Tarleton State knocks off Texas Southern in opening round of Lou Henson Classic

The Texans will host Abilene Christian in the Lou Henson Classic Championship Wednesday at 6 p.m.


STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State Men’s basketball knocked off SWAC Tournament runner-up Texas Southern, 82-71, in the opening round of the Lou Henson Classic a part of The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, presented by BSN SPORTS on Tuesday night in Wisdom Gym.

The Texans (24-9) will advance to the Lou Henson Classic Championship against Abilene Christian. The Tigers end their season, 16-17. The winner of the Lou Henson Classic will advance to be one of the final four standing teams in the CIT presented by BSN SPORTS. The semifinals and championship will be played the following week at campus sites to be determined.

Lue Williams led the Texans in scoring for the ninth time this season with 21 points. Williams bucket 20-plus for the sixth time this season. KiAndre Gaddy notched his seventh double-double with a 12-point, 10-board effort. Jakorie Smith went seven-for-seven from the free throw line for the second straight night en route to his 16-point night.

In total, five Texans scored in double-figures against the Tigers. Traivar Jackson added 12 points off the bench in his second-straight double-digit scoring game. Devon Barnes was one of four starters to score in double figures with 10. Defensive rebound machine, Emmanuel Innocenti collected seven boards all on the defensive end.

After the Tigers claimed the first bucket of the game, Gaddy made back-to-back jumpers to get the scoring going for the Texans. The two squads traded baskets featuring five lead changes and two ties.

Tarleton State gained the lead back for the remainder of the half with 11:46 remaining on a pair of back-to-back layups by Gaddy to take a 10-9 lead. The Purple and White opened the lead with a 9-0 run from four different scorers including the first triple of the game care of Williams.

Tarleton got to their biggest lead of the night scoring on three straight possessions to use a 6-0 run to build a 13-point lead, 27-14. The Tigers responded with a 10-2 run of their own to cut their deficit to five, 29-24 with 2:25 remaining in the game. Tarleton closed the half with a 7-2 run to give the Texans a 36-16 advantage at the break.

Texas Southern burst out of the break on fire scoring the first eight points in two minutes to cut the deficit to two, 36-34. The Texans responded with a Williams layup, followed by a Gaddy bucket after a barrage of back-and-forth turnovers.

After a short 4-0 run by the Texans, the Tigers cut the lead back to two with 16;16 remaining. After the Purple and White broke out to a nine-point lead on a 6-0 run of their own, the Tigers cut their deficit to one, 49-48 just past the midpoint of the half. After a Texan bucket, the Tigers sunk a triple to tie the game at 51 at the 8:52 mark.
Barnes broke the tie with a three-pointer in the Texans’ favor, but the two teams swapped buckets and the Tigers tied the game again at 58 with 6:16 remaining.

Barnes broke the tie once again, this time for the final time, after a trio of made free throws to give the Texans the lead for the remainder of the game. With the Texans leading by five, Williams hit back-to-back triple followed up by a Barnes triple to distance the Texans from the Tigers, 76-64. Tarleton closed out the final two minutes to earn a berth in the classic title game, 82-71.

The Texans shot 30-for-64 from the field and seven-for-23 from deep. The Purple and White won the battle of the boards, 41-33 and the turnover battle, 10-9.

Tarleton State will play in the Lou Henson Classic Championship in Wisdom Gym at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner will earn a bid the CIT presented by BSN SPORTS semifinals.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

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