UT Dallas Basketball Teams Enter League Tournaments
UT Dallas will begin postseason play on the road this week in the American Southwest Conference basketball tournaments. The women’s team will open play against Concordia University Texas at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Tyler. The men’s team will tip off against Hardin-Simmons University at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Marshall.
Senior Madi Hess will lead the Comets against Concordia University Texas at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Tyler.
The women’s team (21-4) enters the postseason as the tournament’s No. 2 seed after tying the program's record for wins in a season. The Comets posted a 17-3 mark in ASC play and will start the tournament against Concordia Texas in a rematch of the teams’ regular-season finale — a 65-55 Comets win over the Tornados on Saturday.
The women’s team is 6-7 in its previous eight trips to the ASC Tournament, advancing to at least the semifinals each of the past four seasons. The Comets claimed their only league title in 2013.
The Comets are led by ASC Player of the Year candidate Madi Hess, an Emerging Media and Communication senior. Hess leads UT Dallas in nearly every statistical category. The point guard set the school’s season record for assists and leads the league with 5.5 assists per game.
The men’s team is making its 12th straight appearance in the ASC Tournament with an opening round game with league regular-season co-champion Hardin-Simmons in a rematch of last year’s title game.
The Comets (16-9) will have one of their toughest trips to a conference title as they enter this year’s tournament as the No. 7 seed. The Cowboys (19-6) are No. 2 seed at the event hosted by fellow co-champion East Texas Baptist University.
UT Dallas recorded its lowest regular-season win total in nine seasons but managed to advance to the postseason thanks to an 11-9 record in league play. In their previous 11 trips to the ASC Tournament, the Comets have posted a 14-8 record and claimed the league title three times (2005, 2009, 2014). The men’s team has advanced to at least the conference semifinals each of the past six seasons and seven times in program history. The Comets have played in the title game four times.
The Comets have been sparked by the play of All-American candidate Rafael Farley this season. Farley, a criminology senior, ranks second in the ASC with 21.8 points per game, leading the league in both three-point percentage (43.9 percent) and three-pointers made (3.6 per game) and sits fifth in the league shooting 45.5 percent from the field. Farley adds 8.5 rebounds per game, ranking third in the ASC.
The ASC Women’s Basketball Tournament will start at noon Thursday with No. 3 seed Louisiana College facing No. 6 seed Mary Hardin-Baylor (bracket). The entire eight-team, single-elimination event is available for fans to watch online for free. All tournament links can be found on the ASC Tournament Central page and the UT Tyler athletics website.
Admission prices each day will be $5 for adults, $3 for college students (with current college ID), children and senior citizens. Tournament passes will not be available. Souvenir tournament T-shirts are $15, while official game programs are $2. Tickets are available on game days at the Herrington Patriot Center main entrance.
The ASC Men’s Basketball Tournament will start at noon Thursday with No. 3 seed Louisiana College facing No. 6 Concordia University Texas (bracket). The entire eight-team, single-elimination event is available for fans to watch online for free. All tournament links can be found on the ASC Tournament Central page and the East Texas Baptist University athletics website.
Admission prices each day will be $8 for adults, $5 for general admission and $3 for college students (with current college ID), children and senior citizens. Tournament passes are not available. Tickets are available on game days at the Ornelas Gymnasium main entrance.
Spirited Student Claims $5,000 Comet Cash Jackpot
It pays to show Comet pride at UT Dallas athletic events.
Last Saturday, geosciences junior Matthew Engel pocketed a $5,000 jackpot during the last drawing of a season-long promotion to boost attendance at UT Dallas home games. The cash prize was presented during halftime at the men’s basketball team’s final home game.
“It was great. I was yelling and thinking ‘No way!’ It didn’t really sink in until I was halfway down the bleacher’s stairs,” Engel said.
UT Dallas athletic director Bill Pettit came up with the idea of the Comet Cash Jackpot last fall to encourage stronger student attendance. A name was drawn at random from a list of all registered students at halftime of UT Dallas volleyball, soccer and basketball games this season. Anyone whose name was drawn had to be present to collect the prize.
Athletic department sponsors added $100 to the jackpot after every drawing, until the prize totaled $5,000. Though drawings were held at each home athletic game, the prize went unclaimed all season.
At the final home basketball game on Saturday, students signed up for the drawing as they entered the Activity Center’s main gym. Engel’s name was the first one drawn.
Engel, who said he has only been to a few Comet sporting events because of time constraints, said he would donate some of the prize money toward the purchase of an aircraft for the UT Dallas Aviation Club, which he co-founded.
The rest will go to “rent, food, electricity and flying — the four important things,” he said.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].