MARSHALL, Texas -- Wiley broke away from St. Thomas in the final minutes to close out a 56-52 win over St. Thomas in the final of the RRAC Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday on the campus of East Texas Baptist University. The victory was the first in the tournament for Wiley since 2007, and it guaranteed an automatic berth for the Wildcats in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship.
Playing only a few miles from its campus, Wiley trailed 50-49 when Rashad Harris buried a three-pointer to put Wiley ahead to stay. Cortavious Vaughn, who led all rebounders with 12, was fouled and sank two free throws the next time the Wildcats had possession to stretch the lead to 54-50. UST managed a layup by Sean Edwards on a fast break at 3:49 to reduce the lead to two, but UST missed its final four shots down the stretch leading up to a Wiley rebound with 50 seconds remaining.
MARSHALL, Texas -- Playing in its first RRAC Women's Basketball Tournament final, fifth-seeded Huston-Tillotson completed an improbable run with a 67-64 victory over Langston on Saturday at East Texas Baptist University. With HT leading, Langston's Lynette Holmes banked in a shot with nine seconds left to cut the deficit to one at 65-64, but Ariel Callis sank two free throws for the Lady Rams with seven seconds remaining to provide the final score. Chaquitta Thrower secured the win by blocking a final three-point attempt by Langston's Alanna Lee with time running out.
HT built a 26-6 first-half lead on the strength of a defensive effort that limited Langston to 3-of-20 on field goal attempts in the first 30 minutes. With 3:51 before intermission, Shillalie Jones got Langston moving with a three-point play at that point followed by a basket from Holmes as the Lady Lions closed to within 30-18 at the half. The Lady Lions' 31-10 run extended into the second half where Holmes gave them the lead, 37-36, with 14:18 left to play.
MARSHALL, Texas -- Host Wiley didn't disappoint their home crowd as the fourth-seeded Wildcats ousted top-seeded LSU Shreveport (La.) from the RRAC Men's Basketball Tournament semifinals, 94-87, on Friday night on the campus of East Texas Baptist University. Wiley earned the opportunity to play second-seeded St. Thomas in the final tomorow at 4:30 p.m. with a trip to the NAIA national tournament on the line. LSUS has already earned an automatic berth in the national tournament due to its regular season RRAC championship.
Wiley held a 10-point edge at halftime over the 13th-ranked Pilots and never surrendered the lead although LSUS was able to whittle it down to 61-59 on a layup by Will Nelson with 11:37 to play. The Wildcats quickly rebuilt their lead with an 11-4 run and led by as much as 11 down the stretch. RRAC all-conference performer Phillip Miller led all scorers with 31 points including 17-of-18 shots from the free throw line, and Henry Sidney added 19 for the Wildcasts. The Pilots were led by Will Nelson with 25 points and 14 rebounds and Brandon Davis with 24 points and 11 boards.