FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 5 Langston University Lions clinched the first-ever Sooner Athletic Conference men’s basketball regular season championship in program history by defeating Texas Wesleyan 76-60 on Saturday evening.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys to win this conference, to win it as convincingly as we have says a lot about their character, their unselfishness, and how bought in they’ve been since day one,” head coach Chris Wright noted. “As a head coach, it’s very humbling to be a part of a turnaround like this. To go from one win last year, zero Sooner Athletic Conference wins to now running away with the league is a phenomenal story. All the credit goes to our players and staff, I have wonderful assistant coaches who make me look a lot better than I am and obviously we have really good players. Tonight, to beat Texas Wesleyan without any of our post players playing is a huge accomplishment and a special night for us.”
Langston came out strong in the first half, shooting 46 percent (13-of-28) from the field and holding Texas Wesleyan to 41 percent (10-of-24) as they entered halftime leading 35-26. The Lions continued the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Rams 41-34 courtesy of a 50 percent (14-of-28) mark from the field. Tristan Harper anchored the offensive attack in the second half, tallying 22 points on eight-of-nine shooting; the senior forward led Langston in total scoring with 30 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
Toru Dean was right behind him, finishing with 26 points and seven rebounds. Collectively, Langston hit 48 percent (27-of-56) from the field, eight-of-20 from three-point range, and held the Rams to 41 percent (22-of-53) overall.
“We are truly blessed to be in the position to achieve something that has never been done before,” Dean noted. “From where we started to what we accomplished tonight, I’m proud to go to war with my brothers. Now it’s time to prepare for the conference tournament and the national tournament.”
“I am grateful and blessed to be a part of history, we’ve put in the work all year and it’s paying off,” junior forward Cortez Mosley said. “To be able to play this game and represent my culture, playing for an HBCU is an honor and I want to continue to make the HBCU community proud but we are not done. The bond I’ve built in a short amount of time with my teammates and coaches is what I’m most thankful for and I wouldn’t trade this group of guys in for nobody.”
The Lions improved to 24-2 overall which is the highest win total since the 2016-17 season when the Lions finished the season at 24-11. Saturday night’s win clinched the SAC regular season conference title, the first in program history, and an automatic berth to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Tournament.
Langston (24-2, 18-2) returns to action next Thursday, Feb. 16 at home versus the University of North Texas at Dallas. Game time is set for 7:45 p.m.
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