Two starts for Jeremiah Wilson has equaled two double-doubles by the senior power forward and two wins for Tarleton State (8-2).
Wilson scored points No. 10 and 11 from the free throw line to secure his second straight double-double with over 15 minutes still to play Monday night. He had nine points and seven boards at halftime on his way to finishing with 13 in each category to lead the Texans past upstart Cameron (8-3) 59-52 in Lone Star Conference crossover play at Wisdom Gym.
Wilson made his first start on Saturday and tallied 13 points and 10 boards in a rout of Southwestern Oklahoma State. But Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman says his best effort came on Monday.
“I’m so pleased with Jeremiah. We put him in the starting lineup because he’s more familiar with our offense right now than Donta (Smith) is, and he’s responded well,” Reisman said. “I’ve been pleased with his effort, his attitude and his energy.”
Joining Wilson in double figures was point guard Corin Henry with 17 points and three assists. The Texans also received solid play from Smith off the bench with eight points, 10 boards, three blocked shots and a pair of steals. Center Wale Ogunoye had eight points and five rebounds.
Wilson converted an old fashion three-point play with 20 seconds left in the first half to give the Texans a 25-20 halftime lead and they outscored the Aggies 16-6 in the first eight minutes, 10 seconds of the second half for a 41-26 advantage.
Six straight points put Tarleton ahead 51-33 with 6:02 left in the contest before Cameron began a furious rally.
After hitting just one of their first 20 attempts from outside the arc, the Aggies hit four of their next five including three straight by leading scorer Dernodo Eiland who had 20 points.
Cameron ended up hitting six of its last 11 three-point tries, going 7-31 on the night. The Aggies finally pulled within six at 58-52, but only 13 seconds remained and Tarleton’s Henry finished the scoring with a free throw.
Cameron scored 19 points below its season average of 71. The Aggies entered the contest shooting 40.2 percent from the floor but hit only 27.4 percent on the night. They out-rebounded opponents by 11 boards per game before Monday when Tarleton got on the glass 48 times and the Aggies 43. The Texans also made more free throws (24) than Cameron attempted (18).
“You have a chance to win a lot of games when you do that,” Reisman said of his team’s field goal percentage defense. “We have to continue to play with that level of intensity on the defensive end because physical games like this are what we’re going to see every night when (LSC) South play starts in the second semester.”
Reisman enters the second semester with yet another coaching milestone in his sights. The 22-year head coach who has guided the Texans to two South Central Region championships and Elite Eight appearances is seven wins away from No. 450 at the school. His record at Tarleton is 443-198 for an impressive .691 win percentage.