Lion women’s basketball team gets shot at redemption

Tory Stiggers, Staff Reporter

For the third consecutive season, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship tournament as announced by the NCAA March 7.

The Texas A&M-Commerce women capped off the end to an eventful Lone Star Conference campaign with an impressive 13-3 record, the LSC North Division championship, and the second seed in the LSC Tournament. After battling the likes of No. 7 seed Oklahoma Christian University and No. 3 seed West Texas A&M University in the quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively, the Lions met West Division champion and No. 1 seed Lubbock Christian University in the tournament final.

Though the back-to-back LSC North Division champions fell just shy of further LSC glory with a 57-78 defeat, the Lions have a chance to acquire more hardware with their qualification for the NCAA Division II Championship tournament. The Lions are making their fourth overall appearance in the tournament and the third in a row under head coach Jason Burton.

Hoping to replicate and perhaps add onto the success from the 2007 NCAA Tournament run that saw the then NCAA South Central regional champions make an Elite Eight appearance under now Hall of Fame coach Denny Downing, the Lions are entering the 2021 tournament as the No. 3 seed in the South Central Region. 

The bracket is comprised of Lone Star and Great American Conference heavy hitters No. 2 seed Southwestern Oklahoma State University, No. 4 seed Arkansas Tech University which boasts a 4-1 record over the Lions dating back to their first meeting in 1991, No. 5 seed Cameron University and the first-seeded LSC champions Lubbock Christian.

The Lions are set to meet No. 6 seed Southern Nazarene University for the first time at the First United Bank Center in Canyon Friday at 5 p.m. to kick off the tournament.