Local sports events
Looking for their first conference win, the Mustangs were looking for the answer as Texas A&M – Kingsville entered Drag's Court Thursday night.
Within the first two minutes, the Javelinas would go 3-for-3 from beyond the arc before Willie McCray (Clovis, NM/Clovis/Westwind Prep Academy) broke a 9-0 run. The Mustangs had to find a way around the big Kingsville defense.
Looking for their first home win in conference play the Lady Mustangs came in with vengeance after a tough road loss to Midwestern State.
On the board first on a three from Ciara Fields (El Paso, TX/El Dorado), followed up by a layup from Tatyanna McFarland (Riverside, California/Valley View High School) the Lady Mustangs got a fast start on the Javelinas. Cassandra Vickery (Tularosa, NM/Tularosa) would connect on another three to put Western up 8-3. The rest of the first would be turnover after turnover by both teams.
The Lady Mustangs saw their two-game winning streak snapped tonight, as the visiting Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds ran away with a 58-46 victory.
Despite shooting 45 percent from the field, to the Greyhounds 37. On the defensive end, the visitors out rebounded Western 32 to 22 giving them the advantage, as well as hit 76 percent of their free throws to Westerns 64.
WNMU Mustangs returned to Drag's Court resuming play by hosting Lone Star rival, Eastern New Mexico University on Thursday night. It was a game that saw several lead changes and a last second comeback from Western that fell just short as the home team dropped the contest 80-78.
Western showed the effects of a long lay off early in the game as they didn't seem to be able to get any consistent flow on the offensive side of the ball. Despite the slow start on that end of the floor, the Mustangs' defense kept them in the game as the lead changed 6 times and was tied 4 times in the first half.
Director of Athletics Scott Noble announces the hiring of Holly Watts. Watts will take over the Western New Mexico Women's Volleyball program, after the retirement of long-time coach Jim Callender.
"Our search focused on strengthening our cultural values of Experiencing Mustang M.A.G.I.C. These principles make up the fiber of who we are," Noble said. "Holly understands these standards, and brings an impeccable history of moral character, playing and coaching experience. Her program vision fits our needs, and she brings an established recruiting base within the state of New Mexico, southern Arizona and Texas regions."
After serving six seasons as the head coach at the University of Texas- El Paso, Watts comes to Silver City bringing over 24 years of coaching experience to the table, as well as experience as a Division I student-athlete. In her first season at the helm of UTEP volleyball, she led the Miners to a 14-16 overall record. The Miners also earned the AVCA Team Academic Award in 2016-17, and 2017-18, as well as the Director's Award for their community service in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The Lone Star teams dipped their toes into conference play this week with non-conference games thrown into the mix. Eastern New Mexico, Texas A&M Commerce, and West Texas A&M each opened LSC play with 2 wins and no losses. None of the teams are undefeated overall.
LSC teams currently have a 49-29 record early in the season featuring a 10-9 combined record against the Heartland Conference and 13-8 against the Rocky Mountain Conference. There are still a number of games to play against the Heartland, but these games are against regional foes in the NCAA which can determine seeding and qualification in the post season NCAA tournament.
Angelo State and Tarleton State sit right behind the undefeated teams at 1-1 followed by Kingsville, Cameron, and Midwestern State at 0-2. WNMU & UT Permian Basin have yet to play a conference game, but will face each other this Saturday in Odessa. All other LSC teams will face non-conference foes, most from the Heartland Conference.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
As the teams in the Lone Star wind down non-conference play and begin league play, the LSC women's team compiled a 15-7 record against the Heartland Conference but fell to 8-11 against Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, which are the other conferences in the NCAA South Central Region. Records against regional teams go a long way in determining regional rankings and at large bids to the post-season NCAA tournament.
Angelo State (4-0) and West Texas A&M (8-0) are the remaining undefeated teams in the Conference. Those two teams, along with Eastern New Mexico and Texas Women's are 2-0 in conference play. Tarleton State and Texas A&M Commerce are next at 1-1, followed by WNMU & UT Permian Basin at 1-0. Kingsville, Cameron and Midwestern State bring up the rear with 0-2 records.
The only conference games on the schedule this week will see Kingsville visit Angelo State and WNMU travel to UT Permian Basin.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
WNMU men's basketball will take the floor Tuesday night putting their 3-1 record on the line against Northern New Mexico College. The Eagles enter the game sporting a 5-8 record while Western comes off a key road win against Texas A&M International bouncing back after their only loss of the season, at home against NM Highlands.
The Mustangs are paced by senior Willie McCray's 16 points a game followed by senior Jon Reese Woodson's 13 points a game. Woodson also lead WNMU with 5.5 rebounds per game.
As a team, the 'Stangs are hitting over 46% from the floor which includes hitting 55% in their win at TAMI last week. The hot shooting for the Mustangs has, according to Coach Matt Enriquez, masked some deficiencies in other areas, such as 14 turnovers a game versus only 11 assists per game.
Coach Enriquez has implemented a new offense and emphasized an uptempo game that starts with high intensity defense. The result has been a lot more fast break points and steals but the team is still learning the offense resulting in too many turnovers. Enriquez believes the turnovers will decline as the team gets more time together on the floor.
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