IN THE RANKINGS:
St. Edward’s continues to inch towards the top spot as they move up one place to No. 2 in this week’s NABC DII Men’s Coaches’ Poll. The Hilltoppers scored two convincing wins last week as they defeated St. Mary’s 89-68 last Wednesday and followed that performance with an 89-69 win over Texas A&M International Saturday afternoon. SEU is 20-1 overall this season and 9-0 in the Heartland Conference.
West Texas A&M continued its rapid rise in the NABC poll this week as they moved up four spots to No. 7. The Buffs earned two dominating wins on the road last week. WT defeated MSU Texas 87-62 last Thursday and defeated Cameron 83-70 Saturday afternoon in Lawton, Okla. The Buffs are currently 21-3 overall for the season and lead the Lone Star Conference with a 10-1 conference record.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Isaac Asrat, Lubbock Christian, Guard, Sr., Plano, Texas
Lubbock Christian’s Isaac Asrat dropped back-to-back 20-plus point games during a 2-0 week for the Chaps who moved above .500 in conference play. Asrat shot 12-of-27 from the floor during the week including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc. The Plano native scored 25 points in a win over Newman to open the week while pulling down six rebounds and handing out five assists. Asrat closed the week with a 22-point effort on 5-of-10 shooting against UAFS in a 13-point win. He also added five rebounds and another five assists along with six steals which tied the single-game season high in the conference this season. This is Asrat’s first player of the week award this season.
Lone Star Conference:
Ronald Bell, Angelo State University, JR, Interdisciplinary Studies, Guard, Atlanta, Georgia, Westlake HS
Bell had an outstanding week as the Rams defeated Tarleton State (64-62) and Texas A&M-Commerce (81-67) to move into a tie for second place in the LSC. He averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over the two games. In the Tarleton game, Bell made 15-18 free throws and had the go-ahead tip-in with 37 seconds remaining. Bell is second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding this season.
Gach Gach, West Texas A&M University, SR, General Studies, Guard, Austin, Minnesota, Austin HS
Gach was a dominant force on the defensive end for West Texas A&M this weekend as they extended its win streak to six games with wins over MSU Texas and Cameron on the road. Along with scoring 10.o points per contest, the senior averaged 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. His best performance of the week came in Saturday’s 83-70 win over Cameron where they held the Aggies to 22.2 percent from beyond the arc where he pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds with four blocks.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Angelo State – Won vs Tarleton State 64-62; Won vs Texas A&M-Commerce 81-67
Dallas Baptist – Won at Texas A&M International 62-51; Won vs St. Mary’s 84-79
Lubbock Christian – Won vs Newman 78-70; Won vs Arkansas-Fort Smith 82-69
Midwestern State – Lost vs West Texas A&M 87-62; Lost vs Eastern New Mexico 81-80
St. Edward’s – Won vs St. Mary’s 89-68; Won vs Texas A&M International 89-69
St. Mary’s – Lost at St. Edward’s 89-68; Lost at Dallas Baptist 84-79
Tarleton State – Lost at Angelo State 64-62; Won at Texas A&M-Kingsville 65-57
Texas A&M-Commerce – Won at Texas A&M-Kingsville 80-77; Lost at Angelo State 81-67
Texas A&M International – Lost vs Dallas Baptist 62-51; Lost at St. Edward’s 89-69
Texas A&M-Kingsville – Lost vs Texas A&M-Commerce 80-77; Lost vs Tarleton State 65-57
UT Permian Basin – Won at Western New Mexico 105-99
West Texas A&M – Won at MSU Texas 87-62; Won at Cameron 83-70
GAMES TO WATCH:
MSU Texas at Tarleton State Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
St. Edward’s at Oklahoma Christian Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
UT Permian Basin at West Texas A&M Saturday at 4 p.m.
Arkansas-Fort Smith at Dallas Baptist Saturday at 2 p.m.
Texas A&M International at Lubbock Christian Saturday at 3 p.m.
