#6 WT wraps up Saturday road trip with South Dakota Mines

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CANYON, Texas – The No. 6 Lady Buffs close out the South Central Regional Challenge on Saturday night as they face host Hardrockers of South Dakota Mines with a caution scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CT at the King Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

West Texas A&M’s No. 6 Lady Buffs used a fourth quarter to outlast the Colorado Mesa Mavericks in a rematch of last year’s South Central Regional quarterfinals on Friday night as they picked up a victory 76-63 at the King Center.

Karley Motschenbacher paved the way for the Lady Buffs as the Moorhead, Minnesota sophomore guard went just 2 of 10 from the floor but finished 8 of 11 from the free throw line for a team-high 13 points with nine rebounds and a steal. WT finished the game with 25 of 61 (41%) from the floor, including 6 of 20 (30%) from behind the arc and 20 of 25 (80%) from the free throw line to go along with 36 rebounds (12 offensive, 24 defenses), 10 assists, 11 turnovers, one block and four steals.

The South Dakota Mines began their 2022-23 campaign Friday night in Rapid City falling to the UT Permian Basin Falcons, 72-55 at the King Center. The Falcons took a 38-16 halftime lead and never looked back, Piper Bauer led the Hardrockers with 19 points and three rebounds in the loss.

Bailey Johnson is the Hardrockers’ leading returner as the redshirt junior from Rapid City, South Dakota went 64 of 182 (35.2%) from the floor last season, including 29 of 87 (33.3 %) behind the arc and 58 -of-80 (72.5%) from the free throw line at an average of 8.6 points per game to go along with 72 rebounds (32 offensive, 40 defensive), 41 assists, 15 interceptions and seven blocks.

The Hardrockers finished the 2021-22 campaign with an 8-20 overall record with an 8-14 mark in RMAC action as they ended the season on a five-game winning streak. Mines finished 6-7 inside the King Center a year ago with those six wins in RMAC action.

Jeri Jacobson Owsley is now in her fourth season leading the South Dakota Mines women’s basketball program. She holds a 34-41 overall record in her three seasons at Rapid City, leading the program to a pair of spots in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.

She was named the fifth coach in program history on July 29, 2019. Jacobson Owsley came to Mines after four seasons as an assistant at the University of Idaho. Idaho enjoyed success in Jacobson Owsley’s four seasons on the bench, going 84-51 overall and making four postseason tournament appearances.

She had an outstanding playing career at Central Wyoming College and Upper Iowa. At Upper Iowa, she was named to the NSIC varsity team both years.

Saturday marks the second all-time hardwood meeting between West Texas A&M and South Dakota Mines. The Lady Buffs are 1-0 in the series as they cruised to a 70-53 victory over the Hardrockers on November 12 last year, WT forced 16 second-half turnovers in the victory at First United Bank Center.

Josh Prock enters his second season at the helm of the Lady Buff Basketball program after guiding WT to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in his first season at Maroon & White, ending the campaign with a 29-11 overall record as WT won the LSC regular season and tournament titles followed by a run at the South Central Regional Championship.

Prock was introduced as the head coach of West Texas A&M women’s basketball on June 2, 2021. Prock is no stranger to the Lone Star Conference as he spent eight seasons as head coach at East New -Mexico leading the Greyhounds to their only three NCAA Tournament appearances. in the program history.

West Texas A&M is home to one of the finest multi-purpose facilities in the nation, as the First United Bank Center has been the home of the Lady Buffs since Jan. 26, 2002. The Lady Buffs are an impressive 260-37 inside FUBC during that period for a winning clip of 87.5%. WT has averaged 1,032 fans per contest since the facility opened with the biggest crowd coming on opening night with 4,941 Buff Nation members seeing the Lady Buffs take on rival Abilene Christian.

The Lady Buffs garnered 31 of 39 possible first-place votes for a total of 612 points to sit atop the poll, followed by Lubbock Christian (first four places, 557), Texas Woman’s (first four places, 538) , Angelo State (519), UT Tyler (479), Texas A&M-Kingsville (408), Texas A&M International (371), Cameron (347), Midwest State (314), Eastern New Mexico (233), St Edward’s (219), UAFS (216), UT Permian Basin (172), Oklahoma Christian (154), St. Mary’s (94) and Western New Mexico (71).

The 2022-23 LSC basketball schedule will feature 16 women’s teams split into two divisions. Each team will play a dual round robin schedule within their division. Additionally, the teams will play eight crossover competitions against teams from the opposite division for a total of 22 conference games.

The LSC Basketball Championships will feature an 8-team field in 2023 with seeding based on all 22 conference games. Division winners will receive the top two seeds of the tournament. The championships are scheduled to take place on March 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2023 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas.

West Texas A&M is home to one of the most successful athletic programs in all of NCAA Division II.

The 2021-22 campaign has seen WT claim six Lone Star Conference Championships, three LSC Tournament crowns, two Regional Championships and four top-5 finishes in track and field, including the division’s Women’s National Outdoor Track and Field Championship. II of the NCAA.

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