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Mustang Men’s BB splits over the weekend

November 14th, 2016 No comments

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for the second year in a row Western New Mexico men’s basketball opened up the season with a pair of games against Oklahoma Panhandle University. This time we were at home which has to help, especially when you have a young team like Western New Mexico. With a lot of new faces in the first year head coach, you can expect a steep learning curve. There are going to be some deep valleys and probably some high peaks, but the one thing you want to see is the season moves along, is improvement and a leveling out of those peaks and valleys, hopefully more towards the peak in the Valley.

Friday night the Mustangs opened up with a win, 83-73 over the Aggies. Jordan Enriquez, who led the Mustangs in scoring both nights, was the most consistent player as far as scoring. A few things I liked about the game was the adjustments we made, especially on the defense in the second half. In the first half of Friday night’s game Oklahoma’s Jace Kerr went off on the Mustangs scoring 22 points. He was aggressive and basically outworked the defenders for Western New Mexico. But in the second half Coach Enriquez opted for a zone defense which completely shut him down. In fact the shooters for Oklahoma could not get a good shot and missed a lot especially from three.

Offensively for the Mustangs on Friday night, you saw what you’re going to see from young players. CJ Vanbeekum is probably most representative of what we will expect. CJ came off of the bench and hit a couple of quick three-pointers gaining some confidence but then he started taking some shots that may be were not the best selection. Eddie Giron got the start and was pretty consistent but did have some times where he couldn’t get off a good shot. We also saw that Latrell Spivey is going to give us a solid presence inside on both ends of the floor. He is a competitor and doesn’t mind banging around inside defensively or going for rebounds. And Emery range gave us a double-double with points and rebounds. Overall I like the hustle and the effort put forth by the team on both ends of the floor.

Saturday night was a bit of a different game for both teams. On Friday night it was high-scoring in the first half but Saturday night it did not look like either team would come close to the offense of output that they showed on Friday night. In the last 5-6 minutes of the first half both teams started making some shots but neither team could really get into a rhythm on Saturday night. That is until the second half, When Oklahoma Panhandle State University got hot from downtown. In the second half Oklahoma shot 51% from the floor and just over 40% from three point land. The Mustang stayed with the man-to-man defense most of the second half which was a bit surprising giving that Coach Tafoya told us in the halftime show that we should expect to see more zone, especially the 1-3-1 zone that the team had been working on. We did not really see that.

Offensively we saw will probably be described as a Valley shooting the ball. The Aggies stayed in a zone defense throughout the night and it kept Western New Mexico from executing the dribble penetration that is the core of their offense. In the second half, we really had trouble with that defensive scheme as evidenced by taking only three foul shots in the second half. That’s a clear indicator that we are not aggressive enough offensively. We were standing around on the perimeter in that does not put you in a good position to take a three point shot.

Overall there some good things to be positive about as well as some things that need to improve one last thing I would say that we need to improve especially given the new rules about fouls, is go to the basket aggressively and shoot expecting to make it. Too often on both nights I saw our players drive to the bucket and go up expecting to get filed and not really worrying about making the shot. We have to go up every time expecting to make the shot, trying to make the shot especially if they’re not gonna call those files or if they do and we make it it’s an old-fashioned three-point opportunity.

This Week in the Lone Star

October 25th, 2016 No comments

How quickly things can change in just one week in the Lone Star Conference. Going into last week’s action, Midwestern State was in the driver seat for the conference championship with Texas A&M Commerce needing help. No one really thought they would get it that quickly and once again the conference championship race has tightened up.

The big game last week of course was West Texas A&M going to Midwestern State and getting to win 35 to 27. While almost everyone gave West Texas a chance, I don’t think many people believed they would get the win. Combine that with Texas A&M Commerce pounding Angelo State University 62 to 14, they are now back tied for the conference lead with Midwestern. Both teams are 5-1 but Midwestern holds the tiebreaker based on the head to head win.

Other results that could have an impact upon postseason play from last week include Kingsville’s win over Tarleton State, 21-17. Panhandle gets an insignificant win as far as conference standings are concerned at UT Permian Basin, 54-44. Like Western New Mexico, Eastern New Mexico played out of the conference embarrassing Bacone 62-0.

