SILVER CITY, N.M. – Tarleton amped up the defensive pressure Thursday night in Silver City and held Western New Mexico to just 54 points in a 76-54 rout of the Mustangs at Drag’s Court.
Tarleton came out of the gates swinging and never looked back.
Brandon Goldsmith, who earned his first start of the season, got Tarleton on the board with a three-ball to start a 9-0 Tarleton run over the opening five minutes of the game. The defensive pressure was apparent from the beginning as Western New Mexico couldn’t knock down its first points until the 14:31 mark of the opening half.
The Mustangs did pull within six over the next two minutes after finally scoring but four different Texans – Sam Marshall, Josh Hawley, Goldsmith, and Randall Broddie – answered with consecutive buckets to push the Tarleton lead out to 19-5 with 9:33 left in the opening half.
Tarleton built a 20-point lead in the first half but the Mustangs cut into it with a 10-4 surge over the remainder of the period to send the Texans into the break with a 34-20 edge.
Hawley slammed home a dunk to start the second-half scoring and the Texans were off once again. Tarleton led by as many as 24 and never less than 13 during the second half as the Texans claimed their 19th win of the season.
Tarleton held the Mustangs to a mere 31-percent shooting from the floor and forced 17 turnovers that led to 21 Texan points. The Texans, on the other hand, shot 45-percent from the floor and allowed Western New Mexico to score two points off their turnovers.
Josh Hawley led the team in scoring with 17 points while Jesse Hill chipped in 15 points to crack double figures. Hawley (8) and Hill (6) combined for 14 rebounds for Tarleton while Clashon Gaffney delivered a career-high 11 rebounds off the bench to go along with eight points.
Broddie (9), Richie Mitchell (7), Goldsmith (5), Isaiah Boling (4), Preston Enloe (3), and Sam Marshall (2) combined for 30 points while Dexter Johnson rounded out the scoring with a career-high six points in a career-high 12 minutes off the bench.
Tarleton will close out the regular season Saturday afternoon in Odessa against UT Permian Basin at 4 p.m.