West Texas A&M had everything against them in its NCAA DII Elite 8 game on Wednesday night.
The game was in Evansville, Ind. which just happened to be the hometown of its opponent, the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. And last, but not least, the Ford Center was loaded with a vast majority of Screaming Eagles fans.
To make matters worse, Southern Indiana jumped out to an early lead and never trailed as the No. 7 seed Screaming Eagles upset No. 2 seed West Texas A&M, 94-84.
Southern Indiana (26-8) advances to the Final Four where they will play either Queens (N.C.) or Point Loma in on Thursday.
Southern Indiana opened up a close 34-30 game with 4:09 remaining in the first half by finishing on a 12-4 run to take a 46-34 lead into the locker room. West Texas A&M fought back in the second half and opened the second half on a 26-12 run to pull within 60-58 with 10:09 left in the game. Southern Indiana responded with a jumper on its next possession and didn't allow the Buffs to pull closer than four points the remainder of the game.
The Buffs struggled to make shots beyond the arc the entire night as they only made 5 of their 25 attempts from the 3-point line.
Southern Indiana feasted inside the paint against West Texas A&M and made 29-of-51 from inside the 3-point line against a good defensive Buffs squad.
West Texas A&M also struggled on the glass as they were outrebounded 46-34 by the Screaming Eagles and allowed eight offensive rebounds during the first half.
Southern Indiana was led by Alex Stein who scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Josh Price added 14 points while Kobe Caldwell contributed 12 points, Tyler Dancy scored all 11 of his points in the first half and Emmanuel Little chipped in 10 points for the Screaming Eagles.
Qua Grant had another outstanding performance in his amazing freshman season as he led West Texas A&M with 27 points. NABC All-American Ryan Quaid ended his fabulous career with 17 points while Brandon Hall added 15 points and Joel Murray chipped in 11 points for the Buffs.
West Texas A&M finishes another fantastic season with a program record 34 wins against only four losses. The Buffs also made their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA DII Elite 8.
The Buffs say a goodbye to some great seniors as Mr. Buff Ryan Quaid, Brandon Hall and Gach Gach all played their final game for West Texas A&M.
The cupboard is not bare for the Buffs as they return outstanding freshman Qua Grant and fellow freshman Joel Murray along with junior Jordan Collins and redshirt junior Eric Mosley who all played significant minutes this season.