Texans bring the heat and serve up defeat

Tarleton Men’s Basketball defeats Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin

The Tarleton Men’s Basketball team had a victorious week at home in their two-game home stand. The Texans faced off against Sam Houston State on Jan. 6, and Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 8. 

In their first competition against Sam Houston in 45 years, the Texans came out on top with a final score of 75-64. 

Senior Tahj Small had a career-high of 28 points, while Montre Gipson and Freddy Hicks also had points in the double digits. 

Throughout the showdown against SHSU, the only time the Texans trailed behind was with the 5-0 start by the Bearkats in the first 30 seconds. For the rest of the game, the Texans lead the way and ultimately put them in a position for a home sweep pending a win against Stephen F. Austin. 

Following the Sam Houston game, the Texans secured a 77-71 win against Stephen F. Austin in overtime. At halftime, the Texans trailed by 4, but they were not ready to give up. Within the last 45 seconds of regulation, Montre Gipson hit a 3-point shot tying the game at 60. Both teams drew fouls and after taking their time at the free throw line, the Texans then went into overtime with the score reading 62-all. 

Fans in Wisdom Gym were on the edge of their seats when the clock for overtime was set. Despite the pressure, Tarleton went into overtime and was able to retain the offensive momentum they had coming out of the second half. The Texans took the lead 68-66, in just under the first two minutes of overtime. Noah McDavid rebounded his own shot and then scored a layup to put the Texans on top 70-67 with two minutes left of play. Jayshawn Moore then drew a foul by Lumberjack player Latrell Jossell to put him out of the game, and land two free throw shots to increase the Texans’ lead to 72-69. 

Following Moore’s impactful score, Freddy Hicks and Montre Gipson both drew fouls from SFA, and sank a combined five free throws to give the Texans a comfortable lead. Despite three more points scored by the Lumberjacks, the Texans remained calm and came out on top.  Freddy Hicks came out of the matchup with a game-high of 23 points. Montre Gipson and Tahj Small each tallied up 18 points in their contribution to a Texan victory. The competition proved to be a defensive battle. Both teams racked up a combined 49 fouls, with five players fouling out of the game. Nevertheless, the Texans prevailed. 

The Texans return to Wisdom Gym on Feb. 5 for another Western Athletic Conference matchup against Chicago State who is seated #9 in the WAC. Tarleton will then continue their home play on Feb. 12 against Abilene Christian which is ranked #8 in the WAC.