CANYON – Tarleton men’s basketball was within striking distance of No. 3 West Texas A&M, trailing by only six with five minutes to go, but the Buffs closed the Texans out for an 83-73 win at the First United Bank Center.
The loss snaps a three-game win streak as the Texans fall to 14-9 overall and 10-7 in the Lone Star Conference. WT improves to 24-1 overall and has now won 39 straight games at home. The Buffs’ last home loss came to Tarleton in 2018.
Josh Hawley led the Texans with 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Randall Broddie added 13 points and Devin Bethely posted 12 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Tarleton led 4-3 early for a its only lead of the game before the Buffs used the next eight minutes to build a double-digit lead at 26-13. The Buffs were up by as much as 15 in the first half, but the Texans closed to within 12 at the break on a put-back dunk from Hawley. The Texans trailed 38-26 at halftime where they only shot 27 percent from the floor.
Trailing by 14 with eight to go, the Texans got rolling offensively. The Texans went on an 8-0 run with Bethely scoring four of the eight points to cut the deficit to 67-61 with 6:02 left. However, Qua Grant went on an 8-0 run of his own to pad to lead back to 14. Grant scored a game-high 26 points. The Texans were able to climb back to within eight points twice in the final two minutes but it was as close as they would get despite outscoring the LSC leaders in the second half.
Freshmen Isaiah Range and Javontae Hopkins each posted eight points, while Clashon Gaffney added five points. Zach Naylor (3 points), Dexter Johnson (3) and Isaiah Boling (2) rounded out the Texan scoring efforts.
Tarleton will travel to Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, Feb. 15 for a game at Greyhound Arena at 5 p.m. CST.