After last week’s action, we seem to be clearly moving into the upper tier and lower tier rankings. After the two teams tied at the top, Midwestern and Commerce, Eastern New Mexico, West Texas, and Tarleton State all sit at 4-2 in conference play. Theoretically any one of them could jump up into first place the season. Those teams are followed by Kingsville at 3-3, with Angelo State and Western New Mexico at 2-4. Oklahoma Panhandle State is 1-5 and UT Permian Basin remains winless at 0-6.

Just a few weeks left in the conference schedule each game seems to take on much more importance. The biggest game this weekend has to be West Texas at Texas A&M Commerce. If West Texas A&M can knock off Commerce, they would not only pull into a tie with them in the standings but it becomes highly likely that they would debut higher in the NCAA regional standings than would their opponent. This could put Commerce on the outside looking in postseason play. It’s possible preteens could get into the postseason from the Lone Star not likely.

Eastern New Mexico will be at Kingsville and could stay in the hunt with the win or they drop out with a loss. Midwestern State will host UT Permian Basin, which should be an easy win for them. If they win and Texas A&M Commerce loses, Midwestern State regains the inside track for the conference championship. This is the time of year it gets really exciting. For some teams anyway.

The other games will be played include Tarleton State University at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. I call it an also-ran game because Tarleton needs a lot of help to get postseason consideration. They will likely win and moved to 5-2 but there will be at least two other teams that match or beat their record. They are down the line when it comes to tiebreaker. Then Western New Mexico will host Angelo State University to say who will still have a chance to get over .500 in conference play this year.

This week in the Lone Star Conference

September 22nd, 2016 No comments

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It’s early in the season, especially the conference season, but there have already been a couple of key games that are shaping the race for the conference championship and post season berths. Last week was no exception with 2 games that could have a big impact on the race putting a couple of teams on the inside track and a setting up the losers to need help later in the season if they want to get into the postseason.

Probably the most significant was #12 Midwestern State at Texas A&M Kingsville. Midwestern needed a FG with 18 seconds left in the game to get a come from behind victory. So. RB Vincent Johnson got three 2nd half TD’s to lead the Mustangs back from a 15-3 half time deficit as MSU won their conference opener and improved to 2-0 on the season. Their win moved them up in the DII coaches’ poll to number 11 in the nation and in the D2.com poll to #9. Kingsville was receiving votes in the polls and had a very good chance to challenge MSU & Commerce for the top spot in the conference.

The other game that I think had some bearing on the standings was Tarleton State hosting Angelo State. Both teams are facing what is for them down years but both are still good programs. Either one could get on a roll in the conference and make a run at the top spot or an at large bid in the post season, but they can’t lose games like this or against lesser competition. Tarleton State ran away with this one, 35-5. It was a defensive battle with the teams tied at 3 mid way through the third quarter. TS’s special teams blocked a FG attempt by Angelo State and it was off to the races for Tarleton as they took the momentum all the way to the end of the game.

In other action, #7 Tx A&M Commerce had an easy time defeating Eastern New Mexico, 49-10. The Lions held ENMU to 287 total (only 60 passing yards) while running up 479 yards themselves, 388 through the air. QB Luis Perez threw for 5 TDs on the day without any miscues. The Greyhounds had been averaging 455 yards of offense on the season, leading the NCAA in rushing yards. Not any more. Commerce will now host Kingsville in their first big test of the conference schedule.

The other game, that wasn’t WNMU, saw our opponent this weekend get brought back down to earth as UT Permian Basin fell to West TX A&M 48-14. A&M dominated on both sides of the ball amassing 468 yards of offense while the defense came up with 3 INTs to frustrate the UTPB offense. A&M was paced in the rushing department by SR RB Devon Payne who got 98 yards on just 14 carries. QB Ethan Brinkley connected on 34 of 50 passing attempts for 336 yards and 2 TDs without an interception. While 9 different players caught passes from Brinkley, Jaquarius Daniels was the main target grabbing 9 balls, one for TD.

After the first full week of LSC play, four teams are 1-0 in LSC play: Midwestern State, West Texas, Commerce, and Tarleton State. The 2 NM schools, Western & Eastern sit at 1-1 in conference play with all others winless.

