Of all he's achieved, it could be argued that Lonn Reisman has finally completed his greatest Tarleton feat of all.
After 26 long, winning years, Tarleton is back even in the basketball world.
Chuck Guy scored 20 points as No. 6 Tarleton State (14-0, 3-0) remained unbeaten in a wild 83-81 victory over arch-rival Midwestern State (11-5, 3-1) at D.L. Ligon Coliseum Wednesday night.
The narrow view shows Tarleton setting the stage for a duel for first place in the LSC when the Texans host Cameron at 7 p.m. Saturday following a 5 p.m. women's contest. Cameron is also unbeaten in league play, winning three games by a combined five points.
The broader picture shows Tarleton now even with 724 wins and 724 losses since becoming a senior college in 1961. The Texans were just 180-498 before Reisman took over in 1988. Thy are 544-226 since that time.
"It's taken 26 years to do it and I'm so emotional I can't really put it into words," said Reisman of reaching .500 all-time. "It's been a long, rewarding journey and this is a tribute to all of the Tarleton basketball family, even the men who played and coached before I got here."
Chuck Guy missed a runner and Jon Cathey-Macklin couldn't corral the offensive rebound, giving MSU one last chance after a timeout with 19.2 seconds remaining.
Midwestern isolated standout point guard Monzaigo Williams against Guy, but Williams fell to the floor as he began his attack. Guy deflected the ball away, DeJuan Plummer recovered for MSU and his wild three was way off the mark as the buzzer echoed through the place known for its "Dome Magic."
It was a back and forth second half that saw four ties and five lead changes. Tarleton led for good after Emmanuel Andrews buried a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 76-73 edge with 3:53 left.
The Texans' biggest advantage was 83-77 with 2:01 left following a spinning layup by Damion Clemons, who was 7-7 from the floor for 16 points. He also collected seven boards.
"I can't say enough about Damion tonight," said Reisman. "He brought a lot of energy to the floor and he showed the high basketball IQ it takes to win tough games, especially on the road."
Midwestern inched closer with a free throw by Plummer, then he knocked down 3-ball from the left corner to cut it to 83-81 with 49 seconds on the clock.
Guy didn't commit a single turnover playing point guard for 34 minutes. What he did have were five assists and five boards.
"Is Chuck Guy the best point guard in the nation? A lot of people think he is," said Reisman. "I know this - he's a winner. A close game like this, he wants the ball in his hands at the end. That's what you look for in a winner."
Tarleton had four double-digit scorers. Tashawn Mabry had 16 before fouling out, and Emmanuel Andrews 13 including 10 in the second half.
Clemons, Mabry and Andrews all came off the bench as the Tarleton reserves scored 52 points. It's the seventh time this year they have outscored or tied their starters. MSU scored 23 off the bench.
MSU also had four in double figures. Xavier Blackburn led he way with 18, Monzaigo Williams had 11 of his 14 after the break, and Eddie D'Haiti and Plummer each added 13.
The Texans shot 50 percent on the road, while MSU hit 41.5 percent. Both teams were successful from outside the arc, Midwestern hitting 11 of 21 and Tarleton 10 of 21.
It was Tarleton's second-highest scoring performance at Midwestern. The Texans won 84-61 back on Jan. 31, 1998. They have scored 75 or more each game this season and average 90.8.
The Texans trailed at halftime for the first time this year, 42-39. They were once down 31-20 before rallying with a 19-8 surge and tying the game at 39 on a 3-pointer by Guy.
MSU answered with a Blackburn triple for a 42-39 lead at intermission, when D'Haiti already had 11. He hit three 3-pointers in the half after knocking down just four in MSU's previous 15 games.
Tarleton defeated MSU for the third time in four meetings. The Texans lost at Ligon Coliseum last season, but defeated the Mustangs in Stephenville to split their regular season battles. Tarleton later edged MSU 53-30 in the championship of the LSC Tournament.
It was the 25th meeting between the rivals and perennial powers since 2003. The narrow two-point margin shouldn't be surprising, as the average margin of the previous 25 meetings was also two points.