ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Texans caught fire in the first half and didn’t look back Saturday night as they tumble the Trailblazers 75-71 on the road at Burns Arena.
Tarleton (14-12, 7-6 WAC) started the game shooting 17-of-23 (.739) and 7-of-10 (.700) from beyond the arc before halftime. Freddy Hicks was perfect from distance in the first half, making all three of his shots beyond the arc.
The Texans were first on the board, courtesy of a contested jumper from Shakur Daniel. Utah Tech (11-15, 3-10 WAC) immediately responded with a three pointer to take the one-point lead.
The teams stayed neck-and-neck, exchanging the lead six times over the first 11 minutes of the half. The Texans then mounted a 12-1 run over four minutes to extend their lead to 10.
Four Texans, including Hicks, Tiger Booker, Jakorie Smith and Lue Williams, connected for seven shots beyond the arc to extend their lead to 13 to end the first half.
Daniel claimed the first points of the second half for the Texans, draining a pull-up three pointer to extend Tarleton’s lead to the largest of the game at 16.
The Texans maintained a 15-point lead over the Trailblazers through the first 10 minutes of the second half. Utah Tech mustered up a 10-1 run lasting five minutes to reduce Tarleton’s advantage to five points with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
With time winding down, the Trailblazers implemented a full court press in hopes of diminishing their deficit. Tarleton persevered and was able to push the ball up the court, wrecking Utah Tech’s strategy.
Booker played a crucial role in sealing the win over the Trailblazers. He went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final three minutes of the game, ensuring the Texans lead stayed unbroken.
Utah Tech’s full court press proved unsuccessful as the Texans secured the 75-71 victory.
Tarleton was led in scoring by Hicks who picked up a game-high 21 points. He also earned six assists and four rebounds.
The Fireside District Player of the Game, Booker, scored 20 points and picked up two assists.
Daniel secured 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Williams picked up eight points and Coreyoun Rushin scored three points while causing havoc for the Trailblazer offense.
Smith earned seven points and five rebounds and Shamir Bogues picked up five points, four rebounds and two steals.
The Texans will finish their four-game road stretch on Wednesday, heading to Nacogdoches, Texas, to face SFA [season record]. This will be the two teams’ only matchup of the season as the Texans aim to add another road win to their record. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+. Fans can also listen in on KTRL 90.5 FM.