Junior guard Nathan Josephs, who transferred to TLU from Texas State in the off-season, ranks fifth in the SCAC in scoring (17.1), second in assists (4.1), and leads the conference in free-throw percentage (.892).
Former Marion standout and UT-Tyler transfer Cami Davis is averaging a team-high 15.4 points per game for the TLU women this season.
(Seguin) – The Texas Lutheran men’s basketball team looks to get an early leg up on rival Trinity in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference standings tonight, while the TLU women seek their first conference win of the year when the schools square off in a doubleheader at TLU’s Memorial Gymnasium.
Both teams in the men’s matchup are 1-1 in the SCAC after the opening weekend of conference play. TLU, the three-time defending SCAC champion, is 5-8 overall in Mike Wacker’s second season as head coach after falling to Centenary 71-66 last Friday in Shreveport and rebounding with a 79-69 win over Austin College in Sherman on Sunday.
Trinity (7-6), led by 19th-year head coach Pat Cunningham, opened the SCAC schedule with a 64-57 home win over Dallas last Friday before falling to pre-season conference favorite Colorado College 78-74 on Saturday.
TLU continues to navigate the 2017-18 season with a retooled rotation after loosing All-SCAC performers Sterling Holmes, Jordan Kouremetis, and Zach Behr to graduation last spring. Nathan Josephs, a junior who transferred to TLU from Texas State in the off-season, has helped fill the void left by Holmes at the point guard position. Josephs ranks fifth in the SCAC in scoring (17.1), second in assists (4.1), and he leads the league in free-throw percentage (.892).
Three other Bulldogs sport double-figure scoring averages entering tonight. That list includes junior forward Jackson Willoughby (11.1), and junior guards Alex Cage (10.9) and Jacob Kouremetis (10.5). Cage led TLU with 20 points in Sunday’s win over Austin College. Kouremetis (Jordan’s younger brother) ranks fourth in the SCAC in three-point shooting (.456), and senior post Matthew Gillette is the league’s fourth-leading rebounder (8.4).
Much like TLU, Trinity has utilized a balanced scoring attack this season. Sophomore Danny Rivara, a 6’7” forward, leads the Tigers with a 13.9 average, while senior forward Jayden Holden (12.9) and senior All-SCAC point-guard Matt Jones (10.9) are also in double figures. Rivara ranks third in the SCAC in rebounding (9.4) and blocked shots (1.8), and Jones fourth in both assists (3.9) and steals (1.7). Holden is Trinity’s top shooter, draining 41.9 percent of his threes and 51.4 percent of his total field goal attempts.
Trinity has been one of the top defensive teams in the SCAC this season, limiting opponents to a conference-low .392 field goal percentage. The Bulldogs have struggled on that end of the court, allowing opponents to .469 overall and .381 from three-point range, both of which rank at the bottom of the conference.
The Texas Lutheran women enter tonight with a 4-9 overall record and an 0-2 SCAC mark in Mel Dixon’s sixth year as head coach after dropping road games to Centenary 67-52 and Austin College 93-42 last weekend.
Trinity, the defending SCAC champion, comes in with a 9-2 season mark and a 2-0 conference record under fifth-year head coach Cameron Hill, the reigning SCAC and D3hoops.com South Region Coach of the Year. The Tigers opened conference play with lopsided wins over Dallas (69-49) and Colorado College (97-54) last Friday and Saturday.
The graduation of All-SCAC performers Kristen Lye, Savannah Hight, and Cierra Jordan left Dixon with an off-season rebuilding project at TLU. Former Marion High School standout Cami Davis has been the focal point of that effort since transferring from UT-Tyler over the summer. Davis, a junior guard, leads the Bulldogs and ranks fifth in the conference with 15.4 points per game, the only double-figure average on the team. Davis also averages a team-best 2.5 assists per outing, ranks second in the SCAC in free-throw percentage (.806), fifth in steals (2.2)
A pair of 6’1” frontcourt newcomers have made an impact in their first season at TLU, as 6’1” freshman Abby Hroch leads the team in rebounding (6.0), while junior transfer Presley Stephens leads the SCAC with 2.5 blocked shots per game.
Rebounding and turnovers have contributed heavily to TLU’s inconsistent results this season. The Bulldogs have been out-rebounded by an average of 5.9 per game and rank last in the SCAC in offensive rebounds (9.0) and offensive rebounding percentage (.263). TLU averages 22.9 turnovers per game and enters tonight with an average turnover margin of –6.92.
Trinity leads the SCAC in scoring offense (74.8), defense (58.8), scoring margin (+16.8), three-point shooting percentage (.337), steals (16.7), and turnover margin (+13.8).
The Tigers boast the third and fourth leading scorers in the conference in 2017 SCAC Newcomer of the Year Micah Weaver (17.0) and All-SCAC forward Abby Holland (15.5). The duo has helped Trinity absorb the off-season graduation of last year’s conference Player of the Year Monica Holguin.
Tonight’s TLU – Trinity doubleheader begins with the men’s game at 5:30 p.m., and the women are slated to follow at 7:30.
Both games will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with streaming video available at tlubulldogs.com. The broadcast starts at 5:20.