Texans roll Trailblazers in annual “White Out Wisdom” game


STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State Men’s Basketball coasted to a 86-68 victory over the Utah Tech Trailblazers on Saturday afternoon in Tarleton’s annual “White Out Wisdom” game in Wisdom Gym.

The Texans (13-7 overall, 6-3 WAC) split the week with the win over the Trailblazers (7-13, 3-6). After California Baptist knocked off Stephen F. Austin earlier in the day, the Texans are tied with the Lancers for second in the WAC conference standings.

In an effort to “White Out Wisdom”, early-arriving fans received a free white t-shirt. Fans filled the lower bowl in white in support of Texan basketball. Baseball and softball were also on hand for a pregame poster signing to highlight their upcoming season.

Jakorie Smith racked up 28 points, tying Lue Williams for the most points by a Texan in a WAC game this season. Williams found himself back in double-figures for the 14th time this season posting 18. Adam Moussa helped navigate the offense dishing out a game-high seven assists, his most as a Texan.  Emmanuel Innocenti led the Texans with seven boards with six on the defensive glass. He was the third Texan to score in double-digits with 11.

In the early minutes of the first half, the Trailblazers controlled pace, leading by as much as seven, 19-12 eight minutes into the game. The Texans started to take the momentum of the game after a fast break dunk in open court by Bubu Benjamin. Tarleton kept up the momentum with a Williams triple and seven straight points by Smith. Gaddy capped the 14-0 run with a pair of free throws giving the Texans a 26-19 lead at the 7:42 mark.

Tarleton never looked back exploding for 46 points taking a 46-34 lead at the break. Smith led all scorers with 16 including a trio of triples. Williams added 14 with the duo combining for 30 in the first 20 minutes. The Texans were feeling it from the floor sinking 15 of their 30 shots, a 50 percent rate. Tarleton was nearly perfect at the line shooting 13-for-14 (92.9 percent).

The Purple and White kept the hype train rolling with a pair of triples by Innocenti and Smith to open the second half pushing the lead to 18. Tanner Christensen who entered the game as the Trailblazers’ leading scorer, picked up two quick fouls in the beginning of each half forcing him to the bench with 16 minutes on the clock in the second half.

Smith picked up his 28th point of the game off an alley-oop from Izzy Miles to put a comfortable seal on the game giving the Texans a 72-48 lead, their biggest of the night.

The Texans lead never dropped below 13 in the second half, as the Purple and White closed out the victory. In the final 10 minutes Tarleton executed a half-court offense waiting till the final few seconds on the shot clock in every possession. The Purple and White scored 40 in the second 20 minutes and held the Trailblazers to 34 for the second straight half.

Tarleton improved to 29-0 shooting over 50 percent in D1 game shooting 29-for-57, 50.9 percent. The Texans sunk seven triples and was nearly perfect at the line, shooting 21-for-22 a 95.5 percent rate. The Purple and White won the turnover battle, 22-13. Utah Tech won the battle of the boards, 34-29.

Next week, the Purple and White will play a game on the road followed by a home contest on Saturday evening. The Texans will hit the road for a short trip up I-20 for the second game of the I-20 rivalry against the Wildcats. Then, Tarleton will round out the week with a chance to sweep Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Wisdom Gym. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.