TEAM TO WATCH:
Texas Lutheran has won eight of its last nine games and are currently leading the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference with four conference games remaining until the conference tournament. The Bulldogs had a six-game conference win streak ended last Friday night in Denver when they lost 83-69 to second place JWU (Denver). The Bulldogs rebounded to beat Colorado College 71-57 on Saturday night. TLU has a big conference game this week when they travel to play the University of Dallas on Friday night. The Bulldogs final three conference games will be at home.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
American Southwest Conference:
CO-EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Robby Dooley, Jr., F, East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist junior forward Robby Dooley (Bossier City, La.) took over the last two minutes and the entire overtime period, scoring 25 points during that seven-minute span in the Tigers’ 92-85 win over Ozarks. He finished with 33 points, a career-high, and recorded his 1,000th career point on a free throw in the extra period. Dooley was 10-of-19 from the field (52.6 percent) and 12-of-13 at the line in the game to go with three rebounds, three assists and four steals to earn his second Player of the Week of the season and third of his career.
CO-EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Caleb Loggins, Sr., F, LeTourneau
LeTourneau senior forward Caleb Loggins (Lewisville, Texas) led the YellowJackets to a pair of home wins last week to earn his second Player of the Week honors this season and fourth of his career. In a 92-76 victory over UT Tyler, he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Loggins followed with 20 points, eight boards and three blocks in an 88-77 win over Ozarks. For the week, he posted 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.0 blocks and 3.0 steals per game.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Byrale Carter, Jr., G, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor junior guard Bryale Carter (Killeen, Texas) poured in a career-high 24 points in the Cru’s 92-86 win at McMurry to open the week and he added 15 second-half points to help take control of a 103-96 victory at Hardin-Simmons to close the road swing. He shot 73 percent (11-of-15) from the field and 80 percent (4-of-5) from 3-point range while averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Joe Hoeup, Sr., G, Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons senior guard Joe Hoeup (Santa Rosa, Calif.) had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 76-67 victory over Concordia Texas, then on senior day and playing in front of his mother for the first time, scored a career-high 37 points and hit nine 3-pointers in a 103-96 loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor. For the week, Hoeup averaged 28.5 points, 5.5 boards and 2.5 assists per game to earn his second Player of the Week award of the season and third in his career.
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:
ANDREW ROMERO III OF JOHNSON & WALES (DENVER), a senior guard from Northglenn, Colo., has been named the SCAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played from Monday, January 28 through Sunday, February 3.
Romero III led the Wildcats to a pair of wins over the top two teams in the SCAC over the weekend, averaging 32.5 points on 62.5 percent shooting (20-for-23), 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals in victories over Texas Lutheran and Southwestern. The two wins vaulted the Wildcats to second place in the SCAC standings, just a half-game behind TLU. The senior, who leads the conference in scoring, averaging 24.7 points per game, has reached the 30-point plateau six times this season including in both wins last week.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Austin College – Lost vs Dallas 87-70; Lost at Trinity 81-71; Lost at Schreiner 66-56
Concordia Texas – Lost at Hardin-Simmons 76-67; Lost at McMurry 102-99
Dallas – Won at Austin College 87-70; Won vs Southwestern Adventist 89-70
East Texas Baptist – Won vs Ozarks 92-85; Won vs UT Tyler 75-70
Hardin-Simmons – Won vs Concordia Texas 76-67; Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 103-96
Howard Payne – Lost at Sul Ross State 75-64
LeTourneau – Won vs UT Tyler 92-76; Won vs Ozarks 88-77
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won at McMurry 92-86; Won at Hardin-Simmons 103-96
McMurry – Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 92-86; Won vs Concordia Texas 102-99
Schreiner – Won at Trinity 83-55; Lost vs Centenary (La.) 71-66 OT; Won vs Austin College 66-56
Southwestern (Tex.) – Lost at Colorado College 88-78; Lost at JWU (Denver) 97-95
Sul Ross State – Won vs Howard Payne 75-64
Texas Lutheran – Lost at JWU (Denver) 83-69; Won at Colorado College 71-57
Trinity (Tex.) – Lost vs Schreiner 83-55; Won vs Austin College 81-71; Won vs Centenary (La.) 75-73
UT Dallas – Won vs Louisiana College 83-76; Won vs Belhaven 106-66
UT Tyler – Lost at LeTourneau 92-76; Lost at East Texas Baptist 75-70
GAMES TO WATCH:
LeTourneau at Louisiana College Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Texas Lutheran at Dallas Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Concordia Texas at Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday at 3 p.m.
UT Tyler at UT Dallas Saturday at 3 p.m.
Schreiner at Dallas Saturday at 6 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.