|LSC CHAMPIONSHIP – Championship Game
No.2-Seed No.10 TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE CAMERON (13-2) at No.1-Seed No.1 LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN (17-0)
March 6, 2021 • 3 p.m.
Lubbock, Texas • Rip Griffin Center (1,950)
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|TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE LIONS (13-2)
Location: Commerce, Texas
Conference: Lone Star
Head Coach: Jason Burton (Austin College, 2007)
Roster | Stats | Game Notes
|LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN LADY CHAPS (27-3)
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Conference: Lone Star
Head Coach: Steve Gomez (LCU, 1988)
Roster | Stats | Game Notes
LUBBOCK, Texas (March 6, 2021) – For a second consecutive season, No.1 Lubbock Christian University and No.10 Texas A&M-Commerce will battle for the tournament title at the Lone Star Conference Championships in women’s basketball, but the 2021 version has the game played at Lubbock Christian’s Rip Griffin Center with a 3 p.m. tip Saturday.
FIVE THINGS TO FOCUS ON
1 > Lubbock Christian (17-0) is in their second season in the Lone Star Conference and they are seeking to receive the LSC’s automatic qualifier (to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional) for a second straight set. It may sound confusing, but last season, the winner of the tournament (LCU) received the distinction of being named “Lone Star Conference Champion,” but this season that distinction was named to the winner of the conference regular season leader via the point system (LCU). So regardless of the nomenclature, what remains the same is Saturday’s winner is the champion of the tournament, they receive an automatic berth to the regional and they will climb the ladder to cut the nets down. LCU is seeking their fifth conference postseason tournament win since making the move to NCAA Division II (from the NAIA) in the 2015-16 season. TAMUC, making their third finals appearance, is seeking their second tournament title and their first since 2007, when the tournament was last hosted on a college campus (TAMUC hosted in Commerce, Texas). If LCU is to claim the tournament title, they would become the sixth LSC program to claim the tournament multiple times.
2 > LCU is 5-0 all-time in the LSC Championships, with three wins coming in their debut at last season’s tournament in Frisco, Texas, where they won the tournament title. Three Lady Chaps received All-Tournament Team accolades last season, including Caitlyn Cunyus, who received Tournament MVP honors. She was joined by Allie Schulte and Maddi Chitsey. Cunyus led LCU in scoring for the tournament with 11.7 points per game. She was 7-of-9 from three-point range. Schulte averaged 11.0 points per game, while also combining for 12 assists and eight steals. Chitsey led LCU with 6.3 rebounds and seven blocks. LCU was 47.1% in the tournament from three-point range (27/33). Ashton Duncan was 10-of-15 (66.7%) in the tournament from three-point range.
Channing Cunyus is trying to cover in her sister’s absence this season, as she had a 14-point career-high performance off a career-best four three-pointers Tuesday, and followed with 12 points Friday to head into Saturday’s contest averaging 13.0 points in this season’s tournament (she averages 7.6 points in five appearances all-time). Emma Middleton also had a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Schulte led all scorers with 18 points Tuesday. Schulte, who leads LCU this season averaging 15.0 points per game in the tournament, leads LCU all-time in LSC Championship play, averaging 12.6 points in five games. Ashton Duncan is the only other active Lady Chaps averaging double figures all-time in LSC Championship play (10.4 per game). She is 15-for-31 all-time (.484) from three-point range in the five games.
3 > If LCU and TAMUC finally meet, then THEY FINALLY meet. There were three prior attempts for the two programs to play, beginning with their originally scheduled two-game series in Lubbock on Jan. 9. COVID-19 and weather led to the scheduled games being eventually canceled.
4 > TAMUC (13-2) defeated Oklahoma Christian (in Commerce, Texas) Tuesday 77-63 and followed with a win over West Texas A&M Friday (60-54) to move into the title game. Chania Wright is averaging 17.5 points and DesiRay Kernal is averaging 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in the two tournament games. Wright is 6-for-13 from long range (46.2%) in the two contests.
5 > Allie Schulte ranks eighth nationally in Division II active players in career games played with 117. She is one assist away from 300 career assists, which actively ranks 30th in career assists in the NCAA Division II ranks.
