By BRAD KEITH
(December 9, 2014) — Undefeated Tarleton State (7-0) has climbed one spot to No. 6 in the weekly National Association of Basketball Coaches NCAA Division II men’s rankings, released Tuesday. It’s the 21st consecutive NABC poll to list Tarleton among the top 25.
Tarleton hosts Paul Quinn College inside Wisdom Gym at 7 p.m. Monday, December 15. The Texans then travel to Las Vegas to face longtime power Western Washington and No. 13 Drury (Mo.) in the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic Thursday and Friday, Dec. 18-19.
Tarleton is outscoring opponents by 20.2 points per game. The Texans shoot 48.2 percent from the field compared to 39.7 percent by their foes. Tarleton hits 42.5 percent from the arc, its opponents only 30.5 percent.
Head coach Lonn Reisman said rebounding was a weakness for last season’s 28-3 Texans that won the Lone Star Conference Championship and reached the second round of the South Central Region Championship, promising to make it a point of emphasis this season. Thus far, his team has not let him down, collecting 34.6 rebounds per game to opponents’ 29.9.
The Texans also benefit from a +6.9 turnover margin and four blocked shots per contest.
Mo Lee, a 6-4 senior guard, leads the team in scoring (12.7), rebounding (5.4) and steals (1.7). TaShawn Mabry (10.9), Michael Hardge (10.7) and Davene Carter (10.1) all average double figures for the Texans, and Hardge leads in assists (3.4). Malcolm Hamilton (8.8) and EJ Reed (8.3) make it six players who average more than eight points per game.
Tarleton is the only Lone Star Conference member one of three South Central Region teams in the top 25. Others from the region are No. 5 Colo.-Colorado Springs and No. 7 Metropolitan State (Colo.), both members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
West Liberty (W.Va.) continues to hold down the top spot, followed in the top four by Bellarmine (Ky.), Florida Southern and reigning national champ Central Missouri.
Below Metro St. in the top 10 are No. 8 Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.), No. 9 Barry (Fla.) and No. 10 Southern Connecticut State.
Here is the complete poll from the NABC: