De'Andre Upchurch amassed 38 points and No. 3 Tarleton State (23-1, 12-1) secured at least a share of the Lone Star Conference regular season championship with a 92-82 victory over Eastern New Mexico (13-12, 6-7) at Greyhound Arena in Portales, NM Saturday night.
Upchurch matched the seventh-highest scoring performance in Tarleton history, had the school's highest individual scoring night in 12 years and was the first Texan to top 30 points since John Davis had 34 at Angelo State on Jan. 31, 2007. He was 11-21 from the floor including 5-8 from the 3-point arc and hit all 11 of his free throw attempts.
The senior guard from Flint, Mich. also grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. He entered the game second in the LSC in scoring in conference games.
Tarleton led 53-38 at the break, when the Texans were shooting 64 percent. They shot just 32.1 percent in the second half, but held on despite a 20-9 ENMU run to start the half because they knocked down 33 of 41 free throws.
It was Tarleton's fifth straight win since its only loss of the season. The Texans, who are enjoying their fifth straight 20-win campaign and 15th under head coach Lonn Reisman, have at least a share of their sixth LSC division or overall regular season title.
Tarleton breaks from conference play with a crucial in-region game against Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Wisdom Gym. LCU had won six straight entering Saturday's action, and will be challenging the Texans on their senior night and final regular-season home game.
Chuck Guy was the only other Tarleton player in double figures with 24 points. He also had four assists.
Eastern New Mexico also had a pair of 20 point scorers in Rodney Blackmon with 25 and Cornelius Cammock with 21. Lawrence Domingo had 14 and 13 boards for a double-double, and Devone Davis scored 10 while dealing four assists.
The Greyhounds shot 50 percent from the floor and hit 13 of 18 free throws to rally in the second half, but never led thanks to Tarleton starting the game on an 8-0 run. ENMU was 20-31 overall from the foul stripe, where they were outscored by 13.