MBB Small College Recap: UT Dallas sinks 17 3-pointers, Tarleton State falls out of the Top 25

Division II

IN THE RANKINGS:

St. Edward’s made another huge leap in the NABC DII Men’s Coaches Poll this week as they entered the top 5 for the first time this season. The Hilltoppers jumped seven spots to No. 4 this week after winning two Heartland Conference games last week. The Hilltoppers defeated Dallas Baptist 76-57 at home last Thursday and beat Oklahoma Christian 64-57 on Saturday. SEU is 15-1 on the season and 4-0 in conference.

West Texas A&M fell eight spots in this week’s poll after suffering their first Lone Star Conference loss last week. The Buffs took a tough 86-74 loss last Thursday on the road to Texas A&M-Kingsville. WT bounced back on Saturday with a huge 89-78 win on the road over rival Angelo State. The Buffs are 16-3 on the season and 5-1 in the LSC. The Buffs face another huge LSC challenge this week as they host No. 20 Texas A&M-Commerce on Thursday before hosting Tarleton State on Saturday.

Texas A&M-Commerce moved up four spots this week to No. 20 after winning a huge Lone Star Conference battle at home over then No. 23 Tarleton State last Thursday. The Lions came back from an 11-point halftime deficit to dominate the second half and defeat the Texans 76-64. The Lions are 13-2 on the season and 5-0 in the LSC. The Lions have a LSC showdown awaiting them this week as they travel to play No. 16 West Texas A&M Thursday in Canyon, Texas.

Tarleton State fell from the top 25 this week after splitting a pair of games last week. The Texans suffered a 76-64 loss on the road last Thursday to then No. 24 Texas A&M-Commerce. The Texans responded with a 90-45 win over Dallas Christian at home last Saturday. Tarleton State is 13-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Lone Star Conference. The Texans have another huge LSC game on Saturday as they travel to Canyon, Texas to battle No. 16 West Texas A&M.

HEARTLAND CONFERENCE ON ESPN3

The NCAA announced last week that the men’s basketball contest between Rogers State and Lubbock Christian scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, will be televised on ESPN3 as part of the Division II Showcase. The men’s game will follow the women’s game and is tentatively scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

This is the second time in three years that Lubbock Christian will host the DII showcase. The Division II Showcase is in its fourth season of televising men’s and women’s basketball games and this is the second basketball doubleheader featured in 2019.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

Heartland Conference:

Brent Finn, Texas A&M International, Guard, Jr., Big Timber, Mont.

Texas A&M International junior Brent Finn had career-night in the win over Lubbock Christian on Thursday with career-high 34 points to upset the Chaps. Finn led the Dustdevils to their fourth-straight win over the LCU at home and led the Dustdevils to their first conference win of the season. The Montana native was all over the floor, shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-11 from long range. He also had a season-high 11-of-15 from the charity stripe. His 34-point game is the most in a single game by any Dustdevil this season. Finn is averaging 13.5 points per game this season which ranks ninth in the conference. This is Finn’s first career player of the week award.

Lone Star Conference:

OFFENSIVE

Tyree Robinson, Texas A&M University-Commerce, SR, General Studies, Forward, Fall River, Mass., Durfee HS

Robinson was the catalyst in the No. 24 Lions' 76-64 win over No. 23 Tarleton to remain undefeated and in first place in the LSC. He scored 26 points on 69.2 percent shooting with 8 rebounds (5 offensive), 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He was a perfect 8-of-8 from the field in the second half, leading the Lions back from a halftime deficit. He is now shooting 73.9 percent from the field this season to lead the nation, as the only player above 70 percent in that category. He also ranks in the top 5 in the LSC in offensive rebounds and blocked shots.

DEFENSIVE

Robert Stevenson, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, SR, Business, Forward, Houston, Texas, Eisenhower HS

Stevenson grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked four shots while helping the Javelinas hold their opponents to a .367 shooting percentage and an average of 66.5 points per game in two victories. The senior from Houston collected nine boards and two blocks while scoring seven points in TAMUK's upset of No. 8 West Texas on Thursday. He also helped hold 2018 first-team all-LSC pick Ryan Quaid to just seven points on 2-of-7 shooting. On Saturday, Stevenson pulled down 10 rebounds to go with two more rejections and Eastern New Mexico could only manage a shooting percentage of only 31.3 in a 68-59 win for TAMUK.

AROUND THE CONFERENCE:

Angelo State – Won vs Eastern New Mexico 88-69; Lost vs West Texas A&M 89-78

Dallas Baptist – Lost at St. Edward’s 76-57; Won vs Rogers State 93-63

Lubbock Christian – Lost at Texas A&M International 68-47; Won at St. Mary’s 80-68

Midwestern State – Won vs UT Permian Basin 73-65; Won vs Western New Mexico 88-70

St. Edward’s – Won vs Dallas Baptist 76-57; Won vs Oklahoma Christian 64-57

St. Mary’s – Lost vs Lubbock Christian 80-68

Tarleton State – Lost at Texas A&M-Commerce 76-64; Won vs Dallas Christian 90-45

Texas A&M-Commerce – Won vs Tarleton State 76-64

Texas A&M International – Won vs Lubbock Christian 68-47

Texas A&M-Kingsville – Won vs West Texas A&M 86-74; Won vs Eastern New Mexico 68-59

UT Permian Basin – Lost at MSU Texas 73-65; Won at Cameron 93-89

West Texas A&M – Lost at Texas A&M-Kingsville 86-74; Won at Angelo State 89-78

GAMES TO WATCH:

Texas A&M-Commerce at West Texas A&M Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Angelo State at UT Permian Basin Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Texas A&M International at Oklahoma Christian Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Tarleton State at West Texas A&M Saturday at 4 p.m.

Dallas Baptist at Arkansas-Fort Smith Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

Division III

TEAM TO WATCH:

UT Dallas solidified their spot among the top of the American Southwest Conference East Division last week with two huge victories. The Comets defeated East Texas Baptist 113-73 last Thursday and followed that win with an impressive 89-86 victory over a good LeTourneau team. The Comets improved to 12-3 on the season and 6-2 in conference as they remain a challenger to Louisiana College for the top spot in the division.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

American Southwest Conference:

EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Jalen Weber, Jr., G, UT Dallas

UT Dallas junior guard Jalen Weber (Houston, Texas) went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc as the Comets drained a school-record 17 three-pointers Thursday night in a 113-73 victory over East Texas Baptist. He scored 19 points with four assists in 25 minutes against the Tigers. Weber then added 27 points with a season-high eight assists Saturday in an 89-86 victory against LeTourneau. On the week, Weber was 17-for-29 from the field (58.6 percent) and hit 6-of-12 from outside while averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.

CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Tristen Licon, So., G, Sul Ross State

Sul Ross State sophomore guard Tristen Licon (El Paso, Texas) posted a season-best 22 points as the Lobos defeated Howard Payne 82-78 in ASC West Division play Saturday. Licon shot 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and was 7-for-11 from the field. He also grabbed seven rebounds with three assists and blocked shot.

CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Joe Neal, Sr., G, Concordia Texas

Concordia Texas senior guard Joe Neal (Houston, Texas) earned his second straight Player of the Week award and fifth of his career by averaging 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game while helping the Tornados to a pair of home conference wins. In a 97-62 victory against McMurry, he scored 18 points with five assists and four rebounds. Neal followed with a 20-point, 11-rebounds, five-assist performance in an 87-80 victory over Hardin-Simmons. He scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, including a 7-0 run, to give CTX a come-from-behind victory against the Cowboys.

Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:

MICHAEL WAMBSGANSS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS, a sophomore guard from Denver, Colo., has been named the SCAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played from Monday, January 7 through Sunday, January 13.

Wambsganss registered a season-best 24 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games to help lift the Crusaders to an 84-77 victory over previously unbeaten in conference play, Southwestern. Wambsganss poured in 22 of his team-leading points in the second half on 9-of-16 shooting, including 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. The sophomore guard also added three steals and one assist. Wambsganss has combined for 76 points during UD's four-game winning streak, all of which have come against league opponents. The Crusaders, who had lost six consecutive games prior to their current win streak, sit third in the SCAC standings at 4-2.

AROUND THE CONFERENCE:

Austin College – Lost vs Southwestern 81-63; Lost vs Texas Lutheran 78-60

Concordia Texas – Won vs McMurry 97-62; Won vs Hardin-Simmons 87-80

Dallas – Won vs Southwestern 84-77

East Texas Baptist – Lost vs LeTourneau 85-84; Lost at UT Dallas 113-73; Lost vs Centenary (La.) 81-61

Hardin-Simmons – Lost at Mary Hardin-Baylor 105-69; Lost at Concordia Texas 87-80

Howard Payne – Lost vs Sul Ross State 82-78

LeTourneau – Won at East Texas Baptist 85-84; Lost at UT Dallas 89-86

Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won vs Hardin-Simmons 105-69; Lost vs McMurry 75-72

McMurry – Lost at Concordia Texas 97-62; Won at Mary Hardin-Baylor 75-72

Schreiner – Lost vs Texas Lutheran 76-55

Southwestern (Tex.) – Won at Austin College 81-63; Lost at Dallas 84-77

Sul Ross State – Won at Howard Payne 82-78

Texas Lutheran – Won at Schreiner 76-55; Won at Austin College 78-60

Trinity (Tex.) – Lost at Colorado College 58-51; Lost at JWU (Denver) 62-55

UT Dallas – Won vs East Texas Baptist 113-73; Won vs LeTourneau 89-86

UT Tyler – Lost at Louisiana College 78-68; Lost at Belhaven 90-63

GAMES TO WATCH:

Louisiana College at East Texas Baptist Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

JWU (Denver) at Trinity Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Louisiana College at LeTourneau Saturday at 3 p.m.

Mary Hardin-Baylor at Concordia Texas Saturday at 3 p.m.

Dallas at Southwestern (Tex.) Saturday at 6 p.m.

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