By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (December 22, 2016) — Lone Star Conference play on the hardwood began before Christmas this year thanks to the addition of Texas-Permian Basin and Western New Mexico, and both Tarleton State teams have positioned themselves nicely entering the Christmas break.
The No. 15 Texan men’s team (11-1) won all of its opening four conference games and was pushed to the final minutes in just one of them, a 64-56 victory over rival Midwestern State. The Texans have not faced either of the other current frontrunners – West Texas A&M and Angelo State – but will visit undefeated ASU on January 5 after a December 31 non-conference game at home against Ouachita Bapitst (Ark.).
Tarleton’s men have won eight straight including an 84-83 thriller over Western Washington Monday night in the finale of the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas, where they also dominated Simon Fraser (BC), 88-63. Ridell Camidge scored the final six points of the the win over Simon Frasergame, including the winning ‘And-1’ and ensuing free throw with four seconds remaining. He finished with 27, and Western Washington missed a contested 12 footer at the buzzer.
It was one of just two single-digit margins during Tarleton’s long win streak, which includes conference victories over MSU and Cameron in Stephenville then Western New Mexico and Eastern New Mexico on the road.
Here is a look at the LSC men’s standings:
The TexAnns are also in good position entering the break, though, with their only loss coming to current conference leader Eastern New Mexico. Tarleton defeated MSU, Cameron and Western New Mexico and are currently tied with Texas A&M-Commerce for third place with a 3-1 mark in LSC play. ENMU is 4-0 and Angelo State 3-0, with ASU widely believed to be the best team in the league.
The shocker on the women’s side has been the struggles of West Texas A&M, which was ranked No. 7 in the Division II coach’s poll before slipping to 8-4 overall and 2-2 in the LSC.
The TexAnns beat Northern New Mexico in an exhibition Monday and are in the midst of a 17 day layoff before visiting ASU on January 5.
Here is a look at the LSC women’s standings: