A top 25 showdown hits the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas Saturday, Nov. 16. In a rematch of the 2019 DII women's basketball championship game. No. 2 Lubbock Christian hosts No. 20 Southwestern Oklahoma State at 8:30 p.m. ET. Here's what you need to know about each team and the matchup.
Both teams enter the game — which closes out the TAJ Hospitality Classic — a perfect 3-0 on the season. Lubbock Christian swept through the Al Kaly Shrine Classic in Pueblo, Colorado, taking down CSU-Pueblo and MSU Denver in a pair of double-digit wins on opening weekend. SWOSU went undefeated in the GAC/MIAA Crossover, closing out opening weekend with a thrilling 84-83 win over Pittsburg State.
A lot has changed since that double-overtime thriller in Columbus, Ohio that decided the 2019 DII women's basketball championship. The Bulldogs had to move on from the Hailey Tucker and Hayden Priddy era, which has gone well, so far. Freshman forward Makyra Tramble has come out of the gates red hot. She's scored 46 points in her last two games and is averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game. Bethany Franks, arguably the toughest rebounder in the Great American Conference two years running, is at it again with 26 rebounds already on the season. Senior guard Tyra Aska has also looked tough so far, averaging a respectable 9.3 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game.
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The Lady Chaparrals have to overcome the loss of Olivia Robertson to graduation but return three starters from the championship game that will make the transition easier. Maddi Chitsey is one of the best in DII women's basketball and she's off and running, averaging 16.3 points and six rebounds per game, both team highs. It should be fun to see her and Franks go at it in the paint. Allie Schulte, another one of those returning starters, is also off to a strong start averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 3.3 assists per game.
This game could come down to who controls the tempo and plays their style of basketball. Lubbock Christian will grind it out, holding its opponents to just 54.7 points per game while SWOSU will run and try to score in bunches, averaging 83.3 points per game with an aggressive defense that likes to turn the ball over. This game could be won in the paint, where the rebound margin is very close.
Here's a look at the two teams by the numbers.
Southwestern Oklahoma State
|83.3 points per game||74.3 points per game|
|72.7 points allowed per game||54.7 points allowed per game|
|35.0 rebounds per game||37.7 rebounds per game|
|13.6 assists per game||17.3 assists per game|
|11.3 steals per game||7.7 steals per game|
It is entirely too early in the season to say this game as major 2019-20 implications, but it is certainly a good test for both. Lubbock Christian will have the opportunity to see what it can do defensively against a solid offense, while Southwestern Oklahoma State has an opportunity to show it still belongs in the top 10 of DII women's basketball. While a lot has changed, there is definitely plenty familiar to both teams. Hopefully, that leads to another thrilling finish like we saw last March.