Tarleton State to host Purdue Fort Wayne in CIT Semifinals Monday, tickets now available

The Texans won the Lou Henson Classic on Wednesday night in Wisdom Gym with a win over ACU


STEPHENVILLE — The Tarleton State Texans have advanced and will host the semifinal round of The College Insider.com Postseason Tournament presented by BSN Sports against Purdue Fort Wayne on Monday at 6 p.m. at Wisdom Gym.

Wisdom Gym hosted the Lou Henson Classic this week, one of the four Classics in the CIT presented by BSN SPORTS. The Texans won the title after a pair of double-digit wins against Texas Southern and Abilene Christian. KiAndre Gaddy earned the Lou Henson MVP Award after notching his seventh double-double of the season in the first game and leading the team with 14 points in the second game. Gaddy also posted four boards and two steals against the Wildcats.

Purdue Fort Wayne will face off against the Texans for the first time in program history. The Mastodons enter the semifinals after a win in their first game against Bowling Green State, 77-75. Both teams are searching for their first trip to the CIT finals.

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 will be the revival of the 10-year event.

In the year following participating in the CIT, teams have demonstrated much success after the postseason exposure. Countless teams have had record-breaking seasons the following year, a history of success the Texans hope to replicate. In the following year of the past 10 tournaments, 21 teams earned a berth to the NIT, 24 programs won their conference tournament with 25 teams earning a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Six teams have won a game in the NCAA Tournament after participating in the CIT.

Stephenville is no stranger to hosting postseason tournaments. Since 1988, Tarleton State has hosted 10 Division II and NAIA regional and district tournaments. In addition, Wisdom Gym hosted a 1992 NAIA National Tournament game. Tarleton last hosted a postseason tournament in 2015 when they hosted the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament where the Texans won the regional championship. Wisdom has hosted the South Central Regional four times, and the Purple and White own a 7-3 record in those games. Wisdom Gym has seen the Texans win two regional titles, four NAIA District 8 Championships and a Lou Henson Classic Championship. In all, the Texans are 21-4 in postseason games inside of Wisdom Gym.

Tarleton State is enjoying its best season in the D1 era with a 25-9 overall record and a program best 16-4 mark in conference play. The program has totaled its most wins since a 31-win season in the 2014-15 season. 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 earned a nod to each the All-Freshman and All-Defensive Teams. The Texans reached the WAC Semifinals for the first time in program history.

General Admission tickets are on sale now. General admission tickets are $15. Courtside/reserved season ticket holders will be reached out to for first priority and if any tickets remain, they will be made available. All Tarleton State students, faculty and staff receive free entry, but need to claim tickets. Tickets can be purchased and claimed here.

The winner of the semifinal round will play for the championship against the winner of Alabama A&M and Norfolk State, likely to be played on Wednesday, March 27. If Tarleton State wins on Monday, they could be chosen to host the championship game on that Wednesday.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.