No. 3 Lady Buffs return to action with a test in the Great Northwest

West Texas A&M’s hoops team is well rested and ready for its longest road trip of the season.

 

Fresh off an 11-day layoff, the newly ranked No. 3 Lady Buffs are in the Great Northwest to take part in the Vikings Holiday Hoops Classic in Bellingham, Wash.

WT will face Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. today in the tournament opener.

WT wraps up the tournament by facing host school Western Washington on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

“Simon Fraser and Western Washington are two teams that just came off of NCAA runs last year,” WT coach Kristen Mattio said. “They are both traditionally very good and we expect this to be a great test for our team going on the road.

”Their coaching staffs have been fixtures in their basketball communities for many years. We will need to take it one game at a time and avoid distractions that come from long travel.”

The Lady Buffs are off to a tremendous start at 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Lone Star Conference.

The play on both ends of the floor has been key. WT is shooting a league-best 48.5 percent from the floor, while holding teams to 32 percent shooting.

Guard Lexy Hightower is having a sensational start to her sophomore season. The Amarillo High graduate is averaging a team-best 12.3 points a game. That’s good enough for seventh in the LSC.

Transfer Deleyah Harris poured in a season-high 20 points in the Lady Buffs’ last game, which resulted in a 81-61 victory against Texas Woman’s.

The junior has made a nice transition with her open court style of play, averaging 11.1 ppg on the year.

“We have taken the time off to focus on ourselves,” Mattio said. “We’ve worked on some of the areas we feel we needed to improve on from our last four game stretch of games. Even though finals week adds a new level of challenges in itself as we finish out this semester, I have been pleased with the overall focus and energy on the court.

“We must keep falling in love again with the process and what it is going to take to get the job done each night we step on the court.”

Tonight’s probable starters

West Texas A&M Lady Buffs

Overall Record: 9-0

Head coach: Kristen Mattio (3rd Year)

PlayerPos.Ht.Yr.RPGPPG

Lexy HightowerG5-8So.1.712.3

Deleyah HarrisG5-9Jr.4.911.1

Madison ParkerF.5-10Sr.6.38.8

Tiana Parker P.6-5Jr.5.05.6

Megan GamblePG5-7So.2.23.3

Vikings Holiday Hoops Classic

at Sam Carver Gymnasium

Bellingham, Wash.

Monday’s games

West Texas A&M vs. Simon Frasor, 7 p.m.

Texas A&M-International vs. Western Washington, 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s games

Texas A&M-International vs. Simon Frasor, 7 p.m.

West Texas A&M vs. Western Washington, 9:30 p.m.

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