Buffs welcome eastern New Mexico to divisional play on Saturday

game notes

Canyon, Texas — The West Texas A&M men’s basketball team is looking to continue its winning streak when the Buffs host longtime rivals Eastern New Mexico at First United Bank Center on Saturday. The Lone Star Conference division game between WT (10-5, 8-1 LSC) and the Greyhounds (10-5, 5-4 LSC) ends at 3:00 p.m

LIVE BROADCAST

A live stream and statistics will be provided by the WT communications department. The game will be streamed on the Lone Star Conference Digital Network. Fans can purchase a $10 day pass that grants them access to all competitions on the network for the day, as well as 24-hour access to previously aired games from the current season. Fans can also purchase a $75 Basketball Season Pass, which grants them access to all Lone Star Conference basketball games. In addition to live and archived streaming options, viewers will have the option to purchase and download 2022-23 season games for $10 each.

NABC TOP 25 POLL

The top three remained unchanged in the most recent National Association Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 poll, as Indiana, Pa. takes first place. IUP holds a perfect 11-0 record followed by Nova Southeastern, Black Hills State, Northwest Missouri State and Lincoln Memorial. Three members of the South Central Region are represented in the national rankings, with BHSU (3rd), Colorado School of Mines (6th) and Fort Lewis (15th) earning spots in the poll, while Colorado Mesa and Angelo State earn votes.

AROUND THE LONE STAR
Angelo State and WT top the Lone Star Conference standings with each school holding a 7-1 LSC record. Angelo State leads the West Division 8-1 overall and 12-3 in LSC action, followed by WT (10-5, 8-1 LSC), Midwestern State (8-8, 5-5 LSC), Lubbock Christian (9105, 6-3 LSC), Eastern New Mexico (10-5, 5-4 LSC), Western New Mexico (9-6, 3-6 LSC), UT Permian Basin (9-9, 2-7 LSC ) and Cameron (2-14, 0-10 LSC). Texas A&M-Kingsville (12-5, 6-3) leads the East Division, followed by St. Edward’s (13-5, 7-2 LSC), UAFS (8-8, 4-6 LSC), Oklahoma Christian ( 7-9, 3-7 LSC), DBU (10-7, 5-4 LSC), UT Tyler (8-5, 4-5 LSC), Texas A&M International (10-7, 3-6 LSC) and St .Mary’s (7-7, 4-5 LSC).

RECOGNIZING THE GREYHOUNDS

Eastern New Mexico enters the competition on a one-game losing streak after falling 89-65 to Lubbock Christian. The Greyhounds enter the 2022-23 season with a 10-5 overall record, 5-4 in LSC action and a 2-4 record on the road.

Head Coach Brent Owen is in his third season as head coach for ENMU. Gibson holds a 17-22 overall record while at the top of the Greyhounds

ENMU averages 72.8 points per game while their opponents score 68.5 for a 4.3 point lead. The Greyhounds shoot 46.3 percent from field, 33.6 percent from behind the arc, and 67.1 percent from the free throw line, plus 336.5 rebounds, 12.2 assists, 8.2 steals, 17.3 turnovers and 3. 6 blocks.

Eze Dike leads ENMU as the top double-digit scorer with 12.2 points per game. The 6-foot-3 Graduate Guard from Imo State, Nigeria, shoots 47.2 percent from the ground, 42.0 percent from threes, and 52.6 percent on the charity streak to keep in touch while he has a total of 25 assists and 22 steals .

Jachoree Ealy and Errol White round out the top greyhound averages, averaging 11.3 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. Ealy leads ENMU with 27 assists and is third on the team with 10 blocks.

THE SERIES

WT leads the all-time streak between the two programs, 83-18, with a 45-8 record at Canyon and 14-1 under the head coach Tom Brown, won the last nine matchups. The Buffs won the only meeting of 2022, defeating the Greyhounds in Canyon 86-66

W, 86-66—Ravine, 2022
W, 81-63 – Portales, 2021
W, 76-71 – Portales, 2020
W, 93-78 – Canyon, 2019
W, 92-79 – Canyon, 2019

THE BROWN ERA

head coach Tom Brown is in his ninth season at the helm of Buffalo Basketball, growing the program into one of the elite NCAA Division II schools in the nation. He has led the Buffs to six straight NCAA tournaments, including the Buffs’ first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2021. Under Brown, the Buffs are 220-55 since he took the reins in 2014 with an incredible win ratio of 80.0%. Brown recorded his 200th career win on January 31, 2022 after the Buffs defeated St. Edward’s 82-72, becoming only the third coach in program history to reach the 200-win plateau.

