FRISCO - - West Texas A&M has played a methodical style of basketball for many years. The rebounding and defense approach is very successful for the Lady Buffs as they won their league leading 15th Lone Star Conference tournament title with a 71-55 win over Angelo State on Sunday afternoon.
West Texas A&M earns an automatic bid to the NCAA DII South Central Regional next weekend and is in a nice position to host the regional. The selection show will air on NCAA.com at 9 p.m. on Sunday night.
“We’re not finished,” West Texas A&M head coach Kristen Mattio said when asked her message to the team. “Our theme is focused and not finished and that’s kind of the mentality right now. We’re not done yet, so we stay hungry, stay humble. We know we earned an opportunity to be in the NCAA tournament.”
The Lady Buffs slowed down an Angelo State team that came in hot after scoring 108 points in the semifinals on Saturday night. The Belles scored at least 20 points in every quarter last night but failed to score 20 points in any quarter against the Lady Buffs.
West Texas A&M trailed by three points at the end of the first quarter but began the second quarter with an 8-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish.
LSC tournament Most Valuable Player Abby Spurgin was huge on the defensive end as she set a record for most blocks in a single LSC tournament game with nine blocks. Spurgin had seven of her nine blocks in the third quarter.
“It’s an honor honestly. Just coming out and being able to play with all these girls that have incredible talent all over the court,” said Spurgin about being named MVP. “Getting that award is special.”
Lexy Hightower and Deleyah Harris was named to the LSC All-Tournament team for West Texas A&M. Hightower led the Lady Buffs with 13 points as all her points came in the second half. Harris recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Marquita Daniels made the All-tournament team despite battling an ankle injury suffered in the quarterfinal round but still put up 10 points for Angelo State. De’Anira Moore led the Belles with 16 points.
“My ankle (felt) better today,” said Daniels on pushing through the injury. “It’s a championship game. I wanted it (and) I wanted to see my team cut down the nets. I just had to fight through it (the injury). It didn’t really bother me once I got on the court.”
Angelo State will earn an at-large bid to the NCAA DII South Central Regional next weekend as they entered the week fourth in the last regional rankings and did nothing to hurt their status.
“The big message in the locker room was we have a lot of basketball left to play,” said Angelo State head coach Renae Shippy. “What this team has done, what this senior leadership has done, to put us to this point was good enough for us to get an at-large bid to the national tournament most likely.”