AUSTIN — St. Edward's has been hard enough to beat all season. The way the Hilltoppers started out shooting the basketball Saturday made the assignment next to impossible for the Lubbock Christian University men.

SEU made its first nine field-goal attempts of the game and eventually its first nine 3-point goals and went on to beat LCU 93-80 in a South Central Region semifinal of the Division II NCAA Tournament. 

The Hilltoppers were 9 for 9, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range, in the first six minutes to lead 25-12 and were 9 for 9 on 3s in the first 15 1/2 minutes to lead 49-30. The Chaps didn't get back within single digits until the game's final minute.

"St. Ed's just came out and played a great game," LCU coach Todd Duncan said. "We were ready. They just came out and hit shots that were contested.

"We shot 56 percent for the game. We didn't have a ton of turnovers. It felt like maybe we didn't play very well, but the other side of it is St. Ed's just played really, really well."

No. 2 seed St. Edward's (30-3) will play No. 1 seed West Texas A&M (33-3) on Tuesday night in Canyon for the regional title and a spot in the Elite Eight. LCU, its roster diminished by the loss of four scholarship players over the last month of the season, finished 21-10.

The Chaps were in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in their four years as an NCAA member and went 1-1 both times.

Senior center Brennen Fowler led LCU with 26 points and nine rebounds, senior guard Isaac Asrat scored 22 and junior forward Rashaan Proctor added 15. Freshman guard Silas Crisler chipped in 12.

"Lubbock Christian, unbelievable credit to them," St. Edward's coach Andre Cook said. "They came here with a six-man rotation, had some things go on in their season. But to be here, that's a credit to that coaching staff, and they're top notch, Todd Duncan and Jason Imes and all those players.

"You've got two great seniors, Brennen Fowler and Isaac Asrat, and they have been a credit to the Heartland Conference."

Fowler and Asrat, two of the Heartland's top five scorers, helped the Chaps win five of their first seven games with the depleted roster, including a first-round triumph Friday against No. 3 seed Colorado School of Mines.

"I know the LCU community's richer, our program's richer, because of the impact they had," Duncan said. "They both went out like they've been doing all year, carrying us, and they had great games."

St. Edward's got 17 points apiece from August Haas and Dorian Lopez, 15 points from Ryan Garza and 13 points each from Heartland player of the year Ashton Spears and Lucas Doria.

LCU beat St. Edward's two Saturdays before in the Chaps' home finale at the Rip Griffin Center. The Hilltoppers re-watched video of the Chaps early Saturday.

"We played with a chip on our shoulder," Garza said. "They got us last time. We didn't want a a conference opponent to have a winning record against us."

SEU finished 14 of 28 from 3-point range, with Garza, Spears and Lopez making three apiece.

"You kind of know this time of year what each guy does and where he likes to do it," Duncan said. "But it's one thing to know it, and the other thing is to stop it.

"And they just go with such great pace. I don't think we played poorly. I just think they played better."





LCU — Thompson 1-4 0-1 2, Proctor 6-11 3-4 15, B. Fowler 11-18 3-4 26, Asrat 8-11 3-4 22, Copley 1-4 0-1 3, Crisler 5-9 0-0 12, Stepp 0-0 0-0 0, J. Fowler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-57 9-14 80.

ST. EDWARD'S — Lopez 6-10 2-4 17, Shervill 3-6 0-0 8, Doria 3-4 7-7 13, Spears 3-9 4-4 13, Haas 5-10 6-10 17, Garza 4-6 4-4 15, McKendree 0-0 4-4 4, Phillips 1-4 0-0 3, Pluymen 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 26-51 27-33 93.

Halftime score: St. Edward's 55, LCU 36. 3-point goals: LCU 7-20 (Asrat 3-5, Crisler 2-5, Copley 1-3, Fowler 1-5, Proctor 0-2), St. Edward's 14-28 (Garza 3-4, Lopez 3-6, Spears 3-7, Shervill 2-4, Pluymen 1-1, Haas 1-2, Phillips 1-4). Total fouls: LCU 24, St. Edward's 19. Fouled out: Thompson, Crisler. Rebounds: LCU 28 (Fowler 9), St. Edward's 29 (Shervill 8). Assists: LCU 13 (Copley 6), St. Edward's 13 (Haas 6). Steals: LCU 4 (Proctor 3), St. Edward's 8 (Haas 4). Turnovers: LCU 14 (Copley 6), St. Edward's (11 (Haas 3, Lopez 3, Shervill 3). Blocked shots: LCU 6 (Proctor 4), St. Edward's 2 (Doria 2). Records: LCU 21-10, St. Edward's 30-3.




South Central Region


Friday's First-Round Results

at First United Bank Center, Canyon

West Texas A&M 109, New Mexico Highlands 95

Texas A&M-Commerce 72, Dallas Baptist 70

at Recreation and Convocation Center


St. Edward's 82, Angelo State 81

Lubbock Christian University 82, Colorado School of Mines 73

Saturday's Regional Semifinals

at Recreation and Convocation Center


St. Edward's 93, LCU 80

at First United Bank Center, Canyon

West Texas A&M 77, Texas A&M-Commerce 61

Tuesday's Regional Championship

at First United Bank Center, Canyon

St. Edward's (2) (30-3) at West Texas A&M (1) (33-3), 7:30 p.m.