THE SERIES AGAINST TAMUC
TAMUC and LCU are each 3-3 in the all-time series. The Lions ended a sequence of two straight LCU wins with a 59-54 win over LCU on Jan. 30, 2020 in Commerce, Texas, during the only regular season meeting last season, but LCU revenged the loss in the LSC Championships title game 57-44 Mar. 8, 2020 in Frisco, Texas. LCU defeated TAMUC 67-42 in the only prior meeting between the two teams in Lubbock (Nov. 12, 2018). The first-ever meeting was on Jan. 29, 1982 when TAMUC was known as East Texas State, who defeated Lubbock Christian 73-66 in a neutral site contest in Stephenville, Texas.
ACTIVE LADY CHAP LEADERS VS. TAMUC
Here is a look at LCU’s top three active leaders career vs. TAMUC:
Allie Schulte 4gp – 13.0 pts/g, 10/17 3-pt fg%, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals
Emma Middleton 4gp – 5.5 pts/g, 1.3 blocks
Ashton Duncan 4gp – 4.5 pts/g, 6/16 3-pt fg, 1.0 steals
PREVIOUS RECAP VS. TAMUC
Mar. 8, 2020 (Frisco, Texas) – TAMUC:44 – LCU:57
No.6 LCU held the Lone Star Conference’s top-offensive scoring team, No.7 Texas A&M-Commerce to a season-low 44 points and claimed their first Lone Star Conf erence Championship in program history with a 57-44 win over the Lions in the championship game
of the conference championships inside Comerica Center.
LCU, who fell behind by 18 points in the first half of a 59-54 loss at A&M-Commerce on Jan. 30, turned the tables on the Lions in the opening half in this game. The Lady Chaps opened the game on a 12-3 run as TAMUC missed their opening eight shot attempts. Alexsis Bryant was the only Lions player having any offensive success in the opening quarter. She had seven of the team’s nine points in the opening quarter, as LCU led 14-9 at the close of the quarter.
The Lady Chaps had the final field goal of the quarter, and followed by opening the second quarter with the first 13 points of the frame for a 15-0 run. Ashton Duncan connected on a pair of three-pointers in the scoring binge, which put LCU up by 18 points (29-11 with 5:31 left in the second quarter).
The Lions, who did not receive their first field goal of the game until 3:32 remained in the first quarter, went the opening 3:46 of the second quarter without a field goal. TAMUC were 3-of-20 (15.0%) from the field before making their first field goal of the quarter. They did have brief offensive success in the game, making four straight field goal attempts inside of four minutes in the first half. It came during a span in which TAMUC was 7-of-9 from the field. The final shot of the sequence cut LCU’s lead to 34-26 with 7:39 left in the third quarter. TAMU Copened the half on an 8-0 run and took advantage of 10 consecutive field goal misses by LCU. Caitlyn Cunyus’ jumper with 3:52 remaining in the quarter was LCU’s first field goal and points of the quarter (opened the quarter with 10 straight misses). Alexus Jones followed with a three-pointer to cut LCU’s lead to 36-31. It would be as close as TAMUC would get, as Maddi Chitsey had a pair of field goals and Allie Schulte connected with a three-pointer to close the quarter on a 7-0 run for the Lady Chaps. LCU led 43-31 at the end of the quarter.
LCU scored 14 points in the final quarter and seven were from the free-throw line. The Lions were in the same boat. They had nine points from the line and were held to two field goalsin the quarter. TAMUC was 3-of-33 (9%) from the field over the game’s final 17 minutes, but despite the sluggish shooting, they benefited from trips to the free-throw line and twice cut their deficit into single digits in the fourth quarter. Juliana Robertson had a field goal with 1:06 remaining to put the lead at 11, and Ashton Duncan hit her fourth three-pointer of the game inside the final minute to put LCU up 12 points (55-43).
TAMUC’s Bryant led the Lions with 16 points. They completed the game 21.2% (14/66) from the field, with their 44 points serving as a season low. It marks the third consecutive season
in which A&M-Commerce’s season-low in points came against LCU (42 in 2018-19 and 39 in 2017-18). The Lions fell to 27-3 with the loss.
LCU received a solid performance from Maddi Chitsey. She produced her second doubledoubleof the season against TAMUC and her third overall on the season (the first in a victory). Chitsey had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while also posting four assists, four blocks and four steals. She contributed a +21 plus/minus. LCU also received 12 points from Ashton Duncan and 10 points from Allie Schulte. Duncan nailed four three-pointers in the game and Schulte posted six rebounds, five assists and four steals.