Lone Star Conference Tournament: West Texas A&M blows by Cameron, Tarleton State edges Eastern New Mexico

Angelo State 83 Texas A&M-Kingsville 76

FRISCO - - Angelo State broke open a back and forth contest with an 8-0 run to begin the second half on their way to defeating Texas A&M-Kingsville 83-76 in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Conference Tournament. 

Angelo State (21-7) advances to the semifinals on Saturday at noon, when they will play the winner of the UT Permian Basin/Texas A&M-Commerce game.

“I thought the biggest key to me against Kingsville is mental toughness,” said Angelo State head coach Cinco Boone. “That shot that (Alex) Mills hit at the end of the first half, that can take the air out of you as you’re going into halftime. Just really proud of our grit, our mental toughness, and how we won this (quarterfinal round) game.”

Paul Williams would lead Angelo State with 23 points with 17 of his points scored in the second half. Williams got to the free throw line often as he made 12-of-13 free throws in the game as Texas A&M-Kingsville and their pressure defense was called for 31 fouls.

“I knew they were a high fouling team so I knew if we could get into the bonus, we’d have a better chance of keeping our lead,” said Williams.

Daron Mims added 17 points while Kiair Crouch scored 15 points and second team All-LSC member Ronald Bell recorded a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Rams.

Darius Mickens scored 23 points and six assists for Texas A&M-Kingsville while Daniel Severo was the only other Javelina in double figures as he added 10 points.

“He’s (Darius Mickens) a huge player for us. He does a lot of things naturally, he’s got a lot of learning to do like most freshman do, but we threw him into the fire this year and for the most part this year he responded,” said Estelle. “He’s got a lot of upside.”

Texas A&M-Kingsville finishes their season 12-15 overall. The Javelinas return most of their roster but their seniors will certainly be missed.

“These guys are not quitters and they’re going to be winners beyond this court,” said Estelle of his seniors.

Texas A&M-Commerce 90 UT Permian Basin 80

FRISCO - - UT Permian Basin took a 60-55 lead with 9:12 remaining in the game after an Xavier Ledet dunk. That’s when second team All-Lone Star Conference senior forward Trey Conrod decided to take over for Texas A&M-Commerce in the quarterfinal round of the Lone Star Conference tournament.

Conrod would score 13 of his 19 points in the final nine minutes, and the Lions would outscore the Falcons 35-20 during that span. Texas A&M-Commerce won a much needed 90-80 victory.

“We were lucky and fortunate to make some shots at the end, but we got two or three stops in a row that we’re able to have some separation,” said Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Jaret Von Rosenberg. “It kind of felt like the first team that had three empty possessions was going to lose and we’re just fortunate it was their team and not ours.”

Conrod nailed three attempts from beyond the arc during the decisive final stretch of the game as Texas A&M-Commerce (22-7) moves on to play Angelo State on Saturday at noon.

Reggie Reid would score 16 points for Texas A&M-Commerce in his return from injury as five Lions scored in double figures. Austin Grandstaff added 15 points, Srdan Budimir scored 13 points and Deonta Terrell chipped in 12 points for the Lions.

“It felt great getting back out there and being able to do what I love which is play basketball,” said Reid. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”

All-LSC first team member Jacob Ledoux would lead all scorers with 21 points for UT Permian Basin. Miles Washington added 16 points and Adam Rivera contributed 14 points for the Falcons.

“(Jacob Ledoux is) a very talented offensive player,” said Newman. “This year we needed him to score and we needed him to score a lot and he did that.”

UT Permian Basin ends their season at 14-15 as first-year head coach Josh Newman has a lot to look forward to next year.

“Now we have figured out what it takes to be successful in this league (LSC),” said Newman. “Everything is in place for us to be very successful at UTPB, as they showed in the past, and our goals and our expectations are for that not to change at all and to push the needle even farther.”

West Texas A&M 72 Cameron 59

FRISCO - - West Texas A&M is No. 4 in the NABC Division II Coaches’ poll and the No. 1 overall seed in the Lone Star Conference tournament. While the Buffs are led by senior double-double machine and LSC Player of the Year Ryan Quaid, they are a complete team in every facet of the game. The Buffs put on a team clinic Thursday night as they defeated Cameron 72-59 in the LSC quarterfinals. 

