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Buffs Finish Road Trip in Austin on Saturday

by Staff





Date Time Opponent Location Venue Links
Saturday, February 24 3 p.m. St. Edward’s Austin, Texas SEU Recreation and Athletics Center Stats | Video | Game Notes

 
CANYON, Texas – The West Texas A&M men’s basketball team wraps up its Lone Star Conference road trip on Saturday, Feb. 24 when the Buffs face the Hilltoppers of St. Edward’s. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. inside the St. Edward’s Recreation and Athletics Center.

LSC CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS

After a win over St. Mary’s on Thursday, the Buffs wrapped up the West Division, claimed the No. 1 seed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament, and earned a share of the LSC Regular Season title. With a win over St. Edward’s or a DBU loss, WT can claim the title outright for the 11th time in program history and repeat as regular season champions in pursuit of its seventh-consecutive Lone Star Conference Tournament Championship. 

 

LIVE COVERAGE

A live stream will be available for the game provided by the St. Edward’s athletic communications department through the Lone Star Conference Digital Network. Fans can buy a yearly pass for $140 that grants access to all broadcasts for the LSC including previous years or a $30 monthly subscription. Live stats will also be provided for fans to stay up to date.

 

NABC TOP 25 POLL

The poll saw no change at the one through three spots with WT grabbing all 16 first-place votes followed by Nova Southeastern and Fort Lewis. Minnesota State took over the No. 4 spot after ranking fifth last week, and Gannon jumped up two spots to No. 5.

 

WT is one of five South Central regional programs ranked with the Buffs leading the way at No. 1. Fort Lewis (3rd), Colorado Mesa (6th), DBU (8th), and Colorado School of Mines (21st) earned spots in the poll. Lubbock Christian received votes in the poll.

 

SCOUTING ST. EDWARD’S

The Hilltoppers come off an impressive 91-84 home victory over Lubbock Christian on Thursday. St. Edward’s holds a 19-9 overall record including 12-7 in Lone Star Conference play. Andre Cook leads the Hilltoppers in his 15th year as a head coach and 15th at St. Edward’s. For his career, Cook holds a 260-174 record for a .599 winning percentage.

 

On the season, SEU averages 78.2 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting from the field while giving up 73.3 points per game to opponents. Four players average double-digit scoring for the Hilltoppers paced by Sean Elkinton’s 17.4 per contest. Gavino Ramos (14.5), Blake Nielsen (11.6), and Jeff Gary (10.3) also average double figures. Elkinton leads SEU and ranks fourth in the conference with 7.9 rebounds per game while Ramos paces the team with 42 steals and Nielsen powers the offense with 136 assists.

 

THE SERIES

WT leads the all-time series with St. Edward’s 7-2 including 1-1 in Austin. Tom Brown is 5-1 against the Hilltoppers in his tenure at the helm of the Buffs. Andre Cook is 1-5 in his time as the head coach of St. Edward’s

 

W, 85-76 – Canyon, 2023

W, 82-72 – Austin, 2022

W, 108-89 – Canyon (LSC), 2021

W, 81-65 – Frisco (LSC), 2020

L, 87-100 – Austin, 2019

 

THE BROWN ERA

Head coach Tom Brown enters his 10th season at the helm of Buffalo Basketball, building the program into one of the elite NCAA Division II schools in the nation.  He has guided the Buffs to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments including the Buffs first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2021. Under Brown, the Buffs are 261-58 since he took the reins in 2014 for an incredible winning percentage of 81.8%.  Brown registered his 250thcareer victory on Jan. 13, 2024, after the Buffs defeated UT Permian Basin, 77-69, to become just the second coach in program history to reach the 250-win plateau. 

 

LAST TIME OUT

On Thursday, the West Texas A&M men’s basketball team went on the road to earn a decisive 88-63 win over the Rattlers of St. Mary’s. The Buffs improve to 25-1 overall, including 22 straight wins, to remain the only undefeated team in the Lone Star Conference at 19-0. Four Buffs reached double-digit scoring on Thursday night highlighted by a game-high 22 from Larry Wise. Ahamed Mohammed and Zach Toussaint scored 15 each in the win while Kieran Elliott added 11. Elliott also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds while Noah Pagotto hauled in eight. Brock Mishak dished out a team-high six assists while blocking a pair of St. Mary’s shots.

 

RECORD WATCH 

Zach Toussaint is moving his way up the ladder in the program’s 3-point career leaderboard.  The Johnsburg, Ill., product ranks second all-time with 361 threes after passing former Buff Jordan Evans (2015-2018) in the Buffs’ win over Arkansas Fort Smith on Nov. 30. Larry Wise also moved into the top 10 of 3-point shots made, ranking seventh with 177 made threes. David Chavlovich (2014-18) is the program’s all-time 3-point leader with 388. 

