The WTAMU Buffalo basketball team traveled to Allen, Texas on March 6 to participate in the Lone Star Conference Championships as the number seven seed. WT opened the tournament with an 65-50 win over the two seed Cameron Aggies, but were defeated by the Tarleton State Texans in the second round, 66-48.
Cameron started the opening round game with an 8-10 lead over the Buffs with 14:16 remaining in the first half. WT answered with an 18-9 run that gave the Buffs a 28-19 lead with 2:19 to go in the half. The Buffs took a 28-24 advantage into the break.
Senior Donald Sims led WT with six points at the half, while senior Kennon Washington, redshirt senior Mason White and sophomore Tez Dumars each had five. The Buffs shot 11 of 30 for 37 percent from the floor in the half.
The Aggies got their only lead of the second half on a 5-0 run to open it, taking a 28-29 lead with 18:39 to go in the game. With a 37-35 lead, WT would take control of the game with a 17-5 run to grab a 54-40 lead with 5:42 left. The Buffs would outscore Cameron 37-26 in the second half for the win.
“We were able to get control of the offensive and defensive boards tonight,” Head Coach Rick Cooper said. “Donald had a huge night rebounding and Kennon was able to get into the paint for some scoring opportunities.”
Washington led WT with 16 points on the night, and senior Darnell Jackson tallied nine points. Sims had nine points and 15 rebounds and White also scored nine, and redshirt junior Jordan Ashmore scored eight for the Buffs. Dumars and junior Barry Johnson each scored seven in the first round game.
“We also got great support from our bench tonight,” Cooper said. “Barry Johnson and Jordan Ashmore played great tonight.”
In the second round game on Mar. 8, Tarleton took a 4-9 lead with 14:51 remaining in the first half before going on a 14-8 run to take a 23-12 lead with 9:06 to go before halftime. The Texans outscored WT 22-6 in the paint and 11-0 off turnovers to take a 31-22 lead into the half.
Jackson and White each registered seven points for the Buffs, and Dumars scored five. WT was nine of 23 from the field for 39 percent and two of six from three-point range for 33 percent in the half.
TSU took control in the second half after a 14-7 run gave them a 29-45 lead with 14:23 left in the game. The Texans would outscore the Buffs 38-20 in the paint and 21-7 off turnovers to end WT’s run in the LSC tournament in the second round.
Washington led the Buffs scoring with 13 points. Jackson also tallied 11 and White finished the day with 10. WT shot 21 of 47 from the field for 45 percent and four of 13 for 31 percent from downtown.
The Buffs finished the season 18-10 overall and 9-9 in LSC play. WT finished ninth in the South Central Region, unable to qualify for Regionals. The Buffs will be looking to replace four seniors going into next season, including Washington and Sims.