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Women's Basketball - Tue, Nov. 12, 2013


Tuesday, November 12th - 8:30 PM                                                 
Rip Griffin Center (Lubbock, Texas)
Radio: KJAK 92.7 FM       
All-Time Series: ENMU leads 23-9

After 11 consecutive seasons ending their season at the NAIA National Championship Tournament, the Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaparrals begin a new era. LCU, which is in Year Two Candidacy in transition to a NCAA Div. II member, is playing their first season as a former NAIA member and its first as a provisional Heartland Conference member. The Lady Chaps will play a NCAA Div. II schedule and will play a Heartland Conference schedule, but will not have a postseason to play for this season. Following a 2-0  preseason, they jump into a 26-game regular season schedule Tuesday with their season opener hosting Eastern New Mexico. They defeated University of Houston 80-73 on Nov.2 and followed with a 98-46 win over Texas College Thursday.

Lubbock Christian completed their exhibition schedule with a pair of wins, led by a 80-73 win over NCAA Div. I University of Houston. Thursday LCU built a 25-0 lead in opening seven minutes of the contest. LCU was 8-of-9 from the field to open the game and 10-of-14 during the 25-0 run. The Lady Chaps were 54.8% (40/73) from the field in the game. All 12 players for LCU figured in the scoring. None of the starters played more than 17 minutes and starter Kelsey Hoppel had 17 points in 17 minutes, with a 7-for-9 shooting performance to lead all scorers. Seven LCU players had eight or more points, including a 12-point outing from Hannah Harbin. Morgan Dean nearly had a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds, and Allison Szabo produced eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

LCU is coming into the season following a season in which they went 31-4 overall and 13-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Lady Chaps claimed their first ever conference tournament title and 11th consecutive trip to the NAIA National Championship Tournament before falling in the third round of the tournament to Cumberland (Tenn.) 63-61. They produced two NAIA All-Americans last season in Kelsey Canavan and Nicole Hampton.

The Lady Chaps lost two starting members from last season's team, with Kelsey Canavan and Courtney Wilson graduating. Canavan leaves LCU as the program's career leader in field goal percentage (54.7%). She averaged 13.9 points and was 54.4% from the field last season. Wilson leaves the program ranked fourth in blocks with 65 over her LCU career. She averaged 10.8 points a game last season.
There are three starting members returning to the Lady Chaps, with an additional member bringing experience in a starting role. Nicole Hampton, Haley Burton and Emily Pool (Atkins) are returning starters for the Lady Chaparrals. Pool suffered a season-ending knee injury in the conference tournament and Kelsey Hoppel took over the starting reigns from there. Hampton averaged 12.7 points per game last season and 8.9 rebounds. She produced the third highest single season assist mark in program history with 192 last season and her last two seasons have seen the top two single season free-throw shooting marks (92.4% and 92.1%). Burton hit 60 three-pointers last season and averaged 10.4 points per game. Pool averaged 12.6 points per game last season. Hoppel averaged 12 points a game last season and led the team with 74 three-pointers.

LCU brings four new players onto the roster with three new active players and a redshirt freshmen. The new additions are Kaycie Boyles (transfer... Missouri-Kansas City), Hannah Harbin (Lubbock Titans...home school team) and Alison Szabo (Merkel High School). An additional member, Claire Bruffey, transferred in this season from McMurry and will redshirt this season. Morgan Dean will also be a new active face for the Lady Chaps, as the recruit from Canyon High School redshirted last season with an injury.

Emily Pool enters this season with 1,355 career points and is 93 points away from breaking into the top-five in all-time points scored in program history. She already ranks third all-time in career free-throw attempts (560) and fifth in free-throws made (435).

Nicole Hampton has set free-throw records and rebounding records in each of her first two seasons with the Lady Chaps.  The top two single-season program marks for free-throw percentage are held by Hampton (92.4% from 11/12, 92.1% last season). She also holds the single-season program mark for rebounding (310 last season) and the third best rebounding season (280 in 11/12).

LCU has been more known for how they finish the season, than begin the season. The Lady Chaps have dropped four of the last six season openers. They had lost their last three season openers until claiming 79-59 win at home against Texas-Permian Basin. In season openers, LCU is 22-12 and 6-4 under head coach Steve Gomez.

Kelsey Hoppel matched the program single-season mark of made three-pointers last season with 74, joining former Lady Chaps Jordan Hampton (07/08) and Angie Taylor (97/98). Her season mark of 45.1% from long range was the third best single-season mark. She enters her junior season with 121 three-pointers and is 35 away from breaking into the career top-five in program history.

The Lady Chaps have set their single-season wins mark in each of their last two seasons, with 28 in 2011-2012 and 31 last season.  The trend ends this season with a 26-game season and no postseason.

LCU led the NAIA last season for a second consecutive season with a 77.6% shooting mark from the line. The Lady Chaps finished in the top-10 in the NAIA in free-throw shooting for eight consecutive seasons: 12/13 (1st), 11/12 (1st), 10/11 (9th), 09/10 (5th), 08/09 (2nd), 07/08 (1st), 06/07 (6th) and 05/06 (9th). Since LCU is no longer a NAIA program, Hampton stands as the NAIA's career leader in free-throw shooting with a mark of 92.3% (250/271), breaking the NAIA Women's Div. I career percentage mark of 88.7% set by Julie Nill (1981-84) of Missouri-Kansas City.  

The Lady Chaps played nine of their first 11 games against NCAA Div. II programs last season.  They went 9-0 against NCAA Div. II squads, including wins over No.7 Metro State and No.23 ranked Northeastern State.  

1st St. Mary's
2nd Texas-Permian Basin
3rd Newman
4th St. Edward's
5th Texas A&M International
6th UA Fort Smith
7th Oklahoma Panhandle State

Votes were conducted by coaching staffs and sports information departments of the conference members schools. Lubbock Christian, McMurry, Oklahoma Christian and Rogers State are not allowed to be ranked as provisional conference members.

Eastern New Mexico is 0-2 to open the season after losses to Adams State (58-46) and Colorado State - Pueblo (73-64) over the weekend at the Adams State Conference Challenge in Alamosa, Colo. It marked the coaching debut of Josh Prock, who made the move from a successful stint at Howard Payne to become the Zias eighth coach in program history. The Zias opened to a 0-10 start last season, then exploded to win seven of their last 19 games, to reach the Lone Star Conference tournament for the second straight season. During the final 19 games, Ashlee Pierson averaged nine points, 3.6 rebounds and shot .438 from the floor. Jasmine Johnson led the Zias in Colorado with 11 points a game.

ENMU leads the all-time series with a mark of 23-9 and has won  two of the last three meetings. The Zias defeated LCU 73-69 in the prior meeting (Nov. 9, 2010) in Portales, New Mexico. The previous meeting in Lubbock came on Dec. 29, 2006, with LCU defeating the Zias 86-62. LCU is 1-2 against ENMU under head coach Steve Gomez.