STEPHENVILLE (January 6, 2017) — Tarleton State (8-6, 4-2) built a sizeable lead on the strength of a 16-1 run to end the first half and kept Texas A&M-Kingsville at arm’s length the rest of the way Saturday, winning 74-66 in a Lone Star Conference tilt at Wisdom Gym.
The Javelinas hit seven 3-point field goals in the opening 12 minutes and change, the last of them giving A&M-Kingsville a 28-25 edge.
But Corinthian Ramsey answered with a 3 to tie it for Tarleton, which immediately called timeout to adjust defensively. Changing from zone to man, the Texans contested more effectively at the ark and the Javelinas went cold.
A&M-Kingsville did not hit a field goal the final 7:57 of the half and Tarleton took advantage with a 16-1 run, highlighted by a Preston Enloe right-corner 3 that swooshed through the net right as the buzzer sounded with Tarleton ahead 41-29.
The final margin is as close as A&M-Kingsville ever got in the second half. The Javs pulled within eight with a minute and change remaining before Corinthian Ramsey delivered the Tarleton dagger. The junior guard didn’t rush things as Tarleton did with two missed 3-balls that proved costly while blowing a late lead against Angelo State just two days prior. This time he stepped calmly into his delivery just right of the top of the key and buried a 3-pointer with two seconds on the shot clock, restoring the double-digit advantage with 44 seconds remaining.
Ramsey led everyone with 19 points while also collecting three steals, three assists and five rebounds. He was more economical than he has been most of the season, going 6-11 from the floor including 3-6 from 3 while making all of his four free throws.
Josh Hawley doubled up again with 15 points and 12 rebounds while blocking three shots. Tarleton was balanced offensively with Jaraan Lands scoring 13 and hitting the boards seven times, Jesse Hill adding nine points to six boards and three assists and Deshawn Riddick collecting nine points, six rebounds and three helpers.
The big men were strong in forging a 32-14 scoring advantage in the paint and a 42-35 margin on the boards.
The Javelinas hit six 3-pointers the final 27 minutes and change after knocking down seven in less than 13 minutes to start the game. They shot just 33 percent overall while Tarleton hit a crisp 45 percent.
Trey Sumpter made seven of the A&M-Kingsville long balls and was the game’s leading scorer with 26 points to go with six boards. Cris Boleware came off the bench to score 14 for the Javelinas.
Tarleton has won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the longtime LSC rivals, including nine straight in Stephenville. The Texans visit A&M-Commerce at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Photos by MARIANNA REYES