ABILENE, Tex. — The standings in the Southland Conference through the first half of league play are a log jam, as eight teams came into Wednesday night with a record above .500 against conference opponents.
On Wednesday night, two teams with 5-4 records looked to separate themselves from the pack a bit. The Abilene Christian Wildcats welcomed the Lamar Cardinals to town in the only meeting of the season between the two programs. Last season, they only met once, and the Wildcats picked up a home win thanks to a buzzer-beating three pointer from Payten Ricks from half court.
While there weren’t any late-game heroics this time around, the end result was still the same. Abilene Christian and Lamar went back and forth for much of the first half before the home side took a four point lead into the break.
Coming into Wednesday night’s action, the teams in first place and 10th place are separated by just four games. Nine teams in the league have a record of at least .500 against conference foes, adding some drama to the second half of league play as the calendars prepare to be flipped to February.
Right in the middle of the log jam are the Abilene Christian Wildcats and Lamar Cardinals. Both teams enter their tilt on Wednesday night with identical 13-9 records overall, and 5-4 records in conference play. Both teams are looking to pick up a win and separate themselves from the pack and make a move up in the standings.
With only eight teams making the Southland Conference tournament in Katy, TX, each and every game is significant.
ABILENE, Tex. — Every day with college basketball on tap is an exciting one.
Tuesday night provided fans with some exciting games. The Purdue Boilermakers continued to show why they’re one of the nation’s top teams, while the Oklahoma Sooners fell on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats by 18 points.
Then, in the Southland Conference, the Nicholls Colonels continued their strong play, moving to 6-1 against league opponents with a 30-point win over the Texas A&M-CC Islanders, 91-61.
On Wednesday night, the rest of the Southland Conference will look to keep pace with the Colonels. In Abilene, TX, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and Abilene Christian Wildcats will square off in a battle of two top contenders in the conference. Both come into the day with four league wins, and will look to inch closer to the top spot.
CALGARY, Alta. — Every time a new home-and-home series is developed, it adds more excitement to the non-conference schedules for the teams involved.
It’s rare to see these types of games being scheduled between power conference schools and smaller programs. If they are, they are sometimes billed as two-for-ones, where the power conference school will travel on the road for one game, while the smaller school will go on the road for two games in back-to-back seasons.
However, a new home-and-home series between two smaller schools is a great way to add excitement to their non-conference slates, and it generates a ton of buzz around campus. They provide schools who may struggle with scheduling high-caliber opponents with the opportunity to have two meaningful games, one each at home and on the road.
ABILENE, Tx. — Payten Ricks may only be a freshman, but over the past three games, he isn’t playing like it’s his first year in the NCAA.
Coming into Saturday’s tilt with the Lamar Cardinals, the Abilene Christian Wildcats‘ freshman guard has averaged 12 points per contest, and he put up a career-high 15 points against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks last week.
Against the Cardinals, the Wildcats were looking to avoid a 1-5 start in Southland Conference play, and they found themselves in a fight with Lamar that came down to the wire. With under 10 seconds to play, the Wildcats had a chance to win the game, avoiding an extra five-minute the frame.
The ball was in the hands of Ricks.
With the clock ticking down, Ricks put up a half-court heave that beat the buzzer. It banked off the back board, fell for his only three pointer, and the Wildcats stunned the Cardinals.