Hawley, Texans sail to fourth straight win over rival MSU

Ebomwonyi doules up for first time as Texans take lead in all-time series

Sophomore forward Josh Hawley slams home two of his 22 points in a 74-59 Tarleton State win at Midwestern State Thursday. || Photo courtesy Zeno Ferguson via Tarleton Athletic Communications


(November 30, 2017) —  Josh Hawley matched a career high with 22 points and was one of two from Tarleton State (4-2, 1-0) with double-doubles and four to score in double figures in a 73-59 victory over Midwestern State (2-6, 0-1) when the rivals tipped off Lone Star Conference play at D.L. Ligon Coliseum Thursday.

A sophomore forward, Hawley scored just as many against St. Mary’s last Saturday, but was more assertive defensively against MSU, blocking four shots and grabbing 12 rebounds. Nosa Ebomwonyi added 11 points and 12 boards for his first career double-double while Deshawn Riddick stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, a career-high 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Jaraan Lands added 11 points and 7 boards.

Tarleton won its fourth straight against MSU, taking a 28-27 lead in a series that dates back to March 2, 1989, when Lonn Reisman concluded the first of his 30 seasons has head coach  of the Texans.


Tarleton 73, Midwestern 59


How they got there: Tarleton started just 8-27 from the floor but made 17 of its final 25. The Texans led 30-27 after making their final three shots of the first half, then scored eight straight to start the second half. They kept MSU at least nine back the rest of the way.

Defense! {stomp, stomp} Defense!: The Texans held MSU to a season low 31.4 percent from the floor including an anemic 18.5 percent from the arc.

Key stretch: MSU fought within 49-40 with still 10 minutes remaining, but Tarleton scored seven of the next nine to lead 56-42. Lands made a layup, the Texans got a stop defensively, then he drew a foul and hit both free throws Brandon Neel scored  on the other end for the Mustangs, but Riddick stuck a 3-ball to extend the margin to 14.

Finishing off the Mustangs: Following a Hawley 3 to give him 20 points and expand the Tarleton lead to 67-51, MSU poured in six quick points to pull within 10. But surrounding a couple defensive stops were a free throw by Riddick and a transition dunk by Hawley that made the final 1:08 a mere formality.



Rare Margin: The previous 10 meetings between Tarleton and MSU were decided by single-digit margins. Tarleton has defeated the Mustangs by more than 14 only once in Wichita Falls, blowing them out 84-61 on January 31, 1998.

Off the bench: Anthony Davis played 16 minutes off the bench and scored nine points while grabbing four boards. Tarleton also got 14 good minutes out of freshman Clashon Gaffney, who contributed six points, two boards and two blocked shots.

Leading MSU: Guard Devantae Pullum scored 16 points and distributed seven assists. Nick Powell added 11 points and five rebounds while Neel scored seven and collected seven boards.

Couldn’t take advantage: MSU had just eight turnovers, nine less than Tarleton, and kept dangerous Texan guard Corinthian Ramsey from hitting a single field goal. But the Mustangs shot too poorly and were out-rebounded 47-40, preventing them from taking advantage of 25 more shot attempts than Tarleton.

15-year low: MSU has its fewest wins – 2- through eight games since 2002-03. That Mustang team went 10-18, the last to finish below .500.

Next up: Both teams compete at about 4 p.m. Saturday following 2 p.m. women’s contests. Tarleton visits Cameron in Lawton, Oklahoma, while MSU hosts Texas A&M-Commerce. It came down to the wire when those teams met at Aggie Fieldhouse Thursday night, and TAMUC secured its straight secured a 6-0 start for the second straight season and third time in five years.



-The first career double-double by Ebomwonyi came while scoring 10 or more for the 10th time as he made the most of a career-high 37 minutes.

-Riddick helped the Texans earn that 47-40 rebounding advantage, as the senior point guard pulled down a career-best seven.

-No Sign of Hayward – Ruston Heyward did no make the trip north, and one secure has reported was removed from the team.


–Last time MSU dropped six of its first eight was in 2002-03. At 10-18 overall that was also the last seasons the Mustangs finished below .500. MSU rebounded from a 2-6 start in 2000-01, going 13-7 the rest of the way to finish 15-13 overall. MSU has not dropped seven of its first nine games in a season since 1990-91.

–MSU fell to 7-10 against the Texans under seventh-year head coach Nelson Haggerty. -Ruston Hayward did not make the trip north with the Texans. Sources familiar with the situation report he has been removed form the team.



TSU 30-43 — 73
MSU 27-32 — 59

TSU (4-2, 1-0) — Josh Hawley 22, Deshawn Riddick 13, Jaraan Lands, 11, Nosa Ebomwonyi 13, Anthony Davis 9, Clashon Gaffney 6, Corinthian Ramsey 1.

MSU (2-6, 0-1) — Devantae Pullum 16, Nick Powell 11, Brandon Neel 7, Logan Hicks 6, Josh Huntley 6, Nemanja Krolica 6, Wannah Baile 4, Trey Kennedy.

TSU at Cameron (Lawton, Okla.), 4 p.m. Saturday.
Texas A&M-Commerce at MSU, 4 p.m. Saturday.



Courtesy Tarleton Sports Network/Tarleton Athletic Communications

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