with the winner taking home not only the ASC title, but also the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship. The tournament's semifinal games will be played on February 28 with the championship contest on March 1. Complete tournament brackets and ticket information will be available February 24.
Overtime Series: Four ASC teams have seen both games of their season home-and-away series extend into overtime. McMurry, who has played in and won six OT games this season--one off the NCAA Division III record for season OT games--and Texas Lutheran played long in games seven days apart. McMurry won the January 30 single overtime contest (78-73) and needed double OT to pull out last week's rematch (Feb. 6: 75-72). In the East Division, both LeTourneau-UT Dallas contests have gone long with LU coming out on top both times (Jan. 30: 72-71; Feb. 6: 85-82).
The Numbers: Complete ASC conference statistics packages are available on this Web site. The NCAA Division III national statistics rankings will be posted beginning the week of January 7 at www.ncaa.org under the statistics tab.
Slam Dunks . . .
Austin College (6-14, 1-7 ASC East): The Kangaroos are in position to play the spoiler role in the East Division. Austin College hosts postseason contenders LeTourneau on Thursday (Feb. 13) and third-place East Texas Baptist on Saturday (Feb. 15) in its final home games of the season. . . . AC looks to stop a five-game losing skid.
Concordia-Austin (3-18, 3-7 ASC West): The Tornados finish the road portion of their season schedule with games in Abilene this weekend. CUA is at division leader McMurry on Thursday (Feb. 6) and Hardin-Simmons on Saturday (Feb. 8).
East Texas Baptist (12-8, 5-2 ASC East): The Tigers rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to post a 78-76 road win at UT Dallas last Saturday (Feb. 8). Guard Quinton Owens scored all 18 of his points in the last 20 minutes, including four big three-pointers. . . . East Texas Baptist swept the season series vs. UTD by a combined total of five points. . . . ETBU's win at UTD was the 12th of the season, matching the win total for the 2001-02 season.
Hardin-Simmons (4-17, 1-9 ASC West): The three HSU seniors--Jason Eaker, Jordan Clower and Bryan Conover--will play their final Mabee Complex games on Saturday vs. Concordia-Austin (Feb. 15). . . . Jordan Clower netted a career-high 27 points in the 75-71 loss to cross-town rival McMurry (Feb. 4). Clower was 8-of-12 from the field and 11-of-12 at the line. . . . Bryan Conover scored a combined 50 points over three games last week. His best performance in the stretch was a 22-point, nine-rebound effort against Schreiner (Feb. 6).
Howard Payne (14-7, 7-3 ASC West): The Yellow Jackets extended their season-best win streak to five games with victories over Concordia-Austin and Mary Hardin-Baylor last weekend (Feb. 6, 8), holding a third-place in the West Division standings. . . . Benny West shot 62 percent from the field and scored 52 points with 11 assists and five steals in last week's home wins.
LeTourneau (8-12, 4-3 ASC East): The YellowJackets completed a season sweep of UT Dallas with an 85-82 overtime road win last Thursday (Feb. 6) in their only game of the week. . . . Guard Tim Dygert handed out four assists and scored 23 points vs. UTD. . . . LeTourneau keeps its bags packed for another weekend, traveling to Austin College on Thursday (Feb. 13) and Ozarks (Feb. 15).
Louisiana College (11-9, 4-4 ASC East): Wildcat guard Ryan Vines will be honored as the school's career scoring record holder during pregame ceremonies at Saturday's (Feb. 15) regular-season home finale. Vines surpassed the 1,860 points of Paul Poe during Louisiana College's January 30 game at Ozarks. Poe and several other former LC players and coaches are scheduled to attend the game and ceremonies.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (10-11, 4-6 ASC West): Back-to-back losses against Howard Payne, Sul Ross State and Howard Payne have the Crusaders in the midst of their first three-game losing string of the season. Mary Hardin-Baylor gets its first chance to halt the skid in Abilene, facing Hardin-Simmons on Thursday (Feb. 13) and West leader McMurry on Saturday (Feb. 15). . . . Forward Justin Hejl topped UMHB scoring in both games last week, scoring 17 vs. Sul Ross State and 27 against Howard Payne (Feb. 6, 8).
McMurry (15-6, 9-1 ASC West): The Indians own an eight-game winning streak, their longest of the season. . . . The division leaders close the home portion of the season hosting Concordia-Austin and Mary Hardin-Baylor over the Thursday-Saturday stretch (Feb. 13, 15). . . . Mario Mungia tallied a season-high 21 points at Schreiner (Feb. 8)
Mississippi College (14-6, 6-2 ASC East): MC has won eight of its last 10 games heading into Monday's trip to Louisiana College (Feb. 10). . . . The Choctaws shot 60 percent in the first half of their 89-65 win against Austin College last Thursday (Feb. 6). MC outrebounded the Kangaroos 39-19 for the game. MC had a season-high 1,383 fans at A.E. Wood Coliseum for the game. . . . Mississippi College gained a measure of revenge vs. Ozarks, taking a split in the season series with an 87-66 win last Saturday (Feb. 8).
Ozarks (13-7, 6-2 ASC): The Eagles dropped into a first-place tie in the East with Saturday's 87-66 loss at Mississippi College. The loss also forced a split in the season series between the two rivals. . . . Mandrell Howell is one of two players on the current Ozarks' squad to have scored at least 900 points at UO, reaching the milestone during a 26-point performance at Louisiana College (Feb. 6). Earlier in the season senior guard Ricky Johnson scored his 1,000th career point.
Schreiner (2-19, 2-8 ASC West): The Mountaineers hung a 70-66 win loss on visiting Hardin-Simmons last Thursday (Feb. 6) to split the season's home-and-away series vs. the Cowboys. . . . Schreiner has three home games left before closing the year at Concordia-Austin February 22.
Sul Ross State (15-5, 8-2 ASC West): The Lobos upended West rivals Mary Hardin-Baylor (95-84) and Concordia-Austin (79-67) last weekend (Feb. 6, 8) to remain in second-place in the division race. . . . Larry Morales netted 24 points in the win over Mary Hardin-Baylor, the ninth time he has led SRSU scoring. He carries a 16.2-point average. . . . SRSU makes its last regular-season road trip this weekend, traveling to Schreiner and Texas Lutheran Thursday and Saturday (Feb. 13, 15).
UT Dallas (5-16, 1-7 ASC East): The Comets head East for the weekend, playing at Mississippi College on Thursday (Feb. 13) and Louisiana College on Saturday (Feb. 15). UTD is looking to force a split in its season series with the two after suffering home losses to the pair in January. . . . UTD had five players total double-digit points in the 85-82 overtime loss to LeTourneau on Thursday (Feb. 6). Richard Scott and Bart Holloway led the high-scoring quintet with 14 points each. . . . Scott came back with a team-high 16 points vs. East Texas Baptist on Saturday.
Texas Lutheran (10-11, 6-4 ASC West): The double-overtime loss to McMurry last Thursday (Feb. 6) is the Bulldogs' first double-OT game since 1994 when TLU lost to Texas Wesleyan 130-129. The game was also the third OT game for Texas Lutheran this season. . . . Tommy Stolhandske moved onto the TLU top 50 scoring list following a 38-point weekend vs. McMurry and Hardin-Simmons. The sophomore has 682 career points to sit at No. 47 on the Bulldog scoring chart.
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