Saturday, March 5, 2011

LSC Roundup 3-5

Women's seminfinals

6 p.m.Texas Woman's 57, West Texas A&M 56RecapQuotesBox ScorePhotos
8:30 p.m.Northeastern State 65, Abilene Christian 59RecapQuotesBox ScorePhotos

Saturday, March 5: Women's Championship
Session Seven
7 p.m.Championship: Central Oklahoma vs. Texas Woman'sLive StatsLive Video

TWU Edges RiverHawks To Advance To Final - Nick Eatman, LSC Office
UCO Edges Tarleton, 74-70 In 2OTs- Nick Eatman, LSC Office
Richardson Gives UCO Supporting Role- Nick Eatman, LSC Office

Satuday, March 5: Men's Semifinals
Session Six
12 p.m.West Texas A&M vs. Central OklahomaLive StatsLive Video

2:30 p.m.Midwestern State vs. Tarleton StateLive StatsLive Video

Men's Semis Shaping Up As "Saturday Showdown" - Nick Eatman, LSC Office
Henry Spearheads Tarleton's "D"-termination - Nick Eatman, LSC Office

Mustangs take aim at Tarleton's win streak - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Gholson: Need help with free throws? I can coach - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Buffs in fast-pace battle - Ricky Treon, Amarillo Globe News

Henry, Washington carry Texans past Southwestern Oklahoma
Third battle with Midwestern looms next
Sports Editor

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Corin Henry poured in 21 points and Darrion Washington added 17 as No. 15 Tarleton State (23-4) survived a strong upset bid by Southwestern Oklahoma State (16-13), holding on 74-65 in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Championship at Bruin Fieldhouse Wednesday night.

Tarleton, champions of the LSC South, won its 10th straight and 15th of its last 16, but there were plenty of nervous moments in the second half as Southwestern Oklahoma, the fourth-place team in the North, kept it close.

"When you get to tournaments like this, first round games are often some of the toughest," said Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman. "We knew they were a very good team, and we had a little foul trouble, but I'm proud of our players."

Tarleton trailed only once in the opening five minutes of the game and led 35-24 at the break despite not scoring a single point in the paint in the opening half.

The Texans finished with only 14 points in the paint, but made up for it by outscoring the Bulldogs 28-15 off the bench including 20-4 before halftime.

"I'm really pleased with the depth we have on this team," Reisman said. "It came through for us several times during our run in the South and it came through again (Wednesday)."

Henry had a big night at the free throw line, knocking down 11 of 15 attempts. Tarleton was 35-52 (67.3 percent) at the stripe and Southwestern was 15-22 (68.2 percent) as the teams combined to commit 60 fouls.

Henry was also 5-8 from the floor on his way to leading Tarleton in scoring for the sixth straight game and 14th time this season. He was fighting foul trouble throughout the night, picking up his fourth just past the midway point of the second half.

"I was in foul trouble, but I just had to do what I could to help my team win the game," said Henry. "I know my teammates look up to me to lead like that."

Washington's big numbers came in just the third start of his career. He was 5-9 from the floor including 3-5 from the arc. The junior also went 4-5 at the free-throw stripe.

"It was a great opportunity my coaches gave me, and I knew I just had to take advantage of it," said Washington. "I know my teammates and coaches believe in me, and I thank them for lifting me up."

Washington was starting in place of Carrington Tankson, who was suspended for the remainder of the season for an unspecified team rules violation.

"One thing I know I'm going to get when Darrion is in there is his absolute best," said Reisman. "(He and Corin) are two guys who I know are going to give us 110 percent all the time, and it takes that to win in games like the one we just played. It takes that to win in this tournament and to win in the NCAA playoffs."

Tarleton, which leads the nation in scoring defense, surrendered more than 60 points for only the fifth time in 16 games, but the Bulldogs could never get over the top.

A pair of free throws by Ross Moore and a jumper by Greg Richardson pulled Southwestern within two at 44-42 with 11:39 still to go.It was a two-point game once again after a Leon Nelson layup with 9:30 left, but Tarleton took over from there.

The Texans scored 12 of the next 14 points, a run touched off by a pair of Nick Mosley free throws and jumpers by Henry and Fabian Wilson. Wes Dipprey then laid one in, Henry hit a pair from the charity stripe and Donta Smith scored inside to make it 58-46 with 4:33 remaining.

Southwestern pulled within seven twice in the final three minutes, but got no closer.

Mosley gave Tarleton a third double-figure scorer by matching his season high with 10 points off the bench. Devon Hills did not start, but led the team in minutes with 29. He had eight points and a pair of steals.

Tarleton, ranked third in the latest South Central Region rankings, avenged an early-season road loss to the Bulldogs and earned a tournament semifinal date with Midwestern State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Texans, who have not won the conference championship since 2004, have defeated the Mustangs twice this season after the defending conference and regional champs knocked them off four times last year.

The winner earns a chance to play for the conference crown at 1 p.m. Sunday against either Central Oklahoma or West Texas A&M.

"It doesn't get any easier," said Reisman. It's going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight again...It's a great opportunity for both teams."

Players turned assistants bring passion, pride to Tarleton teams
Sports Editor

If you cut open the veins of Chris Reisman or Misty Wilson, you'd best be prepared for a shock.
Both Tarleton State University basketball coaches - Reisman the associate head coach on the men's side and Wilson the assistant on the women's - bleed purple and white.

That's because before Reisman ever donned a suit and tie and before Wilson ever graced a pant suit or dress on the Texans' and TexAnns' Wisdom Gym bench, they first wore Tarleton jerseys.
And both had outstanding careers.

Wilson played in 103 games for Tarleton from 1998-2001, racking up 1,440 career points. She led the TexAnns in scoring three straight years and ranks sixth on their all-time scoring chart.

The Burleson native made both the all-conference and all-region teams and was voted Tarleton's team MVP three consecutive years.

Chris Reisman - the son of 23rd-year Tarleton head men's coach Lonn Reisman - literally grew up on Texan basketball.

After starring locally at Stephenville High School, the younger Reisman played for Tarleton and worked his way up to sixth on the all-time assist chart. He led the Lone Star Conference in assists as a senior, averaging 6.08 per game. As a junior he was first in the league with a 2.33-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

"There is definitely an added sense of pride for me," said Reisman. "I grew up on Tarleton basketball, it's all I know. To get to both play and coach here has been an honor."

Wilson didn't spend her childhood around the program, but she got to Tarleton as quick as she could. Her feelings concerning the women's program are very similar to Reisman's passion for the men's team.

"I guess I've done it all at Tarleton," said Wilson. "I've played for Tarleton, got two degrees there and I coach there. There's definitely extra pride because I'm coaching for my alma mater."

Reisman and Wilson both say their programs benefit from their experiences as players turned coaches.

"I think it's good for the players," said Wilson. "They know whatever they are going through in school and in basketball, they can come to me with anything and I've gone through the same thing."

Reisman agrees.

"It's great to be able to relate to them that way," said Reisman. "Not only can I say I've been there and done that, but I've been there and done it here at Tarleton, just like them."

Wilson and the TexAnns are trying to win an LSC championship for the first time. They have never even reached the tournament final, coming one game short last season when they made it to the semifinals for the first time.

"Winning the conference title would be great," said Wilson. "I look forward to it most because of what it would mean to the girls. Sharing that with them would be special."

Unlike Wilson, Reisman knows how it feels to cut down the nets in the conference tournament. In addition to the five divisional titles he has been a part of - including this season when the Texans ran away with the South Division title by four games - he was also on the bench for Tarleton's only LSC championship in 2004.

"It's been seven years since we won this tournament," Reisman said. "To win another one, especially the last one here in Bartlesville, would be something special, something these guys can take pride in forever."

Reisman and Wilson play an especially big role in their team's efforts during tournament events, because film breakdown and game preparation happens so much quicker than in the regular season.

Wilson believes the last week of the season, when Tarleton played three games instead of two, got her warmed up for this week.

"We played three games last week, so I feel like that's all I did was break down film," she said. "That's what I did all morning (Thursday) is break down film and get cuts ready for the girls to watch."

Wilson, who has been in her position for eight years under head coach Ronnie Hearne, is helping the No. 18-ranked TexAnns prepare for today's 6 p.m. semifinal contest against Central Oklahoma.

The No. 15 Texans, meanwhile, played the last quarterfinal game on the men's side Wednesday. A victory means they meet Midwestern State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

"The turnaround is definitely quick," said Reisman, who joined his father courtside at Bruin Fieldhouse to scout Midwestern in their win against Texas A&M-Commerce Wednesday. "It helps that we've seen all these teams before. At the regional you sometimes run into teams you don't know much about, so there's even more preparation to squeeze in."

Neither Reisman or Wilson mind the long hours and late nights of breaking down film and preparing scouting reports. They don't even mind the extensive travel and and other issues associated with a coach's life. As long as they're doing it for Tarleton.

"I love Tarleton and I love these girls," said Wilson. "I'll do whatever it takes to help them and help all of us reach our goals."

There's no doubt Reisman feels the same way.

"Tarleton isn't just where I work," he said. "It's a big part of who I am. It's not so much my job as it is my passion."

Reisman and Wilson both are passionate enough to bleed purple and white.

Adamson focused on championship, not individual honors
Sports Editor

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Many in attendance at the Lone Star Conference post season awards ceremony at the Phillips Building Tuesday night were stunned after learning Shelby Adamson was neither the Player of the Year or Defensive Player of the Year in the South Division.

But Adamson did earn an honor that means just as much to the junior guard from Rockwall - LSC Academic Player of the Year.

Adamson, who also picked up first-team honors on the South Division all-conference team, is a math major and an honors student with a 3.8 grade point average at Tarleton State.

She's also a star on the court, averaging 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2 steals per game, helping Tarleton to a record for wins since joining Division II and its first LSC divisional title. She led all scorers with 19 when the TexAnns edged Southeastern Oklahoma in the opening round of the LSC Championship Wednesday afternoon after being presented her honors the previous night.

"Being Academic Player of the Year is awesome, it's something I'm very proud of," said Adamson. "I take my classes and my grades very seriously, so to win something that represents that is special."

The humble junior didn't dwell on the lack of special playing awards, and instead used the situation to draw attention to her team.

"The fact that we went 13-1 in the South without winning any of the special individual awards just shows that we're a complete team," Adamson said. "We don't need any one individual to shine. Everything we've accomplished we've done as a team."

Adamson may get the last laugh in after all. Jamie Simmons, who beat Adamson for Player of the Year, Aly Sherman, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, and their West Texas A&M teammates were sent home in the first round Wednesday.  Abilene Christian and Freshman of the Year Mack Langford, from Weatherford, were also sent home after falling just short in a strong upset bid against North Division champ Northeastern State.

But Adamson and Kiara Wright, who Hearne nominated for the freshman honor, remain, and at 2 p.m. today at Bruin Fieldhouse they will battle Central Oklahoma for a spot in the LSC Championship game.

"I know Langford is a good player, but Kiara is the best freshman in the South," said Hearne in his post-game press conference Wednesday.

Hearne, who is in his eighth season at Tarleton, picked up the team's only special honor when he was named Coach of the Year.  Adamson was Tarleton's only first-team pick and the TexAnns did not have a second-team selection. Senior center Kelsey Benford, senior guard Sonya Sundberg, freshman center Kiara Wright and junior forward Morgan Stehling all made the honorable-mention list.

One thing's for sure. After Saturday night's women's championship game, nobody will be talking about the players of the year. They will, however, be talking about a new LSC champion.

"That's the award we want to win," Adamson said. "The one that means we're conference champions."

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