Local sports events

Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Scott Noble who will become the next Director of Athletics for the Mustangs. Noble will begin his duties on February 2nd.

“WNMU Athletics is in a state of transition where we have an opportunity to push the envelope of success,” Dr. Shepard said. “Leadership will be key to that success. Mr. Noble brings a solid record of meeting challenges that yield outstanding results and will provide that leadership.”

I saw the article about Joe and Lupe's complaints at the councilor's meeting regarding the national anthem. I would like to make sure all of the facts are out there.

1) The practice of having the national anthem played at the 9-10 minute mark was a policy implemented by the Lone Star Conference, not WNMU's administration.

2) The teams leaving the floor at the time has been a regular occurrence in the 16 years I've been broadcasting WNMU basketball games. They normally leave the floor and return to the locker room for a quick discussion with the coaches and to put on their game jerseys.

3) The color guard has been to one game this season. The one to which Joe was referring happened to be a non-conference game in which there was only the men's game being played that day.

4) On nights when both the men and women's teams are playing, the national anthem is played only before the women's game. That is a new practice this year.

5) The young men on this team are very nice, respectful young gentlemen; as I understand it, some with family members in the military or that are veterans. They did not make this decision and in no way disrespect our military or flag. Prior to the beginning of the conference season, they were on the floor for the national anthem.

6) This situation was explained to Lupe Cano's mother in an email from then athletic director Mark Coleman. I am certain that Lupe Cano would have been aware of that information. That email was sent 3-4 weeks ago.

7) This game was on a Tuesday night during the winter break for WNMU. At the time there were very few people in the stands but the crowd was larger than that at game time. Games are usually on Thursday and Saturday nights and I know that several regular attendees were not aware of this game. Crowds at the game have been significantly larger throughout the season.

Mike Rowse
Silver City NM

[Editor's Note: Emphasis by editor]

It was the start the Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team was looking for as they moved out to an 11-point lead five minutes in. Still ahead at halftime, Cameron University turned it on midway through the second half and exploded for the 101-79 Lone Star Conference victory Saturday afternoon.

Senior Latrell Spivey opened the scoring for WNMU (3-13, 0-7 LSC) 36 seconds in and then a pair of foul shots by sophomore Tyshaun Copper gave the Mustangs a 4-2 lead. Junior Willie McCray helped start another run with a layup a few minutes later and after junior Davis Wade dialed up a three-pointer, Copper added two more from the line and a fastbreak jumper by McCray had WNMU out to a 15-4 lead at the 15:14 mark.

Following an even first quarter, Cameron University used a plus-24 advantage on points in the paint and a plus-32 effort on bench points to move in front midway through the second quarter on their way to defeating the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team 90-58 Saturday afternoon in Lone Star Conference play.

Cameron (6-10, 4-4 LSC) outscored WNMU (0-16, 0-8 LSC) 42-18 on points in the paint and 44-12 on bench points. They also turned 22 WNMU turnovers into a 30-11 points off turnovers advantage. The first quarter and fourth quarters were big for the Lady Mustangs as they scored 19 in the first and 21 in the fourth to stay even with the Aggies.

Junior Ciara Fields continued her strong play as she not only led all-scorers with 16 points, but she also made it a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team against Midwestern State University. Despite the big game from Fields, Midwestern State used a big second half to pull away for the 64-47 Lone Star Conference victory Thursday night.

Fields went 5-14 from the field, including a three-pointer, along with a 5-6 effort at the foul line. Of her 14 rebounds, six came on the offensive end and she rounded out her game with three steals and three blocks. Five players had at least seven points for the Lady Mustangs with seniors Melody McLaughlin and Jade Botelho, along with junior Takiyah Lopez chipping in eight points apiece, while freshman Rachel Francisco added seven points.

The Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team looked to be in trouble trailing by 19 points late in the first half. The resilient Mustangs didn’t quit, in fact they came all the way back to take a late lead in the second half before Midwestern State used a key stretch over the final few minutes to take the 89-79 Lone Star Conference victory Thursday night.

 It was not the start WNMU (3-12, 0-6 LSC) was looking for as they fell behind 22-7 just over 12 minutes into the game. MSU (5-11, 2-5 LSC) built the lead as high as 19 with 2:32 to go in the half when the Mustangs began to find their legs.

After the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, it would end up being a tight back-and-forth game after that. Texas Woman’s University came back and were able to make a couple key plays down the stretch to take the 60-55 Lone Star Conference victory Saturday afternoon inside Drag’s Court.

A trio of Lady Mustangs (0-14, 0-6 LSC) put together big games with junior Ciara Fields going for a game-high 18 points, while adding three rebounds and three steals. Senior Jade Botelho went for a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and junior Takiyah Lopez chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and both an assist and steal. Senior Melody McLaughlin and freshman Rachel Francisco had three assists apiece.

To close out the week after facing Eastern New Mexico on Tuesday, the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team will host Texas Woman’s University this Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Drag’s Court.

The Pioneers are 5-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play with wins over Texas A&M-Kingsville and UT Permian Basin, while they were defeated by Angelo State and West Texas A&M. They are 1-2 away from home in true road games and will face Eastern New Mexico in Portales tonight (Thursday).

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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