Tarleton Men’s basketball season recap

The best is yet to come

The Tarleton Men’s Basketball Team gave a few powerhouse teams a run for their money in the 2021-22 basketball season. In just their second year in division one, the Texans ended their season with a 14-17 overall record and a record of 9-9 in conference play. 

The first powerhouse that Coach Billy Gillespie agreed to play was the number three ranked team in the nation, The University of Kansas. The Texans traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, and put on quite the show for the Jayhawk crowd on November 12. Tarleton lost with a final score of 88-62, but the matchup proved to be a battle. Shamir Bogues scored a career-high of 20 points, and also had four steals in the game. Tre Gipson also put on a show with 19 points in the game. Up until about 15 minutes left in the second half, the Texans stayed within a single-digit margin of the Jayhawks. Tahj Small finished the game with 12 points, putting him in the light along with Bogues and Gipson. Tarleton finished the game with 13 turnovers against Kansas and nine steals, which was an edge compared to the Jayhawks’ three steals. 

The next powerhouse team the Texans played was The University of Michigan. They kept up with them as well, only losing 65-54. 

On November 29, Coach Billy Gillespie and his Texans faced the number one team in the nation, Gonzaga University. It was expected by many that the Bulldogs would roll over the Texans, considering Gonzaga’s reputation of being one of the greatest, if not the best college basketball programs in the country. However, The Texans proved that they belong on the D1 stage, and held their own against a skilled Gonzaga. At halftime, Tarleton was within one point of Gonzaga, with a score of 26-25, which was a low score considering the matchup. With 17:10 left to play, Tarleton led the Bulldogs 30-28. After this, Gonzaga ultimately showed out for the rest of the game, and pulled off  a 64-55 win over the Texans. Despite their defeat, the Texans  proved they belonged on the court with the best of the best, and that they were ready to compete in the realm of Division I basketball. 

Conference play began on December 30 with a Texan win over Dixie State 83-69. They then lost in their matchup against Utah Valley and beat Sam Houston State. Then, there was the 77-71 overtime win against Stephen F. Austin that rallied a crowd in Wisdom Gym. 

After that came the record setting attendance in a matchup against Utah Valley at home on Feb. 16. Although the Texans did not pull out the win for the Tarleton crowd, the students and fans did not disappoint. 

The Texans finished conference play with a .500 winning percentage, and a record of 9-9. Several Texans gained All WAC honors throughout the season as well as at the end of conference play. The 2021-22 season was a great run for the Texans and Head Coach Billy Gillespie. The best is still yet to come.