By BRAD KEITH
FRISCO (March 1, 2018) — A leak in the roof of Dr Pepper Arena has thrown the Lone Star Conference Championship tournament for a loop, but the conference has been quick to address the issue and reschedule games so that both the men’s and women’s tournaments should – in theory – be back on schedule by the end of Friday.
The men’s quarterfinal games have been moved to Kitty Magee Arena at Texas Woman’s University in Deonton, which of course is home to the TWU Pioneers women’s teams. Moving the men there means no team has a home court advantage, while the women will resume play with the second half of game 2 of their tournament at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Dr Pepper Arena.
How does this affect Tarleton?
The No. 3 seed Texan men’s team tips off against No. 6 seed Cameron at 1 p.m, at TWU. That’s an hour later than the game was originally slated to begin in Frisco. The other games will follow at 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the same order as the original schedule. Conference officials are allowing free admission to all men’s quarterfinals.
The No. 5 seed TexAnn women’s club stays in Frisco and faces No. 4 seed Eastern New Mexico at 2:30 p.m., with the remaining quarterfinal between No. 1 seed Angelo State and No. 8 seed Texas Woman’s set for 5 p.m.
The women’s semifinals remain set for noon and 2:30 p.m. and the men’s semifinals for 6 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Dr Pepper Arena, where the women’s final begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by the men’s final at 3:30 p.m.
Tarleton State men’s coach Lonn Reisman is advising his team not to let the change in venue Friday affect their focus. Ranked No. 9 in the South Central Region, they are very much a bubble team as far as getting into the NCAA Division II Championship, which they last missed in 2009.
“We just have to stay positive, there’s no reason to be negative. We are going to make the best of it and take it all in stride,” said Reisman who recently became the fifth active Division II men’s coach to reach 650 career wins. “It’s a basketball court, and we have a game to play. We’ve had a good week of preparation, we’ve been playing pretty well the last month leading up to this, now let’s just go pay our game, regardless where it is.
“It’s tournament time, it’s March Madness. You have to bring your ‘A’ game every night, whether you are in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Allen Frisco, Denton, wherever you are. In the Heartland Conference today Oklahoma Christian upset a very good Arkansas-Fort Smith team. That’s the only example you need to see. It’s win and survive or lose and go home.”
The Texans lost in overtime to Angelo State in the quarterfinal round last season. Tarleton last won the men’s tournament in 2014.
The TexAnns are reigning champions of the tournament, which provides automatic access to the NCAA Division II Championship for both the men’s and women’s champions. The Tarleton women are also ranked ninth in the South Central Region and need a strong showing to have any chance of advancing to the regional tournament.