STEPHENVILLE – After trailing at halftime, Tarleton came out and scored the first six points of the opening half to take a lead they would not relinquish in a 66-59 win against Texas A&M-Kingsville in Thursday’s Lone Star Conference opener.
Corinthian Ramsey sparked the offense out of the break with four of those six unanswered points to put Tarleton up 36-32 in the first minute and a half. Tarleton maintained a lead between two and six points over the next eight minutes until a three-ball from Preston Enloe turned the game upside down.
With Tarleton clinging to a 44-41 lead, Enloe drilled a triple off a dish from Richie Mitchell to start an 8-0 Tarleton run. Josh Hawley scored the next five to give Tarleton its biggest lead of the night at 52-41 and force Kingsville into a timeout with 8:57 left.
The Flash Today photos by David Swearingen
The Javelinas answered back to pull within eight, but the Texans had an answer once again when Hawley connected from downtown again to push the lead back over double digits and start a quick 7-4 run to push the lead up to 13. Kingsville clawed back to pull as close as six, but could get no closer as Tarleton went on to take the opener.
The second half surge followed a first quarter that saw Tarleton head into halftime trailing 32-30. Tarleton shot just .381 from the floor in the opening half, including .286 from downtown while Kingsville was .571 from the floor and .375 from beyond the arc.
For the game, Tarleton finished with a .476 shooting mark from the floor and a .333 clip from downtown.
Hawley led the team with 17 points on 6-9 shooting, including 3-4 from three-point land, and 2-2 at the charity stripe. Ramsey also poured in double figures with 13 points while Randall Broddie (7), Sam Marshall (6) and Jesse Hill (4) combined for 17 more points in the starting lineup. Enloe (5), Mitchell (4), Brandon Goldsmith (4), and Clashon Gaffney (6) gave Tarleton 19 points off the bench. Gaffney filled up the stat sheet with five rebounds and four blocks.
Tarleton will be back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. against Angelo State in Wisdom Gym. It will be ‘Toys for Kids’ Day and anyone who brings a new, unwrapped toy donation will receive free admission.