The Pioneer basketball preseason began with the UNT Exhibition, where TWU lost within a 12-point margin to the NCAA Division I Mean Green team. Bouncing back at the Ashbrook Classic hosted at Midwestern State University, TWU added two in the win column.
On Fri., Nov. 11, the Pioneers tipped off against Texas A&M International. TWU began the game with an 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. The bench came on the court and registered 21 points for the Pioneers. Points from the bench along with the a 60 percent success rate from the free-throw line combined to help the Pioneers in their 59-42 win over the Dustdevils. TWU shot 26 for 74 from the field and recorded 10 steals. Senior guard Andrea Mapua recorded a team-high of 36 minutes on the court and 14 points. Junior forward Alexis Nezianya came off of the bench to record 13 points for the Pioneers. Junior forward Grace Mitchell recorded three steals and two blocks against the Dustdevils.
The following day of tournament play, Sat., Nov. 12, the Pioneers took the court to play Adams State University. TWU went 29 for 78 on field goal attempts during the 57-46 win. After a close 30-27 score at halftime, the Pioneers went on to record 21 points in the third quarter. The bench for TWU also played a valuable role making 30 of the points. Nezianya came off of the bench once more to record a game-high of 20 points and three blocked shots for TWU. Junior guard Cienna Rodriquez also recorded four steals. Sophomore guard KJ Stastny tallied a team-high of seven assists, which resulted in TWU points.
The Pioneers will be hosting the Best Western Premier Pioneer Classic tournament during the weekend before Thanksgiving break. TWU is scheduled to play Newman University on Sat., Nov. 19 and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Sun., Nov. 20. Tipoff for both of the games are set to start at 4 p.m. inside Kitty Magee Arena.