Texans catch fire in second half to pick up road win at UTA


ARLINGTON – The Texans win their first true road win of the season with a second-half surge over UT-Arlington 69-64.

UTA (8-16, 3-8 WAC) were first on the scoreboard, followed quickly by a pair of free throws from Shakur Daniel. Tarleton (13-11, 6-5 WAC) struggle to get going offensively early on as the Mavericks held them scoreless over five minutes, taking an eight-point lead.

A three-point jumper from Jakorie Smith ended the Texans’ scoring drought as they chipped the Mavericks’ lead down to one point with 12 minutes left in the half.

The teams stayed neck-and-neck with UTA holding a slight lead until a pair of free throws from Javontae Hopkins evened the score with six minutes remaining before the half. The Mavericks responded with a 9-0 run, holding the Tarleton scoreless over the next four minutes.

Another three-pointer from Smith, in the identical spot to his previous shot, brought the UTA lead down to five as the teams left for the locker room at 29-24.

Tarleton got off to a hot start in the second half as Shamir Bogues scored a fastbreak layup after picking up a steal off the opening inbound play. It took just three minutes for the Texans to tie the game up at 34 all with the Mavericks.

UTA made two unanswered baskets to jump back out ahead, but the Texans had an answer for them. A tough layup from Hopkins earned Tarleton their first lead of the half at 41-40.

The Mavericks responded with their second 9-0 run of the game to take a six-point lead over the next three minutes. Back-to-back buckets by Freddy Hicks helped the Texans make a run of their own, going 10-0 over four minutes to regain a four-point lead.

The Texans continued to maintain the slight advantage through the final minutes of the game, growing their lead to as high as seven points off several three-pointers from Smith, silencing the home crowd.

A fastbreak dunk from Hicks hammered the nail in UTA’s coffin as the Texans earned the 69-64 road win over the Mavericks.

Hicks scored a game-high 22 points, the most since his return from a hand injury against Baylor in December. He also grabbed a team-high six rebounds and recorded three blocks.

Smith, the Fireside District Player of the Game, earned 19 points (6-8 FG, 5-7 3PT), four rebounds and two steals. He scored all five of Tarleton’s three-point attempts for the game.

Hopkins picked up eight points and three rebounds. Garry Clark earned six points while Coreyoun Rushin picked up four points.

Daniel scored four points, dished out three assists and picked up three steals. Bogues earned a team-high five assists while picking up two steals and points each.

The Texans will continue their road stretch on Thursday, heading to Cedar City, Utah, to take on Southern Utah (16-8, 8-3 WAC). Last time out Tarleton picked up a 68-65 victory over the Thunderbirds at home. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN+. Fans can also listen in on KTRL 90.5 FM.

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