By Staff Reports | Amarillo Globe-News
LAS VEGAS — Zach Toussaint recorded a buzzer-beater to give the No. 4 West Texas A&M Buffs a 59-57 victory over Montana State-Billings on the opening day of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at the South Point Hotel on Friday.
The Buffs improved to 12-1 overall with the win.
Toussaint was the leading scorer for WT with 16 points, going 6-for-15 from the floor with a pair of treys and free throws. Larry Wise and Hayden Blankley also reached double figures combining for 28 points. Blankley had a game-high eight rebounds and three steals.
The Buffs showed some rust in the opening 10 minutes of the game shooting 1-for-16 with the Yellowjackets leading 16-5. Hayden Blankley opened the game with a shot beyond the arc before MSUB went on a 16-0 run to take the lead until Larry Wise pulled up in the paint to end the drought.
Wise would make the second free throw at the 4:53 mark before Toussaint hit the jumper to cut the Yellowjackets lead to seven, 26-19. WT strung together a 10-3 run to bring the game within three led by five points from Toussaint to make it 32-29 after 20 minutes of action.
Malik Brikat extended the Yellowjackets lead to start off the second half but Cameron Bell responded with a three of his own on a pass from Julius Brown to keep MSUB’s lead to two. After drawing the foul from the deep, Brown added his first points to the game going 3-for-3 at the line to make it 41-41 with eight minutes left in the game.
The Yellowjackets went up 46-45 but was immediately responded with a driving layup by Wise to give WT its first lead of the game before the Waxahachie product drained a three to make it 50-46 in favor of the Buffs.
At the :22 mark, the Buffs forced a foul to send the Yellowjackets to the free throw line where Damen Thacker made both to chip the Buffs lead to one. After MSUB’s timeout, Wise pushed the Buffs lead back to three at the charity stripe but Thacker would make it 57-57 with a shot from beyond the arc.
Toussaint hit a floater in the lane to give WT the 59-57 victory at the buzzer.