MBB NCAA DII Tournament Second Round: Hilltoppers ride hot shooting, West Texas A&M knock off rival Texas A&M-Commerce

St. Edward’s 93, Lubbock Christian 80

St. Edward’s started the game smoking hot from beyond the 3-point arc to build a huge first half lead on its way to a 93-80 win over Lubbock Christian in the NCAA DII South Central Regional semifinal.

St. Edward’s (30-3) advances to the South Central Regional final on Tuesday where it will play either West Texas A&M or Texas A&M-Commerce at a time and place to be determined. The Hilltoppers would host the final on Tuesday if Texas A&M-Commerce is the opponent.

The Hilltoppers hit 10-for-15 3-point attempts in the first half to build a 55-36 halftime advantage.

Lubbock Christian would fight throughout the second half but pull no closer than nine points with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

August Haas and Dorian Lopez each scored 17 points to lead St. Edward’s. Ryan Garza would add 15 points and Lucas Doria and Ashton Spears each contributed 13 points for the Hilltoppers.

Lubbock Christian was led by Brennen Fowler who scored a game-high 26 points and secured nine rebounds. Isaac Asrat added 22 points while Rashaan Proctor scored 15 points and Silas Crisler chipped in 12 points for the Chaps.

Another successful Lubbock Christian season ends with a 21-10 record and a trip to the NCAA DII South Central Regional semifinals.

 

West Texas A&M 77, Texas A&M-Commerce 61

CANYON - It is never easy to beat a team four times in a single season especially when that team is also a conference rival. West Texas A&M was able to accomplish that exact feat on Saturday night as it defeated Texas A&M-Commerce 77-61 in the NCAA DII South Central Regional semifinals.

West Texas A&M (33-3) advances to play St. Edward’s on Tuesday night in the NCAA DII South Central Regional final. The winner of the regional final will earn a trip to the NCAA DII Elite 8.

Texas A&M-Commerce fell to a familiar foe as this is the third straight season the Lions have fell to the Buffs in the NCAA DII tournament.

West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Commerce have met 11 times in the last three seasons with the Buffs owning a 9-2 record in those contests.

The game was close for the first 24 minutes and was tied at 37 with 15:47 remaining in the contest when West Texas A&M went on a 22-6 run to gain a lead the team would never relinquish.

“We just really want to go and get our shooters open,” said West Texas A&M head coach Tom Brown on the run. “We knew that they were going to slow it down and pack it in, but I thought our guys were very patient yet aggressive.”

Freshman Qua Grant led West Texas A&M with a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds.

“Stay out of foul trouble,” said Qua Grant on his focus in this game compared to the LSC finals last Sunday when he scored seven points.

Brandon Hall and Ryan Quaid each scored 13 points and Jordan Collins added 10 points for the Buffs.

Senior Reggie Reid led Texas A&M-Commerce with 19 points and played the Lone Star Conference tournament and the NCAA DII tournament while battling a leg injury.

“My mentality was just trying to get healthy and get back as soon as possible,” said Reggie Reid. “I’m happy with our effort and it was a great season.”

Senior Willie Rooks added 15 points and Rodney Brown chipped in 10 points for the Lions.

Texas A&M-Commerce concludes its season at 24-8 overall and with its third straight NCAA DII tournament appearance. The Lions senior class has been a big part of the Lions success.

“What everyone else doesn’t see is showing up at every day at practice and how we prepare,” said Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Jaret Von Rosenberg on his senior class. “Those things carry over. Young guys see the success, but they also know how you have (work) to get there and have the success but it doesn’t make it feel any better right now.”

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