FRISCO UTPB had used two strong second-half efforts during the Lone Star Conference Tournament to cruise to the final.

The Falcons weren’t granted the same luxury in the championship Sunday afternoon, where they ran into top-seeded West Texas A&M.

It was close down the stretch, but UTPB couldn’t find the game-tying drive as the Buffaloes downed the Falcons 80-76 at Dr Pepper Arena.

West Texas A&M’s David Chavlovich and Jordan Evans tied for the game’s scoring lead with 21 points.

UTPB’s Daeshon Francis led the Falcons with 18 points in 31 minutes of action before fouling out with more than six minutes to play. Francis became UTPB’s all-time leading scorer in the first half on a free throw, passing the previous mark set by Madison Turner of 1,197 points.

Sammy Allen added 17 points and a game-high 19 rebounds in the loss.

“I think it was a very physical game, very different from what both of our teams have played before,” UTPB head coach Andy Newman said. “It was a different kind of game. It wasn’t as up-tempo as either team wanted.”

UTPB (24-6) took a 11-2 lead in the games first three minutes and had its largest lead of the game at 28-17 with seven minutes left in the first half.

In the second half, UTPB ran into of foul trouble. It gave West Texas A&M (28-3) the double bonus with eight minutes left in the game. Francis, Josh Morris and Zeldric King all had to sit for significant portions down the stretch with four fouls.

That allowed the Buffaloes to find consistency on the offensive end, both under the rim with two of the Falcons’ superior low-post defenders on the bench, and in the mid-range as well, where Francis likes to stay and find possible steals.

Francis fouled out when he was called for a charge with 6:38 to go in the game. Morris fouled out with 5:28 left in the game. Allen fouled out in the game’s closing moments.

“I feel like my brothers had my back when I went out,” Francis said. “It’s tough to talk about this game right now because we took the loss but we’re ready to get (the NCAA) tournament started. My brothers went to war tonight and we’re ready for the real tournament next week.”

West Texas A&M took its first lead of the second half after Garrett Baggett was called for a technical foul after making contact with Buffaloes’ Gach Gach.

After trailing for nearly six minutes, UTPB retook the lead at 71-70 with a little more than two minutes left in the game.

Chavlovich gave the Buffaloes the lead for good with less than two minutes to go on a drive to the hoop. UTPB failed to answer on the next possession, but the teams traded free throws as the clock rolled under a minute.

Then on the Buffaloes next possession, Chavlovich, named tournament MVP, hit an off-balanced 3-pointer to put West Texas A&M up four.

With 11 seconds to go, Newman said the team was looking for good shot, and got it off the fingertips of James McPherson, but the shot hit the rim and was rebounded by West Texas A&M. The Buffaloes then put the game away on free throws.

“It was in our control and we made some defensive mistakes that we were working on for a long time,” Newman said. “To see them again was the most frustrating part.”

{{tncms-inline account=”EricBlumOA” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Postgame reaction from UTPB vs. West Texas A&M in Frisco <a href=""></a></p>— Eric Blum (@EricBlumOA) <a href="">March 5, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”970464199875973121″ type=”twitter”}}

Box Score

West Texas A&M 80, UTPB 76


Sunday, Dr Pepper Arena, Frisco

Championship Game


James McPherson 3-12 0-0 8, Amari Bryant 1-3 0-0 3, Daeshon Francis 6-15 6-7 18, Sammy Allen 6-15 5-7 17, Josh Morris 4-6 0-0 8, Garrett Baggett 0-1 0-0 0, Andrews Villa 4-4 0-3 8, Renard Thomas 0-1 1-2 1, Zeldric King 4-5 4-5 13. Totals 28-62 16-24 76.


David Chavlovich 6-19 7-10 21, CJ Jennings 1-4 4-4 7, Jordan Evans 7-14 2-2 21, Gach Gach 1-7 2-4 5, Ryan Quaid 3-5 2-2 8, Drew Evans 3-6 0-2 7, Jordan Collings 1-3 0-0 3, Rylan Gerber 0-1 0-0 0, Gaige Prim 3-6 2-2 8. Totals 25-65, 19-26 80.

Halftime — UTPB 36, West Texas A&M 33. 3-Point goals — UTPB 4-14 (McPherson 2-7, Bryant 1-3, Francis 0-1, Baggett 0-1, King 1-2), West Texas A&M 11-37 (Chavlovich 2-8, Jennings 1-3, Evans 5-12, Gach 1-6, Quaid 0-1, D. Evans 1-3, Collings 1-3, Gerber 0-1). Total fouls — UTPB 26, West Texas A&M 21 Fouled out — UTPB: Francis, Morris; West Texas A&M: Quaid. Technical fouls — UTPB: Francis, Baggett. Rebounds — UTPB 48 (Allen 19), West Texas A&M 32 (Chavlovich 9, Gach 9). Assists — UTPB 15 (Allen 6), West Texas A&M 12 (Chavlovich 6)..