IN THE RANKINGS:
West Texas A&M is No. 4 again this week after two big road victories last week. The Buffs secured their second straight regular season Lone Star Conference championship by defeating Tarleton State 81-65 on Thursday night and Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday afternoon. The Buffs will play their final game of the regular season Tuesday night when they host Eastern New Mexico. West Texas A&M is 27-3 overall and 16-1 in the Lone Star Conference.
St. Edward's remained No. 5 this week after ending Dallas Baptist's 37-game home winning streak in its only game last week. The Hilltoppers won 94-81 on Saturday afternoon to end the Patriots streak. The Hilltoppers play at Texas A&M International on Wednesday night and close out their regular season schedule with a game at Lubbock Christian on Saturday afternoon. St. Edward's is 24-2 overall this season and 13-1 in the Heartland Conference.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Brennen Fowler, Lubbock Christian, Forward, Sr., Smyer, Texas
Lubbock Christian senior Brennen Fowler posted his 13th and 14th double-doubles of the season as the Chaps went 2-0 on the week with important wins over Newman and Oklahoma Christian. He averaged 27 points a game and pulled down 13 rebounds in both games. In Saturday's win over OC, Fowler hit 11-of-12 shots from inside the arc. For the week Fowler shot 70 percent from the floor on 21-of-30 shooting. He is now averaging a double-double on the year with 10.2 boards and 19.2 points per contest. This is Fowler’s fifth player of the week award this season.
Lone Star Conference:
Qua Grant, West Texas A&M University, FR, Undeclared, Guard, Waxahachie, Texas, Waxahachie HS
Grant had another impressive week as No. 4 West Texas A&M clinched its second consecutive outright Lone Star Conference Championship with road wins over Tarleton and Texas A&M-Commerce. He averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 steals where he shot 50.0 percent from the floor and 3-point range. He recorded his second career double-double on Saturday against TAMUC where he scored 23 points with 10 rebounds while making 4-of-6 from downtown. He had a career-high seven steals in Thursday’s win over the Texans where he also scored 15 points.
Gilbert Thomas, Midwestern State University, JR, General Studies, Forward, Houston, Texas, King HS (Angelina College)
Thomas delivered his top performance with 16 points, 23 rebounds and six blocked shots at a clutch time helping Midwestern State keep its postseason hopes alive with a 62-59 win over Cameron Tuesday at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The 6-6, 225-pound junior posted his sixth double-double of the season, while 23 rebounds matched the second most in NCAA Division II this season and were the most since Khapri Alston had 27 points and 25 rebounds at Angelo State in 2015-16. Thomas' six blocked shots are also a season high as the Mustangs limited to 32.2 percent shooting.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Angelo State – Won vs Western New Mexico 99-71; Won vs UT Permian Basin 93-80
Dallas Baptist – Won at Oklahoma Christian 86-82; Lost vs St. Edward’s 94-81
Lubbock Christian – Won at Newman 71-66; Won vs Oklahoma Christian 79-60
MSU Texas – Won vs Cameron 62-59
St. Edward’s – Won at Dallas Baptist 94-81
St. Mary’s – Lost at Rogers State 88-76; Lost at Arkansas-Fort Smith 81-55
Tarleton State – Lost vs West Texas A&M 81-65; Lost vs Eastern New Mexico 70-68
Texas A&M-Commerce – Won vs Eastern New Mexico 87-78; Lost vs West Texas A&M 81-69
Texas A&M International – Won at Arkansas-Fort Smith 64-59; Lost at Rogers State 52-51
Texas A&M-Kingsville – Won vs UT Permian Basin 88-63; Won vs Western New Mexico 78-47
UT Permian Basin – Lost at Texas A&M-Kingsville 88-63; Lost at Angelo State 93-80
West Texas A&M – Won at Tarleton State 81-65; Won at Texas A&M-Commerce 81-69
GAMES TO WATCH:
Texas A&M-Kingsville at Cameron Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Angelo State at MSU Texas Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
St. Edward’s at Lubbock Christian Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tarleton State at UT Permian Basin Saturday at 4 p.m.