 

Toussaint and fellow senior Larry Wise both broke the 1,000-point mark last season. Currently, Toussaint ranks fourth with 1,709 after passing Joel Murray in the Buffs’ win over Cameron on Feb. 1. Wise continues to move up the scoring list as the Waxahachie, Texas now ranks seventh with 1,523 points.

 

Toussaint is also the program’s all-time games played leader after breaking the record on Jan. 27, 2024 against UT Tyler.  

 

ON THIS DAY: FEB. 24

Saturday’s game marks the 29th time the Buffs have played on this date and first since 2022. WT is 14-14 all time on Feb. 22 but 6-4 in its last 10 games on this date.

 

W, 87-78 – Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2022

W, 82-76 – Tarleton State, 2018

L, 62-64 – Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2010

L, 55-61 – Midwestern State, 2007

W, 81-70 – Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2005

 

BEVO FRANCIS TOP 50 WATCH LIST

On Thursday, West Texas A&M senior Larry Wise advanced to the Top 50 for the 2023-2024 Bevo Francis Award presented to the top player in Small College Basketball, awarded by SmallCollegeBasketball.com. The honor is awarded to a deserving player whose university is affiliated within NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA.

 

The Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball. Considerations will be season statistics and individual achievements, awards, personal character, and team achievements. This is an incredibly prestigious award, as this award will only be given to one player within Small College Basketball per season.

 

On March 15th, the Top 25 players will be announced. On April 5th, the finalists of this year’s award will be announced, followed by the Bevo Francis Award winner being crowned on April 8th.

 

TREVOR HUDGINS TOP 25 WATCH LIST

Small College Basketball announced West Texas A&M senior Zach Toussaint was named to the Trevor Hudgins Top-25 Watch List. Toussaint becomes the first Buff to be named to the watch list after the award was announced in November 2023.

 

The Trevor Hudgins Award will be presented annually to the senior who has had the finest overall four-year career within Small College Basketball. Considerations will be overall career statistics and achievements, team achievements, awards, and personal character. The player must have played his entire career at the small college level. This will be the highest award given to a four-year player within Small College Basketball.

 

LSC PRESEASON FAVORITE

WT was voted to repeat as Lone Star Conference regular season champs with 703 total points including 34 of the possible 45 first-place votes. Angelo State came in second in the preseason poll with 675 points and nine first-place votes. St. Edward’s (600, 1 fpv) came in third followed by Lubbock Christian (564, 1 fpv) and DBU (522) to round out the top five. Texas A&M-Kingsville, voted to finish sixth, tallied 497 points with St. Mary’s following at 443 and Eastern New Mexico at 377. Midwestern State (298) and UAFS (282) finish the top 10. Texas A&M International (278), Western New Mexico (216), UT Permian Basin (208), Oklahoma Christian, (183), UT Tyler (176), and Cameron (93) rounded out the poll.

 

THE LONE STAR

The 2023-24 LSC basketball schedule will feature 16 men’s teams in two divisions with each team playing a double round-robin schedule within their division. Additionally, teams will play eight crossover competitions against teams from the opposite division for a total of 22 conference games.

 

The LSC Basketball Championships will feature an 8-team field in 2024 with seeding based on the 22 conference games. The East and West Division winners automatically qualify for the LSC Tournament but are not guaranteed a top two seed. The championships are set to take place March 7-8-9-10, 2024, at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas.

 

2022-23 REVIEW

The Buffs come off another successful campaign after finishing 27-7 in 2022-23 and claiming the program’s sixth-consecutive Lone Star Conference Tournament title. In the LSC Championship game, Zach Toussaint drained a pull-up jump shot with three seconds left to give WT a 64-63 win over No. 19 Angelo State. After receiving the automatic qualifier, the Buffs were selected as the top seed in the region and hosted the regional tournament. After a 78-56 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville and a 69-59 win over No. 23 Angelo State, WT matched up with No. 21 Black Hills State for a spot in the Elite Eight. The game came down to the last tenth of a second as Damion Thornton’s game-winner was waved off as the Yellow Jackets advanced with a 68-67 victory.

 

UP NEXT

WT faces off with rival Lubbock Christian at 7:30 p.m. inside the Rip Griffin Center on Thursday, Feb. 29 before hosting the Chaps on Saturday, March 2.

 

FOLLOW THE BUFFS

Fans can follow and stay up to date on all the Buff action on online and on social media.  Follow the Buffs on Twitter (@WestTXD2Hoops), Instagram (@WTAMU_MBB), and Facebook (/WTAMUMBB).

 

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