By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 21, 2015) — No. 2 Tarleton State unveiled its 2014-15 Final Four banner at Wisdom Gym Saturday, then continued the festive evening with a 116-49 blowout of NAIA Bacone (Okla.).
Its the most points scored by Tarleton since the 2013 season opener, when the Texans leveled Southwestern Adventist, 118-54.
In his 100th career game at Tarleton, point guard Michael Hardge earned his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists, while EJ Reed continued to lead in scoring with 23 points on 8-9 shooting. Reed also collected nine boards as Tarleton out-rebounded Bacone 49-26.
The Texans had seven double-digit scorers. Joining Reed and Hardge were Malcolm Hamilton with 13 points on 5-6 shooting, Dashaun Riddick 13, Nosa Ebomwonyi 12, Charles Hill 11 and Chantz Chambers 10. The Texans shot 53.7 percent from the floor and scored almost as many points form the arc – 45 – as Bacone had total. The Texans were 15-36 from 3-point range, shooting 41.7 percent.
Bacone was never in the game despite 22 points from Brandon Chatman.
Tarleton may be the No. 1 team in the nation before hosting its Thanksgiving Classic next weekend. Tarleton faces Colorado State-Pueblo Friday and Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) Saturday, both at 7 p.m.
Photos courtesy NATHAN BURAL/Tarleton