LAST TIME-OUT

WT (10-5, 8-1 LSC) rode to an 85-57 home win over Western New Mexico on Thursday. Defending the buffs kept the Mustangs 35.8 percent out of the field and 18.8 percent out of three-point territory. WT shot 38.8% (26 of 67) from field, 35.3% (12 of 34) from deep, 75.0% from the charity streak with 46 rebounds, 14 assists, two steals, three blocks and 10 turnovers the victory.

Julius Brown and Larry Wise led the Buffs, contributing 13 points each. Damion Thornton also hit double figures, totaling 12 pints in 4-of-8 shooting. Jesse Iweze had a game high with eight rebounds in the win while Brown had a game high with five assists.

RECORD WATCH
Zach Toussaint moves up the ladder in the program’s 3-point career leaderboard. The Johnsburg, Illinois product ranks fourth all-time with 255 threes and is six behind the same former buff Martin Lattibeaudiere (1993-97). David Chavlovich (2014-18) is the program’s all-time 3-point leader with 388.

Toussaint also ranks 15th all-time with 1,171 points and only needs 56 to crack the top 10. He became just the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in the Buffs top-five match against No. 1 Northwest Missouri in the 2022-23 season opener.

THIS DAY: JAN. 14

Thursday’s matchup marks the 29th time the Buffs have played Jan. 14 and are playing UT Permian Basin on that date in 2021. In that matchup, WT defeated the Falcons 108-85 in Odessa.

W, 108-85 – UT Permian Basin, 2021
W, 80-65 – Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2017
L, 60-88 – No. 14 Angelo State, 2015
L, 64-68 – Cameron, 2012
W, 72-63 – East Central, 2006

LSC PRE-SEASON FAVORITE
The Buffs were selected to win their sixth straight LSC tournament title, receiving 36 of the 39 first place votes for 619 total points. DBU earned 560 points and took second place, followed by Lubbock Christian (2-fpv, 489), Midwestern State (460) and St. Edward’s (428) completing the top five. Texas A&M-Kingsville (399) was sixth followed by St. Mary’s (380), Angelo State (364), UT Tyler (314), UT Permian Basin (1-fpv, 310), UAFS (293), Texas A&M International (246), Western New Mexico (145), Oklahoma Christian (134), Eastern New Mexico (95), and Cameron (68).

PRE-SEASON POY
Julius Brown, a native of Westerville, Ohio, was named league preseason player of the year after helping the Buffs to their fifth straight conference title. The D2CCA All-Region Selection and LSC Newcomer of the Year averaged 16.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the floor, 31.1 percent from the 3-point range and 76.8 percent shot from the free throw line. He hit a season-high 34 in the Buffs’ 83-73 win over Angelo State in the Conference Quarterfinals.

THE LONELY STAR

The 2022-23 LSC basketball schedule will feature 16 men’s teams in two divisions, with each team playing a double round-robin schedule within its division. Additionally, teams play eight crossover competitions against teams from the opposing division for a total of 22 conference games.

The 2023 LSC Basketball Championships will feature an 8-team field, with seeding based on the 22 conference games. The division winners receive the top two seeds of the tournament. The championships will be held March 2-3-5, 2023 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas.

2021-22 REVIEW
The Buffs finished the 2021-22 season 29-7 with the program’s sixth straight appearance at the NCAA tournament. WT received automatic bid for the tournament after winning the Lone Star Conference Tournament title for the fifth consecutive year and beating Texas A&M-Kingsville 77-70 in the championship. Julius Brown earned tournament MVP honors after leading the tournament with 76 points, including 34 in the quarterfinals. Zach Toussaint became the first player to drop 36 points in a single game since 2016, while also becoming the 14th in program history to reach that milestone.

NEXT

The Buffs go on a four-game road trip and faceoffs against UT Tyler on Saturday, January 21 at 3:00 p.m. and Cameron on Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m

FOLLOW THE BUFFS

Fans can follow and stay up to date on all Buff action online and on social media. Follow the Buffs on Twitter (@WestTXD2Hoops), Instagram (@WTAMU_MBB), and Facebook (/WTAMUMBB).

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