LSC MBB: WT cruises, set to host conference semifinals and final

Courtesy: West Texas A&M Athletics

CANYON, Texas – Eight different Buffs scored as No. 8 West Texas A&M defeated UT Permian Basin 72-58 in Tuesday evening’s Lone Star Conference Quarterfinal at the First United Bank Center. The Buffs improve to 13-2 overall and 8-2 at home this season.

Qua Grant scored a game-high 20 points with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Joel Murray, the reigning USBWA National Player of the Week, finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Zach Toussaint was also in double figures with 11, nine of those coming in the first half.

Toussaint score the first basket of the game for the Buffs for the first time this season with one of his three 3-pointers on the Buffs second possession of the game. The Falcons would score eight of the next 11 points to take the lead before Murray scored four straight points to retake the lead 10-8 at the 11:27 mark.

Trevion Lamar hit one of his two 3-pointers on the next possession down to give the Falcons a 11-10 lead followed another 3-pointer from Toussaint to spark a 17-2 run for the Buffs. Parker Nielsen got on the scoresheet following a steal from Jon’il Fugett with Murray converting the old-fashioned 3-point play after Kavon Booker got a block on the defensive end. Another Falcon turnover led to more points as J. Fugett connected downtown. Murray would finish the run with his signature jumper and fast break layup to make it 27-13 with less than six minutes remaining before halftime.

The lead would get as high as 20, 40-20, in the final two minutes of the half as Nielsen got as an easy layup after John Brown took the ball away from Lamar. J. Fugett would finish the scoring for the Buffs for the half with a jumper to make it 42-25 after 20 minutes.

Murray connected on his only 3-pointer of the night at 15:09 in the second half to give the Buffs their largest lead of the game, 51-29. The Falcons wouldn’t go down without a fight as they cut the lead to 14, 61-47, with under nine minutes remaining in the game before Grant scored six of the of the next eight points for the Buffs to halt any rally from the visitors.

The Buffs will host No. 3 DBU on Friday, March 5, at the FUBC in the LSC Semifinal. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.