Texans Drop Close Game to Redhawks, the WAC’s Top Team

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STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Entering Saturday’s game, the Seattle U Redhawks had yet to be beaten in WAC play. After a tight battle at Wisdom Gym, they stayed that way, knocking off Tarleton 76-68 in Stephenville.

Wisdom Gym was ready for this one, packing the place with 2,022 loud and rowdy fans. They got a treat of a matchup between two of the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference, a game that saw nine lead changes, eight ties, and the lead for either team within 10 points through the entirety.

The Redhawks got the better of the Texans to stay atop the WAC with a 6-0 record, 15-4 overall. Tarleton drops to 3-5 in WAC play, 8-13 overall.

Both teams traded buckets consistently throughout the first 14 minutes of play, with neither team going up by more than one possession. Montre Gipson scored nine points in the first 10 minutes, part of his game-high 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting, adding four assists.

Seattle U took the first multi-possession lead on a Cameron Tyson three-ball with 5:55 remaining. Tarleton stayed within arm’s reach, and closed the first half with two quick buckets to trail by just three at halftime, 35-32.

Gipson opened the scoring in the second half with a deep shot to tie the game at 35. With Tarleton trailing 41-39 with 14:35 left, the Redhawks went on an 8-0 run to take the largest lead of the game at 10, 49-39. Tarleton answered right back with a 9-0 run of their own to get back within a point. That’s the closest they’d get the rest of the game, however, with Seattle U leading by about 5-7 points the remainder of regulation, making all of their free throws in the second half (11-of-11) to preserve the win.

Gipson totaled his fourth 20+ point game of the season, and it marked his 12th consecutive double-digit scoring game. Freddy Hicks recorded 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting, plus 8-of-9 from the stripe, eight rebounds and two steals. Over the two games this week, Hicks averaged 19.5 points on 12-of-25 shooting, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals.

Tahj Small achieved the game’s lone double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It marks his third double-double of the season and his first since Dec. 17 vs. South Alabama. Shamir Bogues finished with five rebounds and three steals, while Javontae Hopkins led the bench with six points on 3-of-6 shooting.  

Tyson led the Redhawks with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a 5-of-7 clip from the three-point line, and eight rebounds. Darrion Trammell (13 points, five assists) and Riley Grigsby (11 points, 3-6 3PT, five rebounds) joined him in double figures.

The Texans forced 21 turnovers but gave up 10 three-pointers, finishing with four three-point makes themselves.

Tarleton will head to Lamar next who sits on the opposite side of the WAC standings, owning an 0-6 conference record, 2-17 overall. That game will be in Beaumont on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT.

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