The big games coming up this weekend include TX A&M Commerce hosting TX A&M Kingsville while West TX A&M will host Tarleton State. Other games have WNMU visiting UT Permian Basin; Angelo State hosts Eastern NM; OK Panhandle visits Midwestern State.

RMAC this week

December 10th, 2015 No comments

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The RMAC schedule got under way this past weekend with all travel partners playing each other on Saturday, except for SD Mines and Black Hills State, who played on Tuesday. There were a couple of surprises, mild, and now only 1 undefeated team overall. Most of the games were fairly close, with WNMU losing to Highlands by 20 as the lone blowout (that wasn’t really a blowout).

In the Mountain Division, #15 Colorado Mines, CSU Pueblo, Adams State, & NMHU all got wins and are 1-0, while Ft Lewis, Colorado Christian, Western State, & WNMU suffered losses. In the Rocky Division, Westminster (5-0), Chadron State, South Dakota Mines, and MSU Denver all got wins, meaning Colorado Mesa, Black Hills State, UC Colorado Springs, and Regis suffered losses.

Probably the most interesting thing is Westminster. They were picked next to last in the RMAC pre-season coaches’ poll but are 5-0. Their non-conference schedule was not particularly tough, but they did lose by 1 to D-I Idaho State. Their RMAC win this week was over Colorado Mesa, who was picked 4th in the preseason poll; CMU also features Ryan Stephan, the 6-10 250 Sr Preseason POTY in the RMAC. He averaged 25 pts a game last year and has been a beast so far this year. The Griffins played solid defense holding the team to about 33% from the floor and Stephan to 4-15 overall. They also out rebounded the Mavs by a ton. That’s a big loss for CMU.

Metro State continues to be a conundrum. They got by UCCS at home by 3 points and UCCS is a good team, but without Derrick White, UCCS isn’t nearly what they were last year. Apparently neither is the preseason favorite, MSUD. They are struggling more than was expected. And really, struggling for them, meant they weren’t going to be a clear cut favorite in the RMAC.

FCL losing to Adams State in Alamosa was a mild upset. FLC had been playing very well and ASU isn’t as good as they normally are; not quite as athletic and that hurts their pressure defense and up tempo offense some. But they won a relatively low scoring game.

Friday games of interest this week included UCCS at Colorado Mesa and MSUD at Westminster. It will be interesting to see how both MSUD and WU react to this game. Is Westminster a real threat in the RMAC or is MSUD just an early season disappointment. UCCS at CMU; Mesa needs the win at home over a good team and will likely get it. Mines at FLC will be a good one as well. Mines has to look at this road trip as a possible split but the tough game will be against FLC where the Skyhawks are always very good.

Of course those games will be flipped on Saturday and MSUD, Mesa, Westminster, & UCCS will be playing tough games on Saturday.

We are back!

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

It’s time to start talking about Mustang sports again. We’d also like to invite you to join a related FaceBook page – Mustang Nation. It’s a community of Mustang fans, athletes, students, supporters. We’d like to see photos of you at Mustang sporting events or listening to our broadcasts on the radio or internet. Show your Mustang pride wearing the purple and gold!

And as always, if you have suggestions, ideas, criticism, just post it here or send me an email at mike@silvercityradio.com.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing support of our broadcasts and WNMU athletics.

Mustangs @ Pueblo

September 19th, 2013 No comments

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WNMU had a week off, which may be good may be bad, we won’t know really until Saturday about 5 p.m. The Mustangs played well once again at DI San Diego but gave up too many big plays in their 3 point loss. That’s got to stop if the Stangs want to have a chance to beat #5 Pueblo on the road in both team’s RMAC opener. Not just because Pueblo is good but because Pueblo is a big play offense this year.

Looking at Pueblo’s 2 games this season the offense has 2 scoring plays over 50 yards, both passes and in 4 other scoring drives they had a play of over 40 yards on each drive. In the game against Angelo State last weekend they had 553 yards net offense. The T-Wolves got 380 yards on 6 plays; passes of 64, 68, 84 and runs of 46, 63 and 55. Amazingly, they were stopped a couple of time in the red zone or held to a FG after recovering an ASU fumble inside the 20. 2 of their scores last week were on 80+ yard interception returns, so the defense is also a big play defense.

