IN THE RANKINGS:
West Texas A&M moved up one spot to No. 7 in the NABC NCAA DII Men’s Coaches’ Poll released Tuesday. The Buffs enjoyed a perfect start to Lone Star Conference play last week with two home games. The Buffs defeated Cameron 91-79 on Thursday night and won 91-79 over MSU Texas on Saturday afternoon.
CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS:
Last week was the beginning of conference play for both the Heartland and Lone Star Conference. However, not every team played a conference game last week. Dallas Baptist in the Heartland Conference does not offer women’s basketball and the Lone Star Conference has an extra women’s basketball team with Texas Woman’s. Conference play will pause after this weekend and pick up in earnest in January.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Ashton Spears, St. Edward’s, Guard, Jr., Independence, La.
St. Edward’s newcomer Ashton Spears led the No. 15 Hilltoppers to a 2-0 start to conference play with wins over Newman and St. Mary’s. Spears scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting against Newman and 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting in the Battle of the Saints against St. Mary’s. For the week Spears averaged 23.5 points on 57 percent shooting from the field while picking up 4.5 rebounds per game and 3.0 steals per game. The junior is currently fourth in the conference in scoring average at 16.9 points per game which ranks second among newcomers. This is Spears’ first player of the week award in the Heartland Conference.
Lone Star Conference:
Ryan Quaid, West Texas A&M University, SR, Accounting, Guard, Fort Collins, Colo., Fossil Ridge
Quaid had a monster weekend averaging 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 70.8 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent from the charity stripe as West Texas A&M improved to 10-1 on the season and 2-0 in Lone Star Conference Play. In the team’s LSC opener against Cameron on Thursday night, the senior had 16 points, 13 of those coming in the second half, and seven rebounds. The Fort Collins, Colo. native was even better on Saturday at the First United Bank Center against rival MSU Texas where he tied a career-high with 29 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the fourth time this season and 11th time in his career has eclipsed the 20-point plateau.
Tyree Robinson, Texas A&M University-Commerce, SR, General Studies, Forward, Fall River, Mass., Durfee HS
Robinson was the Lions' top rebounder and rim defender in a 2-0 start to the LSC season with wins over Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville. He scored eight points with four rebounds in the ASU game, also swatting away two shots. He was huge on the boards in the Kingsville game, notching a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, with a block and a steal.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Angelo State – Lost at Texas A&M-Commerce 81-72; Won at Tarleton State 74-61
Dallas Baptist – Won at Lubbock Christian 75-69; Won vs Texas A&M International 84-64
Lubbock Christian – Lost vs Dallas Baptist 75-69; Won at Arkansas-Fort Smith 82-69
Midwestern State – Lost at Eastern New Mexico 85-73; Lost at No. 8 West Texas A&M 93-70
St. Edward’s – Won vs Newman 96-85; Won at St. Mary’s 84-68
St. Mary’s – Won vs Our Lady of the Lake 84-65; Won vs Texas A&M International 57-54; Lost vs St. Edward’s 84-68
Tarleton State – Won vs Texas A&M-Kingsville 66-59; Lost vs Angelo State 74-61
Texas A&M-Commerce – Won vs Angelo State 81-72; Won vs Texas A&M-Kingsville 73-68
Texas A&M International – Lost vs Western New Mexico 70-62; Lost at St. Mary’s 57-54; Lost at Dallas Baptist 84-64
Texas A&M-Kingsville – Lost at Tarleton 66-59; Lost at Texas A&M-Commerce 73-68
UT Permian Basin – Won vs Our Lady of the Lake 105-61; Won vs Southwest 88-79
West Texas A&M – Won vs Cameron 91-79; Won vs MSU Texas 93-70
GAMES TO WATCH:
Dallas Baptist at Texas A&M-Commerce Thursday at 7 p.m.
West Texas A&M at Lubbock Christian Thursday at 7 p.m.
St. Mary’s at Angelo State Saturday at 4 p.m.
Western New Mexico at UT Permian Basin Saturday at 4 p.m.
