Jones gets 1,000 in Tarleton win
By BRAD KEITH
JoAnne Jones reached a scoring milestone and Tarleton State (15-2, 2-0) survived a scare in its first time to take the court as a nationally-ranked team in NCAA Division II.
Jones was scoreless thanks to foul trouble and the TexAnns looked listless at halftime when they trailed Eastern New Mexico (5-13, 0-3) 21-16.
But Tarleton, ranked No. 24 by the USA Today/ESPN Division II coaches poll, scored the first 10 points of the second half and never trailed again in a 55-43 win in a Lone Star Conference South Division contest at Wisdom Gym.
As for Jones, she scored nine points in the first eight minutes of the second, then hit a basket with 4:41 remaining to give her the 11 points she needed to reach 1,000 for her career. She is the 19th TexAnn to reach that mark in school history, earning a standing ovation.
Jones also grabbed four rebounds, moving into 10th all time at Tarleton with 568.
The milestone basket by Jones made it 48-35, giving Tarleton its largest lead of the night to that point.
Tarleton went cold after that and didn’t score again until Morgan Stehling knocked down a pair of free throws at the 2:43 mark. The charity shots made it 50-41 after the Zias had used a 6-0 push to get back in the game.
Tarleton stretched the lead back out to 54-41 and finally earned its biggest lead of the contest when Shelby Adamson hit a pair from the stripe to make it 56-41 with 40 seconds left.
Stehling led the TexAnns with 15 points and also had five rebounds. Jones finished with the 11 she needed and Adamson had 10 to go with seven boards. Brittnie Haley had eight points and nine rebounds while Sundberg tallied six points and three assists.
Tarleton shot 37 percent from the floor while holding ENMU to just 29.5 percent. The TexAnns converted 24 ENMU giveaways into 17 points.
The TexAnns struggled early on, leading for only a brief spell in the first half when an 8-0 run made it 10-6.
ENMU jumped right back on top, however, using a 13-3 surge to lead 19-13.
Defense paves the way for Texans
By BRAD KEITH
Tarleton State (14-3, 2-0) held a Lone Star Conference opponent to under 40 points in a game for the first time in almost 13 years Wednesday night, blowing away Eastern New Mexico (7-10, 2-1) 76-36 in an LSC South battle at Wisdom Gym.
Tarleton defeated Texas A&M-Commerce 60-39 on Feb. 22, 1997 and had surrendered 40 or more points to every LSC team it faced since that time.
But the Texans, who entered the contest second in the nation in field goal percentage defense, were on point defensively Wednesday night, holding the Greyhounds to just 32.6 percent from the floor including only 16.7 percent from the arc.
"We work extremely hard defensively," Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman said. "We were first in the nation in field goal percentage defense (in 2002-03). This is as close as we've come since then to having a defense like we had with that team."
Tarleton out-rebounded ENMU 40-22 and had seven fewer turnovers than the Hounds, resulting in 15 more shot attempts. That, teamed with the Texans' 44.8 percent shooting performance that included 11 three-point bombs led to their second 40-point home win over the Greyhounds in three years. Tarleton defeated Eastern 84-44 in 2008.
Effran Bryant knocked down three shots from outside the arc and led all scorers with 13 points. Darrion Washington, who also hit three treys, tallied 11.
"Darrion is one of the most improved players in our program and we expect that with him having gone from a freshman to a sophomore," Reisman said. "He's a warrior. He dives on the floor, takes charges and gets through screens. He loves the physicality of the game."
Three other Texans also reached double figures as Devon Hills, Corin Henry and Jeremiah Wilson added 10 each. Wilson collected 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double.
"Jeremiah is playing hard and he's playing smart. He's playing good team basketball," Reisman said. "Him and Wale (Ogunoye) and Dante (Smith) have to keep banging the boards like they did tonight for us to be successful."
Henry collected six assists and Bryant had four. Dante Smith had seven points and nine boards, while Wale Ogunoye also scored seven and Chris Harrell had six - giving the Texans eight players with at least six points.
The Texans, who have won nine of their last 10, outscored ENMU 24-6 off turnovers, 18-7 in second-chance points and 26-13 off the bench.
The game was close for the first 13 minutes before Tarleton exploded, going on an extended 31-3 run that made it 52-20 with 15:24 remaining.
The run began with the Texans scoring 17 of the final 19 first half points. They opened the second half by scoring the first nine points and 14 of the first 16.
The lead finally grew to more than 40 when Wilson capped his double-double with a pair of free throws that made it 74-33 with three minutes left.
Tarleton, which won its fifth straight against Eastern New Mexico, is alone in first place in the LSC South. The Texans are half a game ahead of West Texas A&M (2-1) and Eastern and one game clear of Midwestern State (1-1). Tarleton visits WTAMU at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Along with first place being on the line at WT, there is also a milestone within reach for Reisman, who is in his 22nd year at Tarleton. Already the winningest coach in school history, his next victory will No. 450 with the Texans.