Tarleton, ASU battle for coveted spot in Elite Eight

Tarleton State and senior point guard Michael Hardge fight for a spot in the Elite Eight Tuesday evening against Angelo State. || TheFlashToday.com photo by RUSSELL HUFFMAN

 

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Special to The Flash

TarletonSports.com

THE GAME
Tarleton is taking on Angelo State in the South Central Regional Championship at D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Frisco.


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THE BROADCAST
Each game will have a live radio broadcast presented by the Tarleton Sports Network presented by North Texas Ford Dealers. The Voice of the Texans, Casey Hogan, will be back calling the play-by-play for Tarleton basketball. The radio broadcast can be heard on KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville and surrounding areas or online at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. Hogan will provide a special 30-minute pregame show for the NCAA Tournament with interviews from associate head coach Chris Reisman and Angelo State head coach Cinco Boone.

HOW TARLETON GOT HERE
The Texans cruised past No. 5-seed Colorado Mines in the Regional opener, 83-61, and followed with a come-from-behind win over Lubbock Christian 69-63 in the semis.


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NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
No. 4 seed Tarleton is making its sixth Sweet Sixteen appearance in program history and second straight. The Texans are 3-2 all-time in the Regional Finals, having won the region in 2005, 2006, and 2015. This is the first time Tarleton has been to the Regional Finals as the four seed. Tarleton defeated Angelo State 66-64 in the 2015 Regional Championship in Stephenville. This is the first time since 1987 that the South Central Region has a rematch in the Regional Finals when Delta State and Southeast Missouri State met. Tarleton has reached the NCAA Division II Final Four twice – 2005, 2015 – the only Division II men’s basketball team in Texas to appear in two Final Fours.

THE OPPONENT: ANGELO STATE
Angelo State comes in as the No. 3 seed in the tournament. The Rams are 25-6 this season and finished in a tie for second with Tarleton in the Lone Star Conference standings at 9-5. The Rams average 87.5 points per game this season and are giving up 77.3 points to opponents. Angelo State’s high-scoring offense boast three double-digit scores, led by First-Team All-LSC selection Tre Bennett with 16.8 points. Stedman Allen (15.9), and Quay King (10.8). Omari Gudul, the only returner from last season’s Regional finalist, is averaging 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest.

THE SERIES: ANGELO STATE
Angelo State leads the all-time series 34-38 dating back to 1965. In the Lonn Reisman era (1988), Tarleton is 31-14 against the Rams. The Regional Championship marks the third-ever postseason meeting with Angelo State, with all three coming in the last two seasons. Tarleton and Angelo State have squared off three times this season, with ASU winning two of three.


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WHEN THE TEXANS…
Tarleton is 16-0 when they shoot at least 45 percent from the floor. When Tarleton dishes out at least 16 assists, they are 10-1 on the year. The Texans are 16-2 when they have less than 15 turnovers. Tarleton is 17-2 when they score 74 or more.

500-POINT CLUB
EJ Reed has 540 points this season, ranking the senior forward 15th all-time for a single season. Reed, a D2CCA and LSC First-Team selection, needs six points to pass De’Andre Upchurch for 14thall-time in a season.


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