Tarleton State head men’s basketball coach Lonn Reisman said his team had a lot of question marks entering its 2009-10 campaign.
In Tuesday’s season opener at Wisdom Gym, his club provided the 2,320 in attendance with some answers.
The Texans (1-0) used a 21-2 first half run to build an early 18-point lead and never looked back, rolling to an 81-71 win against a Dallas Baptist (0-1) team returning four starters from last year’s 23-6 South Central Region semi-finalist.
“This is a big win against a very good opponent, probably the toughest opening opponent we’ve faced (in the 22 years) I’ve been here,” Reisman said. “I hope this is the type of win that can set the tone for a good season.”
The season-opening win is the eighth straight for Tarleton, which is now 20-2 in openers under Reisman.
New point guard Corin Henry, a transfer from Ranger College, led the Texans with 21 points and six assists. He drained six straight free throws in the final 90 seconds to put the game away.
“I thought (Henry) was the best point guard we saw during the entire recruiting season,” Reisman said. “He has a very high basketball I.Q., and you could see that tonight in his decision making. He did a great job of attacking when he had the opportunity, but also knew when to slow the game down. I was very impressed with how he ran our offense, especially for the first game of the season.”
With Henry running the show, Tarleton turned the ball over only nine times. They had more assists (12) and just as many steals as turnovers. Henry, Darrion Washington and Warren Webb each had two steals.
Dallas Baptist turned the ball over 19 times, and the Texans outscored the Patriots 22-8 off turnovers.
Jeremiah Wilson scored 16 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds for Tarleton. He also blocked three shots.
“(Wilson) did a great job tonight. That’s how we need him to perform every night,” Reisman said.
The Texans shot 43.8 percent from the floor, while DBU hit 40 percent. Both teams were an identical 19-28 (67.9 percent) at the line, and both grabbed 40 rebounds.
The biggest difference was the turnovers, allowing Tarleton nine more shot attempts.
Dallas Baptist, which never trailed by less than nine after falling behind early, had four players in double figures. Center Ty Gough had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way. Braxton Adamson, the brother of Tarleton women’s standout Shelby Adamson, scored 16, Hunter Martin tallied 13 and Bryan Baumann added 11.