Cameron McDondle, 5-9 185 So, is the leading rusher averaging 8.2 yards per carry and 119 a game this season, but once again, it’s coming on 2-3 plays a game. He can be dropped for a loss or stopped at the line. The Mustangs will have to be more physical up front with Avina stuffing the middle and the ends/outside linebackers getting contain. Otherwise he’ll be able to break free for big runs once again and you know what it doesn’t matter if he gets the yards in one run or twenty, he gets them and the scores.

Chris Bonner is the signal caller for the Wolves. He’s a JC transfer from Grossmont and at 6-7 225 lbs stands out in the backfield. He’s been average so far this year hitting only 54% of his passes for 278 yards a game, 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Granted the O-line is new this year having lost a tackle and a guard to the NFL which has hurt consistency in both the running and passing game. Get pressure on Bonner and he’ll make mistakes. But give him time and he’ll complete it deep. Watch for the Mustangs to be a little less complicated in their scheme this week as Coach Clark believes we have the talent so why not let them use their ability a bit more and limit some mental errors.

CSUP doesn’t have a wide receiver in the top 15 in the RMAC stats and only has one in the top 30, Chris Brown. At 6-3 222 lbs, the JR is a big target and is talented but draws a lot of double coverage. Last year his big game was against Ft. Lewis with 2 catches for 69 yards. He has 9 catches this year for 261 yards but once again almost 130 have come on just 2 plays. The Mustang DBs will have to play up tight and stay in position to keep him from having a big day. He’s going to have 4-5 inches on anyone we put in the backfield but he won’t be able to outrun Bright, Johnwell, Cook, Hathorne or any of the other DBs that will see time.

On defense, the T-Wolves tend to run a 4-3 which gave the Stangs a bit of trouble last week, especially when USD brought 7-8 into the box, which Pueblo will do also.

We’re back!!!

August 28th, 2013 No comments

It was touch and go for a while as to whether or not we’d be back this season, for several reasons but thanks to the generosity and commitment of station ownership, we’ll be here for yet another season of Mustang athletics. It’s going to be an exciting year with some new faces, returning players and lots of high expectations around WNMU athletics.

We will of course be broadcasting football and men’s basketball while providing play by play for women’s basketball on the video feed provided the RMAC. Football will be entering a pivotal year for Coach Clark as for the first time in his tenure he will have a returning starting QB, Mitch Glasman. Glasman and the Stang offense were consistently among the best in the nation at the D-II level. Even with the loss of All American Marquis Sumpter the Stangs will still have a very good WR corp; an excellent offensive line and a solid running game that has the potential to match the passing game.

The defense suffered significant injuries up the middle of the field, LB and S, but has brought in some new players to fill those positions. Zach Dembrowski will move to LB from DE as the D-line has some old and new faces that are very big and very talented. There will be some questions but if the D can play more consistently and create turnovers, the Stangs could be looking at their first winning season in years. It’ll be tough with the first three games on the road at D-I San Diego, followed by a trip to CSU-Pueblo, again ranked among the top in the nation; then a trip to always tough Ft. Lewis.

More about football and what to expect later; we’re just glad to be back and look forward to another great year!

Lady Stangs battle once again

December 1st, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs are looking more and more like a college basketball team. Western went back and forth against the Orediggers for the first half of play as Morgan, Kassie and Heather powered a comeback early after falling behind. The two teams kept going back and forth with Western hitting some big time shots over and over. The teams would go into the break tied at 29.

Kassie would start the scorign in the second half but Mines would put together their first big run of the second half and take the lead for good. But each time Western would crawl back to within 5 or 6. But one thing about it, WNMU just doesn’t have the depth that other teams will have and the Lady Stangs began to fall behind as Mines put together a couple more runs, 10-0 midway through the half. Western continued to play hard but not having 3-4 scoring options just hurts them as they have to count on Kassie and Morgan for most of the point production. That pair accounted for 23 of the teams 49 shots on the night and 35 of the team’s points.

