AUSTIN – Tarleton men’s basketball’s six-game win streak came to an end with a crushing 74-72 loss to No. 10 St. Edward’s at the Recreation and Convocation Center.
The Texans (11-8, 7-6) dominated on the road in the first half against the Hilltoppers (18-2, 12-2), leading for 19 of the 20 minutes and maintaining a double-digit lead for the majority of the half. Isaiah Range carried the Texans offensively to start the game as the freshman scored all 14 of his points in the first half while shooting 6-6 from the floor.
Clashon Gaffney had another dominating game in the paint for the Texans, as his first-half layup gave the Texans a 10-point lead at 27-17. After a 10-point first half for Gaffney, he finished the game with 17 points on 70-percent shooting and 13 rebounds for his third career double-double. Gaffney wasn’t the only Texan to post a double-double as Josh Hawley scored 10 points with 12 rebounds for his 36th career double-double, tying Dwyane Johnson for second in school history.
Gaffney and Range’s hot shooting led to the Texans connecting on 53-percent of their first-half shots compared to St. Edward’s 35-percent shooting. The Texans led 42-29 at the break.
As Tarleton began the second half and looking to snap the Hilltoppers’ now 26-game home win streak, the Texans built their largest lead of the game at 47-31 on a 3-pointer from Devin Bethely with 16:30 left in the game. Bethely posted seven points and three assists on the night.
But the Hilltoppers weren’t done as they went on a 29-10 run over the next 10 minutes of play to take their first lead since they led 2-0 to open the game. Ashton Spears, the co-LSC preseason player of the year with Josh Hawley, led St. Edward’s with a game-high 23 points. August Haas paced the St. Edward’s offense with 16 assists.
St. Edward’s led by six with three minutes to go as Randall Broddie poured in six straight points on a pair of three-pointers to cut the deficit to two, 74-72, with 20 seconds left. Broddie led the Texans with 20 points, his seventh career 20-point effort. The Texans had the chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds after a St. Edward’s turnover, but two shot attempts came up short.
The Texans finished the game shooting 43 percent – only 31 percent in the second half. St. Edward’s shot 57 percent in the second half.
The scoring for the Texans came from the starters and the five Texans combined for 68 of the 72 points, with Javontae Hopkins’ four points being the only bench points.
The Texans will look to bounce back when they travel to San Antonio to take on St. Mary’s on Saturday, Feb.1 at 4 p.m.