STEPHENVILLE – The Texans’ physical play against conference rival ACU on Saturday propelled them to a 72-63 win and an unscathed record at home on the season.
With the win, Tarleton improves their all-time matchup record against ACU to 36-34, breaking a four-game streak of Wildcat wins.
The Texans are now one of only two teams in the WAC to remain undefeated at home this season (Seattle U).
“What a fantastic win for the Texans who continue to show an amazing amount of heart, determination, desire and tenacity to beat the team picked fourth in our league and two years removed from an NCAA Tournament win over Texas,” head coach Billy Gillispie said. “It was about as tough of a performance as you could have. What a great crowd at Wisdom, they definitely do their part and I think we are doing ours. What a performance by Shamir Bogues, Jakorie Smith and Shakur Daniel as well as all of the other Texans.”
Tarleton (10-8, 3-2 WAC) fell behind early in the game 11-5 as ACU (9-9, 1-4 WAC) got off to a hot start. Six unanswered points from the Texans’ Bogues erased the Wildcats’ lead with just under 13 minutes left in the first half.
The Texans’ smothering defense held ACU scoreless for eight minutes as they regained the lead on a 17-0 run. The Wildcats clawed their way back from the seven-point deficit, ending the first half down 28-27.
Both teams traded buckets to begin the second half as Tarleton defended their slight lead. With six minutes passed in the half the Texans started to extend their lead to a game-high of 14 points, helped along by two consecutive three-pointers from Smith and 10 points from Daniel.
ACU fought back again in the final five minutes of the game, reducing Tarleton’s lead to six with just one minute remaining.
The Texans then forced the Wildcats to send them to the free throw line, where Tiger Booker scored the final seven points of the game from the charity stripe.
Smith, the Fireside District Player of the Game, picked up 15 points (5-9 FG, 3-5 3PT), his sixth double-digit scoring performance of the season. He also earned five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Lue Williams also scored 15 points (4-9 FG, 2-2 3PT) and grabbed eight rebounds. Daniel earned 13 points, a team-high four assists and two steals.
Bogues, who played all 40 minutes of the competition, picked up 12 points, a team-high nine rebounds and two steals to boot. Booker scored 11 points (9-10 FT) and hammered the final nail in ACU’s coffin with six straight free throws to finish the game.
The Texans will hit the road for their next two games, starting with Seattle U on Thursday. The Redhawks are undefeated in conference play this year. Tarleton looks to redeem their home loss to Seattle U almost a year ago to the date. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. CT and fans can listen in on KTRL 90.5 FM.