West Texas A&M ran out to a 22-point lead in the second half. However, the Aggies showed no quit as they had the score within nine points with five minutes remaining in the game before Gach Gach nailed a three-point attempt late in the shot clock.

West Texas A&M (29-3) advances to play the winner of the Eastern New Mexico / Tarleton State game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the semifinals.

“Give Cameron credit as they came out fighting. They had some seniors that weren’t going to go down without a fight,” said West Texas A&M head coach Tom Brown. “I give our guys credit too. Anytime you can get a win in the conference tournament, it’s big.”

“I knew we would fight. We’ve fought all year but they’re an awfully good team to spot (22) points,” said Cameron head coach Andrew Brown. “I was really impressed with our guys and how we battled and fought but we just spotted them too much.”

Ryan Quaid recorded another double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Quaid also surpassed 1,600 career points in the victory. Quaid also owns the most games played and most rebounds in West Texas A&M program history.

Senior Gach Gach scored 21 points as he made 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 from the free throw line while Eric Mosley added 11 points and Joel Murray contributed seven points and nine assists for the Buffs.

Senior leader Tyus Momoh finishes the final game of his college career with nine points, six assists, and six rebounds. Momoh talked about what lasting impression he has tried to leave on the young Aggies.

“I have an optimistic personality so in the game you keep fighting no matter what. That’s the thing I want to leave with them is to keep fighting throughout the game because you never know what can happen,” said Momoh.

Cameron’s season comes to an end after a 9-20 season. Aggies coach Andrew Brown discussed what his team need to do during the off-season.

“For us to make it to the postseason was big. More than anything it gives our guys a chance to see what you have to do individually to start climbing the ladder,” said Andrew Brown. “We have a lot of young players, so we have a lot of fight in us. We just have to get mature and get tougher.”

Tarleton State 87 Eastern New Mexico 85 OT 

FRISCO - - When the No. 4 seed and No. 5 seed teams meet the teams are expected to be evenly matched. Eastern New Mexico and Tarleton State could not have been more evenly matched as the final game of the Lone Star Conference quarterfinals was the best game of the day.

Each team scored 38 points in the first half and each team scored 38 points in the second half. The only thing that separated the two teams was a Randall Brodie three-point basket with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime as Tarleton State won an 87-85 game over Eastern New Mexico.

The teams were so even they shared the same field goal percentage (42.9) in the game.

“Every time we’ve played these guys it’s been a two-point game and it’s come down to the final possession,” said Tarleton State head coach Chris Reisman. “I’m really proud of my guys for not quitting.”

Eastern New Mexico looked to take control with a 60-48 lead with 10:20 remaining in the second half. That’s when Reisman used a timeout to exhort his Texans’ team to strengthen their defense.

“We were getting killed in transition and it wasn’t just transition, it was layups we were giving up,” said Reisman. “I let them know my frustration with that. I told them I’ve had enough. I felt like they were not focused, and I didn’t think that they were pushing through the adversity. I challenged them and thank goodness they responded.”

Randall Broddie led Tarleton State with 21 points with most of his points coming at critical points in the game for the Texans.

Jesse Hill added 17 points and nine rebounds while Brandon Goldsmith scored 10 points and eight rebounds and Clashon Gaffney and Josh Hawley each contributed 12 points for the Texans.

Devin Pullum led Eastern New Mexico with 17 points while Chukuka Emili, Maurice Coleman, and Zach Parker each added 14 points for the Greyhounds.

Eastern New Mexico’s season comes to an end with a 13-14 overall record. Eastern New Mexico head coach Tres Segler discussed how big his seniors have been in building the program.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our senior crew. They’ve been leaders. They really have led in the self-sacrificial way in which they’ve played all season,” said Segler. “I don’t have a guy averaging 20 (points per game), I’ve got eight guys averaging from 12 to nine and to do that these guys have to give of themselves.”

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