Tarleton State hosts Abilene Christian tonight for Lou Henson Classic Championship


STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State Men’s basketball will host WAC foe, Abilene Christian in the championship game of the Lou Henson Classic a part of The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, presented by BSN SPORTS Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.

The Texans are competing in their second-straight postseason tournament after a CBI appearance last season. Last night’s win was the Texans’ first D1 post-conference tournament victory.  The winners of the Lou Henson Classic will earn a spot in the CIT Semifinals to be played next week at a campus site to be determined.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Byron Anderson and Ladarrin McLane will be on the call. Kyle Crews will have the call on the Tarleton Sports Radio Network. General Admission tickets are still available for $15, All Tarleton State students, faculty and staff receive free entry but need to claim tickets.

The Texans downed Texas Southern in the opening round of the Lou Henson Classic, 82-71. Lue Williams led the Texans with 21 points and KiAndre Gaddy notched his seventh double-double of the season.

Tarleton State had its best regular season in the D1 era with a 24-9 overall record and a program best 16-4 in conference play. Acting head coach Joseph Jones was named the WAC Coach of the Year after filling in for coach Gillispie after the fourth game this season. Jakorie Smith became the first Texan to earn First-Team All-WAC honors. Senior Gaddy was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned a selection to the WAC All-Defensive Team. Emmanuel Innocenti was selected to both the All-Defensive and All-Freshman teams.

The Texans are in their second postseason tournament in their second year eligible. Last season, Tarleton accepted its first bid to a post-conference tournament postseason with a bid to the CBI. The Texan earned the seventh seed and dropped to tenth-seeded Radford who ended up losing to eventual CBI champion, Charlotte.

Abilene Christian enters the title game after defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 73-63 in their opening round game after the Texans’ victory. The Wildcats fell victim to an SFA buzzer beater that was Sportscenter’s top play in the first round of the WAC Tournament last week as the seventh seed. ACU touts a 16-17 overall record and finished the regular season, 10-10 in conference play.

In the third go-around between the two programs’ the Texans are looking for their third win against the Wildcats. ACU was one of six WAC schools that Tarleton swept the season series culminated by an overtime win in Abilene in their last meeting. TSU owns the all-time series, 43-39. The Wildcats won the lone matchup in March which occurred in 2022.

The CIT is one of four major postseason tournaments for NCAA Division I programs. Due to the Texans still being in their reclassification process, Tarleton is not eligible by current NCAA rules to compete in NCAA-sanctioned postseasons, the NCAA Tournament, and the NIT. The CIT was a longstanding tournament before COVID-19, running tournaments from 2009 to 2019. The 2024 field is the revival of the 10-year event.

The winner of the Lou Henson Classic will advance to be one of the final four standing teams in the CIT presented by BSN SPORTS and the loser will see its season end on Wednesday night. The semifinals and championship will be played the following week at campus sites to be determined.

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