Texans open tourney against ENMU

PHIL RIDDLE phil.riddle@empiretribune.com Twitter @ETSports
Mo Lee, Tarleton's top scorer, leads the No. 7-ranked Texans into the Lone Star Conference postseason tournament. TSU battles Eastern New Mexico in an 8:30 p.m. Wednesday first-round matchup. Lee, in two games against ENMU this season, has accumulated 37 points.

Tarleton State opens the annual Lone Star Conference basketball championship tournament as the event’s top seed and facing a team the Texans have twice beaten this season.

The No. 7 Texans open the tourney against Eastern New Mexico at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Allen Events Center.

TSU, 26-2, 12-2, ripped the Greyhounds in their first meeting of the season, 89-64, in Portales in January. About a month later, the ‘Hounds left Wisdom Gym 65-55 losers.

Senior Mo Lee, one of the Lone Star Conference’s top scorers, shone in both games for Tarleton, managing a combined 37 points. In one of his best outings of the season, Lee connected on eight of 12 from the field in the battle in New Mexico, adding two 3-pointers in four attempts and nailing eight of 11 free throws for 26 points.

On the season, Lee is averaging more than 15 points per game, is hitting 47 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and is good on 80 percent of his free throw attempts.

ENMU counters with 6-3 guard John Gilliam, also among the elite in LSC scoring. Gilliam is averaging 16.4 points per outing this year, including a 20-point performance against the Texans in Portales. Gilliams was stymied by the Texans' defense in the second game between the two teams, scoring just 7 points in his Stephenville appearance.

Entering the tournament, Tarleton is first in scoring defense in the conference, giving up just 61 ppg. The Greyhounds are on the opposite end of the scale, giving up a league-worst 86 points each game.

Offensively, the Texans are about four points better per game at 75.7.

The winner of the TSU-ENMU opening-round contest faces the winner of Thursday’s West Texas A&M/Texas A&M/Commerce battle in the tournament semifinals on Friday.