STEPHENVILLE – For the second straight night, Tarleton took Grand Canyon to the final minutes before ultimately falling 59-48 on Saturday in Wisdom Gym.
Jonathan Jackson Jr. led the Texans with a team-high 14 points while Montre’ Gipson followed his career-high 30-point performance with nine points, five rebounds and three assists.
After falling to the Lopes, 75-72 only 24 hours ago, the two squads got to experience their first back-to-back conference games of the season. The fatigue showed early with a low scoring half and ultimately the entire game. The Texans shot 30 percent from the floor compared to GCU’s 46 percent. Tarleton, however, matched its season low in turnovers with only nine, the same number from Friday night against the Lopes.
The Texans started out strong, highlighted by an 8-1 run midway through the first half for its largest lead of the game at 22-13. GCU held the Texans scoreless for the next four minutes to go up by four, 26-22. Freshman guard Freddy Hicks scored the next seven points for the Texans, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final minutes of the half to even the score at 29-29 at the break. Hicks finished the game with nine points, nine rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes off the bench. It was the second straight game Tarleton and GCU were tied at halftime.
For the first 16 minutes of the second half, neither team led by more than a possession as they traded buckets and defensive stops. There were 14 lead changes and six ties in the half as GCU led for 18:22 in the game compared to 16:26 for the Texans.
A corner 3-pointer by Oscar Frayer with 3 minutes on the clock put GCU up by four and started a 13-0 run – with eight of the points coming from the free-throw line – and the visiting Lopes pulled away from the Texans in their bid for the first conference win.
Offensively, six Texans scored in the game with Shakur Daniel adding seven points, Shamir Bogues posting five points and three steals and Tahj Small recorded four points.
Tarleton will make its first out-of-state trip of the season as they travel to Riverside, California to take on California Baptist for a pair of games on Jan. 15-16.