The American Southwest Conference teams began conference play last weekend with a full slate of games. The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference begins play this week with a few games. Louisiana College was the only ASC team to win both of their conference games last weekend. Howard Payne is also undefeated after only playing one conference game. UT Tyler is ineligible for the ASC and NCAA DIII championships this season as they are reclassifying to NCAA DII and the Lone Star Conference next year.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
American Southwest Conference:
EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Devon Washington, Sr., C, Louisiana College
Louisiana College senior center Devon Washington (Houston, Texas) averaged a double-double with 26.5 points and 12.0 rebounds as the Wildcats picked up a pair of wins. He shot 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the floor in the two games. In the 85-80 win at Hardin-Simmons, Washington led all scorers with 30 points and added 14 rebounds. He then put in 23 points with 10 boards in a 70-60 victory at McMurry.
WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Ephriam Price III, Sr., G, Concordia Texas
Concordia Texas senior guard Ephriam Price III (Lake Charles, La.) set a career-high with 37 points in a 97-95 loss to East Texas Baptist, knocking down five-three pointers in the game. He scored 30 of the Tornados’ 47 second half points against the Tigers. Price scored 16 points with five boards and five steals in an 87-82 win against LeTourneau on Thursday. For the week, he averaged 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game for his fourth career Player of the Week.
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:
COOXOOEII BLACK OF COLORADO COLLEGE, a junior forward from Arapahoe, Wyo., has been named the SCAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played from Monday, November 26 through Sunday, December 2.
Black averaged 24.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while leading Colorado College to a pair of non-conference victories last week. In the 101-82 win over Whittier College, Black posted his third double-double of the season with a career-high 33 points and 10 rebounds. The junior forward hit 11 of 14 shots from the floor for a season-best .786 percentage. Black also dished out a career-high seven assists. In the 69-65 victory over UC Santa Cruz, he scored 16 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Black ranks first on the team and second in the SCAC averaging 8.3 rebounds per, and first on the team and third in the SCAC averaging 19.0 points per game.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Austin College – Lost vs Millsaps 90-67
Concordia Texas – Won vs LeTourneau 87-82; Lost vs East Texas Baptist 97-75
Dallas – Lost vs Millsaps 70-60; Lost vs Hendrix 82-66
East Texas Baptist – Lost at Mary Hardin-Baylor 98-95; Won at Concordia Texas 97-75
Hardin-Simmons – Lost vs Louisiana College 85-80; Won vs Belhaven 94-71
Howard Payne – Lost at Abilene Christian 90-53; Won at Centenary (La.) 73-71; Won vs UT Dallas 69-65
LeTourneau – Lost at Concordia Texas 87-82; Won at Mary Hardin-Baylor 87-82
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won vs Schreiner 103-80; Won vs East Texas Baptist 98-95; Lost vs LeTourneau 87-82
McMurry – Won at Southwestern (Tex.) 97-92; Won vs Belhaven 105-100; Lost vs Louisiana College 70-60
Schreiner – Lost at Mary Hardin-Baylor 103-80
Southwestern (Tex.) – Lost vs McMurry 97-92
Sul Ross State – Lost vs UT Dallas 83-50
Texas Lutheran – Did not play last week.
Trinity (Tex.) - Lost at Oglethorpe 60-55; Lost at No. 23 Emory 116-77
UT Dallas – Won at Sul Ross State 83-50; Lost at Howard Payne 69-65
UT Tyler – Won vs Dallas Christian 96-62; Won vs Hendrix 72-54; Won vs Ozarks 73-68
GAMES TO WATCH:
Concordia Texas at UT Dallas Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Hardin-Simmons at UT Tyler Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Southwestern (Tex.) at George Fox Friday at 9 p.m.
Howard Payne at LeTourneau Saturday at 3 p.m.
Southwestern (Tex.) at Lewis & Clark Saturday at 7 p.m.
Cory Hogue is Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball small college correspondent follow him on Twitter at @HoagieSports and be sure to visit his website (linked below) for more coverage of Division II and Division III collegiate athletics.