Chaps, Mavericks Meet With Regional Final Trip on the Line

Men’s Basketball | 03.13.2022

NO. 5/No. 1-seed LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN (27-3)
vs. no. 4-seed COLORADO MESA (25-9)
Sunday, March 13 – 7:30 pm CT
Rip Griffin Center (Lubbock, Texas)
All-Time Series: CMU leads 3-0

NEED TO KNOW

  • The higher-seeded team won every quarterfinal game of the South Central Regional
  • Sophomore guard Rowan Mackenzie set a new season high with 21 points in LCU’s first round win and finished one rebound short of a double-double
  • Colorado Mesa finished second in the RMAC with a 17-5 league record
  • LCU forward Parker Hicks was named the D2CCA South Central Region Player of the Year earlier this week
  • The Chaps are ranked in the top-10 of both D-II national polls
  • Three of the Mavericks’ top four scorers this season are redshirt freshmen

WIN OR GO HOME
The Chaps opened the 2022 postseason with a convincing win over Texas A&M-Commerce, pulling ahead early on Saturday and holding off a second half comeback attempt and now get to play in the South Central Regional semifinal against Colorado Mesa. LCU will try and advance to its second-straight regional championship game at 7:30 pm on their home court. Lubbock Christian has not faced off with RMAC runner-up Colorado Mesa, but the teams do have some common opponents this year. Mesa has a loss against WT and against Colorado School of Mines. They also have a win against Mines and a pair of wins against Regis. LCU is a combined 4-0 against those same three teams this year.

SOUTH CENTRAL CHAPS

This is the fourth time in the seven seasons they have been eligible that the Chaps have been earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and they have a 4-3 record in South Central Regional games in program history. LCU has played as the lower-seeded team in all but two of those games. Last year’s semifinal game against Oklahoma Baptist, which they won 79-55, is the only game the Chaps have played as the higher-seeded team until this year. LCU had upset wins in the first round of both the 2016 regional (8-seed vs. Midwestern State) and the 2019 regional (6-seed vs. Colorado School of Mines).

REGIONALLY RECOGNIZED

All-Region teams for the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association were announced on Thursday and two Lubbock Christian players were on the South Central list. Hicks was named the associations South Central Region Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Region First Team. Daniels was the other Chap honored, taking a spot on the All-Region Second Team. Sports information directors from throughout the South Central Region schools and conferences vote on the All-Region teams, and the association’s All-America team will release later in the month.

LONE STARS

Six different members of the Lubbock Christian men’s basketball team were honored with Lone Star Conference postseason awards, the league announced on Wednesday night. Parker Hicks was recognized as the LSC Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-Academic Team, the All-Defensive Team and the All-LSC First Team. Daniels joined him on the First Team, marking his third-straight season on the team. Muhammad was named to the All-LSC Third Team, Mackenzie was an All-LSC Honorable Mention pick, and Aaron Gonzales was named to the All Freshman Team. head coach Todd Duncan was also named the LSC Coach of the Year for the second-straight season.

THE DEFENSE DOESN’T REST

The Chaparrals enter the 2022 NCAA Tournament with one of the nation’s best defenses. LCU holds its opponents to an average of 62.4 points per game, which is the fifth-best mark in D-II. Opponents shoot 39.4 percent from the field against them (seventh-best nationally), including 30.5 percent from behind the arc (19th-best in D-II). Thirteen times this season, they have held opponents to fewer than 60 points. The Chaps are undefeated in those 13 games. Muhammad leads the team in steals with 38 and Hicks has 26 blocks. Hicks also averages 7.93 defensive rebounds per game, which ranks No. 8 in Division II.

BULLSEYE

On the other end of the floor, Lubbock Christian does not usually face the same shooting woes that their opponents do. The Chaps rank No. 5 in the nation in overall field goal percentage (.517) and No. 7 in three-point field goal percentage (.399). hicks and Lloyd Daniels rank first and second on the LSC field-goal percentage leaderboard at 55.4 and 53.4 percent, respectively, and Aamer Muhammad is fourth at 49.7 percent. LCU has shot better than 50 percent in 20 of their 29 games this season and is 17-2 in those contests. The LSC Tournament loss against Texas A&M-Kingsville marked the first time this year they have out-shot an opponent from the field and lost (25-1).

NATIONALLY KNOWN

The loss to the Javelinas last week dropped Lubbock Christian out of their No. 4 spot in both Division II top-25 polls. LCU fell to No. 5 in the D2SIDA poll, which is voted on by sports information directors. They drew 277 points in the poll. In the NABC poll, which was voted on by coaches, they fell to seventh with 288 points. LCU is not receiving first place votes in any polls at this time, but the Chaps were ranked No. 1 nationally for a two-month span earlier this season. The Chaps have beaten four opponents who were ranked at the time of playing this season.

SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS

  • Colorado Mesa has the second-best defense in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, limiting opponents to an average of 67.1 points per game
  • Trevor Baskin was the Maverick’s only All-RMAC First Team selection, but they placed three players on the league’s All-Conference Second Team
  • CMU beat No. 5 seed Texas A&M-Kingsville 69-55 in the quarterfinals to advance and face the Chaps. The Game was close for the first 30 minutes, but the Mavericks pulled away late for a double-digit win
  • Head coach Mike DeGeorge is in just his fourth season leading the Mavericks, who had losing records in the two seasons before it took over
  • Blaise Threatt leads the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game, but another three regular CMU players average double-figures

THE SERIES WITH THE MAVERICKS

It’s been 25 years since Lubbock Christian and Colorado Mesa faced off on the hardwood, and back when they last met the school in Grand Junction, Colorado was still referred to as Mesa State. The Mavericks won that meeting in 1997 (92-72), and they also won the only other two meetings ever between the schools, one of which was in 1993 and the other that occurred way back in 1978. The Chaps will be looking for their first-ever win over Colorado Mesa on Sunday night.

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