Hicks leads Texans to win over Lamar in final game at Wisdom Gym


STEPHENVILLE – It wasn’t easy, but Tarleton prevailed over the Lamar Cardinals on Saturday night in the Texans’ final home game of the season.

Freddy Hicks led the charge with 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting, plus 9-of-10 from the free throw line, five rebounds and five assists in Tarleton’s 57-49 win at Wisdom Gym. The Texans improved to 14-15 overall, 9-7 in Western Athletic Conference play. They finished 10-5 at home this season. Lamar remained winless in the conference, now 0-16, falling to 2-25 overall.

Tarleton built a big lead early using their stifling defense. In Lamar’s first 20 possessions, Tarleton forced eight turnovers and a 3-of-12 (.250) clip from the field, relenting just six points over the first 11:30 of the game. On the other side, everyone was contributing for Tarleton in an efficient manner, giving the purple and white a 19-6 lead. Overall in the first half, Lamar made just 7-of-22 (.318) from the field, including 1-of-8 (.125) from distance. The Texans led 31-20 at the break.

Tarleton held as large as a 15-point lead at 40-25 with 15:30 remaining before Lamar started to find their groove. The Cardinals went on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes to get within six, 42-36. They’d get as close as two points with just under six minutes remaining. It was a one-possession game with less than a minute left. Free throws and clamp-down defense held off Lamar to give Tarleton their third straight win, tied for their longest winning streak of the season.

Hicks earned his third straight 20+ point game to lead the Texans, extending a career-long such streak. It was his seventh 20+ point game of the season, the ninth of his career. Tarleton is 7-0 this season when Hicks has scored 20+ points.

Tahj Small achieved his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Noah McDavid made a pair of three-pointers for eight points and three rebounds, while Montre Gipson added seven points, four assists and three rebounds.

The Texans had one of their worst shooting nights of the season, making 17-of-50 (.340) from the field. Defense powered the purple and white, who forced 18 turnovers, leading to 18 Tarleton points.

Lamar’s Brock McClure led his team with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 10 rebounds. C.J. Roberts joined him in double figures with 11 points, four rebounds and three steals.

This was Tarleton’s third sweep of a conference opponent this year (Chicago State, UTRGV). The Texans are 14-6 over their last 20 games.

One final road trip awaits the Texans, beginning Thursday at Sam Houston at 6:30 p.m. CT. On Saturday, the Texans will close their regular season at Abilene Christian at 6 p.m. CT.

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