STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton men’s basketball had its best shooting night of the season in a lopsided 92-66 win over St. Mary’s on Thursday in Wisdom Gym.
The Texans shot a season-high 61 percent to improve to 16-9 overall and 12-7 in the Lone Star Conference. It’s the 11th win in 13 games for the Texans as they continue to soar up the LSC standings.
Josh Hawley and Clashon Gaffney each posted 18 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Texans in both categories, while Gaffney blocked a game-high four shots. The high shooting percentage was caused by the Texans attacking the basket which resulted in 56 points in the paint compared to just 20 for St. Mary’s.
Both teams shot lights out to start the game and throughout the first half as the Texans connected on 59 percent of their shots compared to 55 percent for the Rattlers. It led to a high-scoring affair that saw neither team lead by more than five points in the opening half. For the second straight game, the Texans went to the locker room tied, this time with the score 43-43.
The difference in this contest was the Texans didn’t let up in the second half. In fact, they shot even better, draining 64 percent of its shots in the second half while the Texan defense limited the Rattlers to just 23 percent shooting to outscore them by 26.
Devin Bethely was coming off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on the road at Eastern New Mexico and the junior point guard continued with the hot hand. Bethely tied his career high in points with 14 and dished out a career-high 10 assists for his first double-double as a Texan. Seven of his 10 assists came during the second-half rout.
Photos by DAVID SWEARINGEN
The Texans opened the second half on a 7-0 with all the points coming from Hawley and Gaffney. Tarleton’s first double-digit lead came on a midrange jumper from Isaiah Range, who had six points on the night, to put the Texans up by 11 and the lead never fell to single digits from there. A game-high 14-0 run pushed the advantage up to 21 with 7:08 remaining.
The Texans closed the game on a 7-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back dunks from Gaffney and a reverse jam from Javontae Hopkins for a game-high 26-point lead, which was the final score of the night. Hopkins led the Texans off the bench with 12 points while Zach Naylor added 10 points to give the Texans five players in double figures.
Randall Broddie and Dexter Johnson each posted six points and Isaiah Boling added two points for the Texan scoring efforts.
Tarleton will look to add its second ranked win of the season when they host No. 7 St. Edward’s for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.