Texans clinch WAC Tournament berth, knock out Redhawks from contention with win at Seattle U


SEATTLE – It wasn’t exactly a win-or-go-home situation for both teams, but it sure felt like it on Saturday afternoon, and Tarleton State prevailed to clinch a WAC Tournament berth.

The Texans (10-19, 7-13 WAC) won 62-57 at Seattle U (6-23, 6-14 WAC), erasing the home team’s chances of advancing to the conference tournament while clinching a conference tournament berth themselves for the first time in their NCAA Division I era.

It was a win-or-go-home situation for Seattle U. Tarleton State would have clinched with a victory OR a UTRGV loss OR a Utah Valley loss on the day. All three ended up happening. Depending on national results which will alter the WAC Resume Seeding System, the Texans are pretty much guaranteed the No. 7 seed in the tournament, and will likely face off against No. 6 Abilene Christian in the first round on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. CT. That game would be at 2:30 local time (PT) in Las Vegas at Orleans Arena.

“I’m so proud of our team’s effort today on the backend of a long road trip,” said head coach Bill Brock. “We battled back from a 10-point deficit in both the first and second halves with tough rebounding and good defense. This was a total team effort today and I am glad our players will get to experience the conference tournament in Las Vegas.”

3-9-24 Coaches

The Texans pulled out the road victory with a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring the Redhawks 24-14 in the frame. They made 8-of-15 (.533) from the field in the quarter to Seattle U’s 4-of-13 (.308) clip.

This was an absolute battle, the way it should be between two teams fighting for the right to postseason basketball. There were nine lead changes and four ties, big runs and big comebacks.

After a back-and-forth start to the game, Seattle U ended the first quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 20-12, not allowing the Texans to score over the final 4:43. Tarleton battled back in the second quarter, chipping away at the deficit to eventually take back the lead 27-26 with just under third minutes to play. Tarleton won the second quarter 19-11 to knot the game at the half, 31-31.

It was tough going offensively for the Texans in the third quarter, as they scored just seven points on 3-of-15 (.200) shooting. But, they stepped up defensively to compensate, forcing Seattle U to a 5-of-17 (.294) clip. The Redhawks opened the second half with a 12-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 10 points with 4:43 to play. The Texans scored just two points in the first five minutes, but they didn’t allow Seattle U to score over the final 4:43. Tyler Jackson nailed a three-pointer to break the ice, then Jakoriah Long hit a jumper with three seconds remaining to keep the Texans back by just five entering the fourth quarter, 43-38.

Tarleton came out firing the final frame, scoring the first 11 points as part of a 16-0 run to put the Texans up by six with seven minutes remaining. Seattle U stayed at arm’s reach from there, but the Texans knocked down their free throws late to hold them off, going 6-of-7 from the stripe (.857) in the final six minutes to win.

Long and Elise Turrubiates led the Texans with 17 points apiece. This was the fourth straight game that Turrubiates has led the team in scoring, as she added eight rebounds and four assists. Long made 6-of-11 from the field and added six assists and five rebounds. Miannah Little also reached double-digit scoring with 11 points, adding four assists, three rebounds and two blocks.

Tarleton outshot Seattle U overall 24-of-56 (.429) to 20-of-62 (.323) and had 17 assists on their 24 makes.

Mya Moore led the Redhawks with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Irena Korolenko chipped in 10 points and six boards.

The WAC will announce the conference tournament seeds and bracket on Sunday, as the Texans await the official announcement of their next opponent and game time. 

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