By Travis M. Smith
STEPHENVILLE – No. 12 Tarleton State picked up its fourth straight victory Wednesday night in Wisdom Gym, crushing McMurray 89-42. The (17-2) Texans led by 21 at half and never looked back, coming 1 made three-pointer away from tying a 19-year-old school record.
Fresh off of his LSC Offensive Player of the Week recognition where he scored 54 points in two Texan victories, Mabry led all scorers at the half with 11 points and finished with 13. Mo Lee led all scorers with 21 points and was joined in double figures by EJ Reed (18), Nosa Ebomwonyi (14), and Malcolm Hamilton (13).
Either Lee or Mabry has led the Texans in scoring in each of the last 4 games.
Davene Carter (6), Deshawn Riddick (2), and Jacob Morales (2) also got in on the scoring action. Hardge also set a career-high with 8 assist.
“Mike draws a lot of attention when he drives to the lane and he kicks it out to open shooters,” Lee said, “just got to be ready to shoot.”
The commanding lead throughout allowed for Head Coach Lonn Reisman’s squad to rest players late and work on some zone defense and ball movement. Both will be needed when the Texans travel down I-30 to face LSC foe Texas A&M – Commerce on Saturday.
Tarleton State controlled the opening tip and Reed’s free throw got the Texans on the board first. A McMurray basket was quickly followed by 10-0 Tarleton State run, highlighted by a Reed alley-oop over a War Hawk defender.
The game fell into a lull for the next 7 minutes, with the Texans only outscoring the War Hawks 9-8. The Texans’ No. 6 ranked scoring defense (60.8 ppg) and No. 24 ranked field goal defense (.399) to live up to the hype. The Warhawks could only muster 17 points on 29% shooting with three minutes to play in the half, and trailed 31-17.
No. 12 Tarleton State closed out the half on a 10-3 run over the final 2 minutes after Ebomwonyi’s buzzer beater from beyond the arc. The Texans took a comfortable 43-22 lead into the locker room.
Reed opened the second half with a block on the defensive end and a put back jumper for the first points of the half. He continued to score and had 7 of the first 10 Texan points, joining three others in double figures.
Hamilton hit a jumper as part of a 20-9 TSU run to open the half and the route was on. No. 12 TSU led McMurray 64-31 with 13 minutes to play and subs checking in. The Texans opened the second half hitting 5-7 from beyond the arc while McMurray had made just 4 field goals during the span.
Lee hit a three with just over five minutes to play to give the Texans a 41-point lead at 81-40. Lee exited the game, with a game-high 21-points on 5-7 from beyond the arc.