West Texas A&M will return to the Elite 8 this season and the Buffs proved they will be a tough out on Tuesday night after defeating St. Edward’s 89-70 in the NCAA DII South Central Regional final.
West Texas A&M (34-3) advances to the NCAA DII Elite 8 for the second consecutive season. The Buffs will play on Wednesday, March 27 in Evansville, Ind. The remaining eight teams in the NCAA DII tournament will be reseeded.
This is a different West Texas A&M team from last season; this Buffs team can shoot with any team in the country and they also play tough defense.
The Buffs held a great shooting St. Edward’s team to 41 percent shooting for the game. West Texas A&M jumped out to a 43-33 lead at halftime by holding the Hilltoppers to 39 percent shooting including only 3-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first half.
West Texas A&M began the second half on a 15-2 run to extend its lead to 58-35 with 15:46 remaining in the game. St. Edward’s tried and fought back but were unable to pull any closer than 14 points the rest of the contest.
Senior Ryan Quaid led all scorers and recorded a double-double for West Texas A&M as he scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Brandon Hall added 18 points while Qua Grant and Gach Gach each added 14 points for the Buffs.
Ashton Spears once again led St. Edward’s in scoring as he recorded 21 points and six assists.
Lucas Doria added 16 points and Dorian Lopez contributed 10 points for the Hilltoppers.
St. Edward’s outstanding season ends with a 30-4 overall record, a Heartland Conference regular season and tournament championship, along with an appearance in the NCAA DII South Central Regional.