STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton and the College of Charleston went down to the wire last year with the Texans coming out on top in South Carolina. As exciting as that was, somehow the sequel outdid the original.
The Texans and Cougars played a thriller at Wisdom Gym on Friday night. It was a tight game throughout with 10 lead changes and four ties, although the Cougars led after each of the first three quarters. Tarleton exploded in the fourth quarter, using a 16-2 run to win the frame 26-11 and come back from down 10 to win 82-72.
The Texans (3-1, 0-0 WAC) remain perfect at home (3-0) with their win over the Cougars, who dropped to 1-2 on the season. Tyler Jackson had a career-best performance all-around, finishing with career-highs in points, (20, 7-15 FG, 5-12 3PT), rebounds (six) and assists (four), to go with three steals.
Six Texans did all of the scoring on Friday, with each member of the starting unit reaching double figures. Mayra Caicedo recorded 16 points (9-13 FT), six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Viktoria Ivanova went for 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, plus seven rebounds. Teresa Da Silva tallied 12 points, six rebounds and six assists. Nyajah Mitchels scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, adding three rebounds. The only player to score off of the Tarleton bench was Elise Turrubiates, who had eight points, four rebounds and three blocks in 17 minutes.
Heading into the final frame, the Cougars held a five-point lead, 61-56. With 5:17 remaining, Tarleton still trailed by four, but not for much longer. The Texans raced out to a 16-2 run in less than four minutes of game time, mostly thanks to three-pointers and free throws. Caicedo had nine points during the game-changing stretch, and defensively, the Texans forced nine straight missed shots, allowing only a layup off of an offensive rebound.
Tarleton outshot CofC 26-of-53 (.491) to 27-of-75 (.360). The Cougars had 22 more field goal attempts mostly thanks to the Texans’ ability to draw the whistle – Tarleton went to the free throw line 33 times on the night, their most in a game since having 46 free throw attempts at New Mexico State in 2020-21.
Jackson got the game started with a three-pointer from the wing, and Ivanova rolled in a layup on Tarleton’s next possession to take a five-point lead, which ended up being the largest difference by either team in the first quarter. The Cougars led 21-17 going into the second.
After leading 18-17 towards the end of the first quarter, the College of Charleston went on an 11-2 run to take a 10-point lead, their largest of the game. Tarleton battled back with six straight points and ended the half on a 7-0 run to trail by just two at halftime, 37-35.
In the third quarter, the game stayed within seven points either way, but again CofC led after another quarter. Tarleton’s fourth quarter magic swung the result to the purple and white’s favor.
The Cougars had a pair of 20+ point scorers, led by Jada Logan’s game-high 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting, adding four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jalia Roberts poured in 22 points, adding four assists and three rebounds. They were the only two Cougars to score in double figures. Adaora Onwumelu pulled down 10 rebounds, to go with six points, two steals and two blocks.
Next up for Tarleton, they’ll be back on the road and back to playing against a Power Five program. They’ve got a Tuesday matchup at the Big Ten Conference’s Nebraska Cornhuskers at 6 p.m. CT in Lincoln. It will be Tarleton’s final game before a short Thanksgiving break.