By BRAD KEITH
(March 2,2016) — Everything is a rematch at this point of the season. There isn’t a team in Allen this week that hasn’t faced every other team there. Twice.
But for some, the third meeting comes sooner than others. Like Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville on Wednesday, Tarleton State is in a direct rematch against Texas A&M-Commerce. The Lone Star Conference Championship quarterfinal tips off at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Allen Event Center.
No. 2 seed Angelo State awaits the winner of the No. 3 Texans and No. 6 Lions after ASU held off upset minded Texas A&M-Kingsville Wednesday, 87-86. ASU is seeded second and Tarleton third because of a coin flip after they split their season series and had the same results against every other team in the league.
But before Tarleton can earn its way into that rematch – it would be at 2:30 p.m. Friday – the Texans must survive another with the Lions, who they defeated, 88-74, last Saturday.
EJ Reed scored 19 points in the fourth straight win by Tarleton to conclude the regular season. A&M-Commerce had previously defeated the Texans in Stephenville, 67-65, as Tarleton was shorthanded due to the suspension of starting guard Malcolm Hamilton.
Hamilton scored 13 points before fouling out last Saturday, when Tarleton grabbed the lead for good late in the first half and led by as many as 22 after intermission. That stopped a two game skid against the Lions, as Tarleton won for the fifth time in its last six trips to The Field House in Commerce.
Talented center Bryant Crowder played just 19 minutes despite going 4-5 from the floor for nine points and committing only one foul. Veteran Lions head coach Sam Walker said in his post game radio interview he “probably should have played Crowder more.”
But the game may be mostly about what the favorite does – or doesn’t do.
The Texans are 14-0 this season when shooting better than 45 percent and are 49 percent during the current win streak. They are 18-2 when scoring at least 70 points and 13-1 when turning the ball over less than 14 times.
Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman discusses the matchup, rematches and the LSC Championship here: