No place like home

Tarleton men’s basketball winning streak


Cielo Medina

Rod Brown shooting a free throw during a game against Abilene Christian on Jan. 14

The past couple months the Tarleton men’s basketball team have constructed themselves an impressive record: a ten-game winning streak on our own home court. 

   Wisdom Gym was constructed in 1970, and was valued at a whopping $1.3 million. For roughly 50 years, it has been the home of Tarleton basketball, and it is safe to say that Wisdom Gym has seen its fair share of history. 

   Many of Tarleton’s students and staff can recall the astounding eighty-six game winning streak that was led by Coach William J. Wisdom, who is the namesake behind Tarleton’s beloved gymnasium. While wearing his lucky red tie, Wisdom was able to carry the Tarleton Texans to victory for eighty-six games in a row during the years of 1934 and 1938. The Texans set a national record for most games consecutively won, until their streak was unfortunately overrun in the 1970s by the UCLA Bruins who had an eighty-nine game record. Perhaps for the past couple months, Tarleton’s men’s basketball team had the special luck of Wisdom and his red tie when they defended their home court for ten straight games. 

   The men’s basketball team set off on their ten-game streak in a matchup against Kansas Christian on Nov. 10. Tydan Archibald was on fire on the outer arch, where he led the Texans in points by draining 5 three-pointers. Garry Clark was not far behind in points with the 14 points that he contributed as well. Not to mention, in the paint Rod Brown was a force to be reckoned with due to his leading number of eight rebounds. This victory, with a score of 95 to 49, initiated the Tarleton Texans ten-game streak. 

   The next couple of matches were against the Weber State Wildcats, followed by the Wiley Wildcats only four days later. In both games, junior guard Lue Williams was the top scorer with 16 points against Weber and 17 points against Wiley.  In their fight against Wiley, Tarleton had an impressive 18 steals which surely helped them secure the win with 98 to 55 points. 

   Nearly three weeks later, they secured the win yet again on the Wisdom Gym court against the Huston-Tillotson Rams where Lue Williams led the team in baskets once more with a total 30 points, which allowed them to take the victory with a final score of 114 to 56. In this matchup, Tarleton had another impressive steal count of 21, and they surpassed the Rams in terms of field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and three-point percentage. 

   This blowout was preceded by another home-court win against the University of Texas at Arlington with a slightly more narrow score gap where Tarleton pulled out the win with a score of 70 to 63. KiAndre Gaddy provided the team with eight rebounds, and Lue Williams and Tiger Booker put 36 points on the board combined. 

   Not long after this, another narrow win was achieved against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, but nonetheless, a win is a win. Tarleton gave the Thunderbirds their first loss of 2023 with a score of 68 to 65. At one point in the game, the Texans held a 12-point advantage over Utah, but the Thunderbirds retaliated after halftime and narrowed Tarleton’s lead. With less than two minutes left on the clock the opposing team sank a three-pointer which gave Utah a one point lead. Shortly after, the Texans sealed the game in their favor with four free throws and a flawless layup. 

   Next, the men’s team put up a fight against Chicago State and Abilene Christian University, where in both instances they prevented their opposing teams from earning over 63 points. In the game against the Chicago Cougars, Tarleton had a strong start and managed to stay ahead for the remainder of the game. The lead scorer was junior forward, KiAndre Gaddy, who put up 15 points. During the first half of the game between Abilene Christian, taking the lead on the scoreboard was a constant battle, until the middle of the second half where Tarleton widened the gap and remained in the lead for the rest of the match. 

   The penultimate game in the men’s basketball home winning streak was a close game against Utah Tech, where Tarleton secured the win by two points with a final score of 74 to 72. Tarleton’s players managed to keep the lead for the majority of the game and right before the first half, concluded they had made themselves a comfortable 22 point lead gap. Nonetheless, Utah closed the gap in the last quarter of the game and made Tarleton’s players fight to finish strong with a win. 

   The final game of Tarleton’s streak was set against Grand Canyon University, where sophomore Freddy Hicks put 18 points on the board for Tarleton, and his teammates KiAndre Gaddy, Shamir Bogues, Lue Williams, and Jakorie Smith made the majority of the remaining points to boost the final score to 81 points for Tarleton to Grand Canyons 62. 

   After an abundance of valiant effort, Tarleton’s team fell prey to the skill of the UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, and they suffered a 3-point loss. Regardless, sophomore Shamir Bogues showed out with 19 points, four steals, and five defensive rebounds. 

   Though Tarleton’s men’s basketball team may have occasionally fallen short on the road for the past few months, they defended their home court quite well with their ten-game, home court winning streak.