Seniors Mo Lee and Damion Clemons played significant roles in Tarleton State jumping to the top of the Lone Star Conference men’s basketball standings last week, and on Monday league officials in Richardson officially took notice.
Lee has been named the league’s offensive player of the week for the second time this season, after averaging 24.5 points in victories at West Texas A&M and at home against Eastern New Mexico that pushed the No. 11 Texans’ win streak to 11. Tarleton is No. 1 in the South Central Region.
Lee poured in 23 points including a decisive hard-driving layup with 13 seconds on the game clock and one on the shot clock to help Tarleton defeat West Texas A&M 64-60 last Wednesday at First United Bank Center in Canyon, where her was 15-18 from the free throw line. The guard from the Bronx in New York then entertained the Wisdom Gym faithful with a career best 26 points against Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, when he was 8-12 from the field and 8-11 from the stripe.
For the week, Lee scored 49 points, hitting 12-22 (54.5 percent) from the floor and 23-29 (79.3 percent) from the line. He also collected nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Clemons was named the defensive player of the week in the LSC, which tops this week’s conference power rankings, according to BennettRank.com. The Dallas product had 15 rebounds – 12 of them defensive – and four steals in the wins, and is Tarleton’s second straight defensive honoree after Nosa Ebomwonyi became the first Tarleton freshman honored since joining the LSC in 1994. Clemons helped the Texans allow just 57.5 points over the two games.
Tarleton is very likely headed back to the top 10 of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II poll. No. 2 Augustana (SD), No. 4 Barry (Fla.), No. 6 Indianapolis, No. 9 Metro State (Colorado) and No. 10 Angelo State (Texas) all suffered a loss last week. The coaches poll will be released Tuesday afternoon.
The Texans are ranked No. 7 by Division II Sports Information Directors and No. 8 by Bennett Rank. They break from LSC play and visit McMurry in Abilene at 7 p.m. Wednesday, then conclude conference and regular season action against Texas A&M-Commerce at 7 p.m. Saturday inside the friendly confines of Wisdom Gym.
Tarleton will be playing for at least a share of the LSC regular season title Saturday. The Texans will share the league crown with Angelo State (which visits A&M-Commerce on Wednesday) if the league rivals both win or both lose against A&M-Commerce. If ASU loses Wednesdsay, Tarleton will be playing for sole possession of the title on Saturday.
The LSC Championship tournament is March 4-7 at Allen Event Center in Allen.