Texans finish road trip perfect with statement victory at Seattle U

Tarleton wins program-record 10th WAC game this season


SEATTLE — Tarleton State Men’s Basketball swept the week on the road in the west closing with a definitive, 82-77, victory over the Seattle U Redhawks on Saturday afternoon in the Redhawk Center.

With the win, the Texans (17-7 overall, 10-3 WAC) tie their D1 era record for wins in a season with 17 and set a new program record with their 10th WAC win. With the loss, the Redhawks (14-10, 7-6) lost to Tarleton for the first time in both programs’ history.

“Tonight was a great victory against an excellent WAC team in Seattle U,” said acting head coach Joseph Jones post game. “It feels great to improve to 2-0 on this road trip difficult road trip against a pair of great teams. I’m really proud how hard our guys fought hard in each game, and it feels great to come back to Texas with a pair of victories.”

Jakorie Smith caught fire in the first half scoring 24 of his team-high 26 in the first 20 minutes. Smith tied his and Lue Williams’ single game WAC record with five made triples, all coming in the first half. The senior from Utica, Mississippi also notched a pair of steals, assists and four boards.

The Texans shot 61.1 percent from three-point land, the highest mark in the program’s D1 era. Emmanuel Innocenti shot a perfect three-for-three from deep finishing with 12 points. Innocenti also led the squad with four assists, three steals and co-led with Williams with seven rebounds. Devon Barnes made a pair of triples en route for 15 on the night. Barnes connected on seven of his eight attempts from the charity stripe.

For the second time this season and in the D1 era, all five of the Texans starting five scored in double figures. Williams rounded out the group with 10.

The Texans got it going early with Smith scoring the first seven Texan points of the game, giving Tarleton a 7-5 lead. Seattle U would tie it at seven before Innocenti drained a wide open three at the top of the arc to give TSU a 10-7 lead. The teams would swap buckets tying for the final time of the half at 15.

Tarleton led by as many as nine in the first half when Smith was lights-out from behind the arc. The Texans shot 70 percent from three in the first 20 minutes. Smith closed the half on a 8-0 run including his fifth triple of the first half to give the Texans a 38-31 victory.

The Redhawks game plan in the second half became obvious early, limit Smith when he touches the ball. This worked early on as SU opened with a 15-8 run to deadlock the game at 46 and bring the crowd back into the game. But, the Texans proved the negative of Seattle U’s gameplan when Barnes drained a pair of triples on back-to-back possesions. Tarleton extended the run to eight when Gaddy put an exclamation on the run with a powerful slam.

That run set the Texans on a different level with the Redhawks unable to cut the deficit to less than four over the next several minutes. Gaddy made a pair of free throws, followed by an Innocenti triple to give the Texans’ their biggest lead of the night an 11-point advantage, 67-56, with 8:43 remaining in the half.

Seattle U wasn’t done showing their fight in the final eight minutes of play. With the two teams swapping buckets over the next five minutes, the Seattle U found themselves in the hole, 73-64, with 3:38 to go. The Redhawks would prevent the Texans from scoring over the next two minutes and cut the deficit to five, 73-68 with just 1:17 remaining in the game.

In the final minute the SU cut the Tarleton lead down to as little as three points but were unable to fight past the Texans. The Purple and White did their job to ice the game knocking down seven of their ten free throw attempts in the final minute to earn the impressive 82-77 victory.

Tarleton shot 27-for-59 from the floor, a 45.8 percent rate. The Texans also shot 81 percent from the charity stripe, 17-for-21. The Redhawks won the battle of the boards, 37-29. TSU won the turnover battle, 12-8.

Tarleton State will return to Texas next week but will remain on the road with a single game in week eight at the College Park Center against UT Arlington on Thursday at 7 pm.

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