Angelo State at Cameron Saturday at 4 p.m.
UT Dallas and Texas Lutheran Earn Automatic Bids to NCAA D3 Tournament:
Texas Lutheran and UT Dallas will both be traveling to Walla Walla, Washington for the first round of the NCAA D3 men's national tournament.
Texas Lutheran and UT Dallas are the only men's basketball teams from the Lone Star State to earn a spot in this year's tournament.
No. 2 Whitman is the host for the first two rounds of action for both teams from the Lone Star State.
Texas Lutheran (18-9, 11-5) will play the host Whitman (26-1, 16-0) in the first round. Whitman is one of the best all-around teams in the country as they average 104.9 points per game while only allowing 81.1 points per game.
The Bulldogs earned the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference automatic bid with a thrilling 99-95 double overtime win over Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
UT Dallas (24-4, 13-3) also plays a tough first round game as they draw No. 11 Pomona-Pitzer (25-2, 15-1). Pomona-Pitzer is the only team to have defeated the host Whitman this season as they scored a 112-109 double overtime victory on Nov. 24.
The Comets earned the American Southwest Conference automatic bid by dominating the ASC tournament at home and defeating Hardin-Simmons 88-74 in the championship game on Saturday night.
The NCAA D3 national tournament will begin play on Friday, March 1 with the second round being on Saturday, March 2. Start times will be announced later.
American Southwest Conference:
Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Dimitrius Underwood 2 Jr. G UT Dallas Mesquite, Texas
Nate West 2 Jr. G LeTourneau Houston, Texas
Joe Neal 2 Sr. G/F Concordia Texas Houston, Texas
Brian Long Sr. F Mary Hardin-Baylor San Bernardino, Calif.
Sam Moore So. G Mary Hardin-Baylor Gonzales, Texas
2 Two-Time All-Conference
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference:
2018-19 ALL-SCAC FIRST TEAM
Brandon Alexander, Southwestern, 6-5, Jr., Forward, Inez, Texas
Andrew Romero III, Johnson & Wales, 6-1, Sr., Guard, Northglenn, Colo.
Treylan Matthews, Centenary, 6-1, Sr., Guard, Houston, Texas
Nathan Josephs, Texas Lutheran, 5-10, Sr., Guard, San Antonio, Texas
Matthew Rindahl, Schreiner, 6-6, So., Forward, Kyle, Texas
AROUND THE CONFERENCE:
Austin College – Did not play last week.
Concordia Texas – Won vs Louisiana College 86-84; Lost vs UT Dallas 88-69
Dallas – Won vs Schreiner 68-64; Won vs Southwestern 91-84; Lost vs Texas Lutheran 99-95 2OT
East Texas Baptist – Lost vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 90-73
Hardin-Simmons – Won vs LeTourneau 110-101; Won vs Mary Hardin-Baylor 97-91; Lost vs UT Dallas 88-74
Howard Payne – Did not play last week.
LeTourneau – Lost vs Hardin-Simmons 110-101
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Won vs East Texas Baptist 90-73; Lost vs Hardin-Simmons 97-91
McMurry – Lost vs UT Dallas 93-66
Schreiner – Lost vs Dallas 68-64
Southwestern (Tex.) – Lost vs Dallas 91-84
Sul Ross State – Did not play last week.
Texas Lutheran – Won vs Trinity 64-60; Won vs Dallas 99-95 2OT
Trinity (Tex.) – Won vs Centenary (La) 65-63; Lost vs Texas Lutheran 64-60
UT Dallas – Won vs McMurry 93-66; Won vs Concordia Texas 88-69; Won vs Hardin-Simmons 88-74
UT Tyler – Did not play last week.
GAMES TO WATCH:
Texas Lutheran at Whitman Friday at 7:30 p.m.
UT Dallas vs Pomona-Pitzer Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Cory Hogue is Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball small college correspondent follow him on Twitter at @LSSportsDaily and be sure to visit his website (linked below) for more coverage of Division II and Division III collegiate athletics.