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No. 7 Tarleton travels to Las Vegas for a pair of games against No. 16 Rollins and Drury in the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. The Texans will play Rollins on Friday at 3:15 p.m. CST and Drury on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. CST.
Each game will have a live radio broadcast presented by the Tarleton Sports Network presented by North Texas Ford Dealers. The Voice of the Texans, Casey Hogan, will be back calling the play-by-play for Tarleton basketball this season. The radio broadcast can be heard on KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville and surrounding areas or online at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive.
THE OPPONENT: ROLLINS
Rollins comes in as the No. 16-ranked team, according to the NABC poll. The Tars started the season 9-0 before suffering their first loss to Eckerd 67-62 on Dec. 12. Rollins has three players scoring in double figures, led by Shariff Almulla with 17.6 points. As a team, Rollins is averaging 87 points per game while holding oppoents to 69.9 points.
THE OPPONENT: DRURY
Drury is 5-3 on the season and has lost 3 of its last five games. The Panthers suffered one of its losses to LSC member Cameron, 72-70, on Nov. 27. Drury has two double-digit scorers, led by Kameron Bundy with 19.6 points per game. Drury is averaging 73.6 points per game while giving up 74.6 points to opponents.
THE SERIES: ROLLINS
This will be the second match-up between Tarleton and Rollins. The Tars won the only game 75-64 back in 2003 in Las Vegas.
THE SERIES: DRURY
Tarleton is 1-3 all-time against Drury, but won the last meeting 64-60 last season in Las Vegas. The other three games came in 2004, 1994 and 1993.
LEADING THE CONFERENCE
EJ Reed leads the Lone Star Conference in scoring (21.7 points per game) and field goal percentage (.673). Michael Hardge is tops in assists per game with 5.3. Charles Hill and Malcolm Hamilton are tied for the lead in steals per game with 1.8.
Tarleton coach Lonn Reisman (597 wins) and Rollins’ Tom Klusman (641 wins) have a combined 1,238 wins between the two. Klusman has been at Rollins for 36 seasons and is fifth on the active Division II head coaches’ wins list and Reisman, in his 28th year at Tarleton, is sixth.
10-GAME STARTS UNDER REISMAN
Tarleton is no stranger to hot starts under Reisman. The Texans, who are 8-1 on the year, have won at least 8 of the first 10 games the last six seasons, including 10-0 starts the last two seasons. The 2014-15 team started 11-0 and the 2013-14 team started a program-best 18-0.
NCAA TEAM STAT LEADERS
The Texans ranked fifth in the nation in scoring margin per game at 20.2. The Texans have four wins by double digits, including two wins by 40-plus points. Every Tarleton win has been decided by at least seven points. EJ Reed ranks 12th in the nation in field goal percentage at 67.3 percent andMichael Hardge is 26th in the nation in assists per game at 5.6.
LAST TIME OUT
Tarleton defeated Texas-Permian Basin 74-58 to run its winning streak to four straight. Tarleton held UTPB to a season low in points after the Falcons came in averaging 97.8 points per game.
REISMAN IN DECEMBER
Lonn Reisman enters the month of December with six games on the schedule. His all-time record for the Christmas month is 101-36 for a winning percentage of .737. The Texans have won 16 straight games in December.
CLIMBING UP THE RECORD CHART
4-year Texan Michael Hardge, who has 246 career assists, passed LaShon Sheffield for No. 14 on the all-time assists list. Hardge needs 15 assists to move to No. 13 and pass Corin Henry. With 4 assists, Hardge would become the 14th player in Texan history with 250 career assists.
• Michael Hardge is 21 points from 700 in his career
• Michael Hardge is 4 assists from 250 in his career
• Michael Hardge is 15 steals from 100 in his career
• Nosa Ebomwonyi is 22 points from 250 in his career
• Nosa Ebomwonyi is 8 assists from 50 in his career
• Malcolm Hamilton is 9 rebounds from 200 in his career
• Malcolm Hamilton is 2 steals from 200 in his career
When seniors Michael Hardge and EJ Reed are in the starting lineup together, the Texans have a record of 27-3 (.900).
DEFENDING THE PAINT
Xavier Smith leads the Texans with 16 blocks this season and has blocked at least one shot in eight straight games.
20 POINTS A NIGHT
EJ Reed is averaging 21.7 points per game. Tarleton hasn’t had a player average 20 per game since Brandon Burney averaged 22.1 in 2000-01. The Tarleton record is 23.6 points per game by Steve Dean in 1968-69.
Since being inserted into the starting lineup five games ago, Malcolm Hamilton is averaging 16.4 points on 58% shooting, 10 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game. In that 5-game span, Hamilton has recorded four straight double-doubles, the only four of his career.
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will return home to take on Southeastern Oklahoma on Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.