STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton men’s basketball fell to No. 7 St. Edward’s 91-79 on Saturday in Wisdom Gym.
The Texans move to 16-10 overall and 12-8 in the Lone Star Conference. With two regular season games remaining, the Texans are still in position to host an opening-round conference playoff game in two weeks as they are currently the No. 6 seed in the conference standings.
Tarleton honored four seniors prior to the game for Senior Day: Josh Hawley, Randall Broddie, Zach Naylor and Jaraan Lands. Broddie scored a team-high 21 points on the night while Hawley grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
A slow-starting first half cost the Texans as they trailed by as much as 21 in the opening frame. The Texans led 5-4 early on for their only advantage of the game. The Hilltoppers (24-3) had runs of 7-0, 11-2, and 9-0 in the first half to pull away. St. Edward’s also connected on 11-21 first-half 3-pointers.
In the second half, the Texans cut the deficit down to 11 on an 8-0 run behind 3-pointers from Naylor and Dexter Johnson. It was the closest the Texans would get in the second half as the Hilltoppers closed the game out down the stretch at the free-throw line, converting on 27-34 attempts.
Ashton Spears, the co-LSC Preseason Player of the Year, scored 43 points for the Hilltoppers. It’s the second-most points in Wisdom Gym since Derrick White of UC-Colorado Springs scored a gym-record 50 points against St. Mary’s in the first round of the 2015 NCAA South Central regional tournament.
For the Texans, the bench poured in 29 points on the night. Johnson led all Texans off the bench with 12 points on 4-6 shooting on 3-pointers. Naylor added 11 points, giving the Texans three in double figures.
Tarleton will make its final road trip of the regular season as they travel to Laredo to take on Texas A&M International on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.