The Mustangs were also out rebounded 50-27; the lack of size inside shows. Now the Lady Stangs should get some help there after the break when Kaitlyn Hopwood and Jelesia Gray should be able to return to the lineup. That will give the Stangs more scoring options but also more rebounding with the 5-9 & 6-1 players able to battle inside. Until then it’s continue to battle and the wins will come; not regularly but they will come.

I don’t wanna talk about it…

September 9th, 2012 4 comments

I am still tired; feel like I’m hung over after getting up yesterday, leaving for San Diego at 3:30 a.m. and turning right around and driving back after the game. I got about 20 minutes sleep before the game and after such a tough loss, it’s hard to analyze, review and ponder. That was our game to win. Yes, you can talk about the interference call against WNMU late in the game as being pivotal; it was. I don’t think it was interference period, much less offensive interference. But there were a couple of stupid penalties, unnecessary roughness, that were called on the Stangs, that had as much of an impact on the outcome of the game.

I’ll have a post tomorrow summarizing my impressions along with what the coaches discussed after the game.

Since I’m tired and acting like a little kid emotionally, I want to vent a little bit. First, what a GREAT Mustang crowd and a great turnout at the Alumni mixer. Thanks everyone for showing up and Danielle and her staff for putting that together. Silver City based fans, you’ve got some expectations to meet!!

It seems that after talking to a few people yesterday that there are some misconceptions and rumors that need to be dispelled, about me particularly. There are 2 members of the WNMU administration with whom I do not get along and never have. It’s mutual distrust and dislike, but they continue to say things that are absolutely untrue and it’s starting to get under my skin. I have heard their comments over the last couple of years and ignored them. And now it’s starting to negatively affect efforts to help out the athletic department activities, such as the booster club and the golf tournament this summer because people believe or are told I am in this for for personal gain.

I do what I do, broadcast the games, help organize fund raising or whatever, for no pay. I have never been paid in 11 years and while I enjoy money as much as anyone, I am not asking to be paid. I enjoy being around the coaches, the kids and the families and fans. That’s my reward; that and seeing the progress the teams are making. I like helping my alma mater. Someday when WNMU football and basketball are winning national championships, maybe we’ll be able to make money for the school and I can get a bar tab picked up once in a while. But I clearly do not gain personally. I generally leave in the middle of the night and drive to the game then turn around and come home. I’ve gotten some shirts out of the deal over the years and wear them proudly but beyond that; nothing. Please, if someone tells you something negative about me, ask me about it. I’ll tell you if it’s true or not. And don’t let it stop you from becoming involved with WNMU in any way shape or form.

I’m not asking for sympathy either; I just want to clear some things up and set the record straight. There I’ve vented and feel better now, kind of. Time for an adult beverage…

New Stang Logo debuted

July 30th, 2012 3 comments

The new logo for the Mustangs has been around for a month or more but became “official” in just the last week or so. The logo replaces the “W” with the Mustang superimposed. The color scheme has changed as well dropping the metallic gold for the traditional gold that WNMU used to have. Think the Vikings or Lakers and you’ll have a pretty good idea.

A couple of observations; while I like the Stang better than the old logo, how does anyone know that we are Western New Mexico University? Shouldn’t there be a WNMU or even a Western on the logo? We don’t yet have the cache that Notre Dame or other schools have; ones you can recognize the mascot right off the bat. Someday we will but until then. Just a completely random, unscientific example: while hiking in the Grand Canyon this summer I was wearing a football practice shirt with WNMU emblazoned on the front; I’ll bet 15 people asked me what WNMU was and where was it…

Second, the students were not allowed to have input on the new logo or color change. Doesn’t that seem like something you’d put out for a vote or at least student comment? I understand ‘branding’ and the importance of a strong brand to any business but it just doesn’t seem right. Where is the test marketing? I may not know what I’m talking about (I know that seems obvious at times) but I did get my education from WNMU… I also was involved with branding while in the private sector; with State Farm and again with Country Insurance. I’m just saying it seems like this was just a done deal but could have been handled a little differently.

There; I’ve ranted and now I’ll go back to promoting WNMU athletics like the good pimp I am…