The No. 15 Texans made the trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for the weekend and come back with a pair of impressive victories, including building their winning streak to eight straight games.
No. 15 Tarleton State 88, Simon Fraser 63
After leading the Texans to a win last week over Southwestern Adventist, Tarleton's Romond Jenkins continued to play at a high level Sunday night in the team's opening tournament win over Simon Fraser (Canada).
Simon Fraser didn't back down in the opening minutes of the first half, but it was a big run that ultimately propelled the Texans over the top.
Clan guard Michael Provenzano hit a three-point shot to cut Tarleton's lead to 17-14 with 13:45 remaining in the half. However, that was the closest the Clan came to cutting Tarleton's lead completely for the remainder of the half.
The Texans responded with an 11-1 run over the next five minutes, featuring a three from Chantz Chambers, while the run was capped off with a layup from Deshawn Riddick.
The Clan did manage to outscore Tarleton over the remaining eight minutes, but only by a 19-17 margin as the Texans entered halftime leading 45-34, with big man Romond Jenkins scoring 14 points in the half.
The double digit lead from the big first half was enough to later clinch the win for the Texans, but aside from the big 11-1 run, it was several key team statistics that showed Tarleton's dominance.
The first key statistic was Tarleton's ability to shoot efficiently from the field. The Texans shot a red hot 57 percent from the field, while holding the Clan to a less than mediocre 43 percent shooting.
The Clan also turned the ball over 17 times which turned into 30 points for Tarleton. The Texans only had nine turnovers in the game allowing Simon Fraser to only score three points off of them.
Romond Jenkins led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Also scoring in double digits was Ridell Camidge (16), Deshawn Riddick (15), Chantz Chambers (13) and Josh Hawley (11).
No. 15 Tarleton 84, No. 12 Western Washington 83
Ridell Camidge transferred to Tarleton for the chance to win and have the ball in his hands during the final seconds of big-time games.
The moment Camidge has been waiting for came to reality when No. 15 Tarleton faced No. 12 Western Washington in the bright lights of Las Vegas in a top-15 matchup. Camidge scored the final six of his career-high 27 points for the Texans – including the game-winning three-point play with four seconds remaining – to lift the Texans to an 84-83 upset win and go 2-0 in the Holiday Hoops Classic.
"Western Washington has a great basketball team," said head coach Lonn Reisman. "I feel like our guys are maturing and getting better every game. It was a tough game and we knew it would be a tough game."
Tarleton (11-1) trailed 83-78 with 1:32 remaining when Camidge drilled one of his career-best six 3-pointers at the top of the key to make it a two-point game. After a defensive stop, Camidge took a pass from Deshawn Riddick in the same spot as his previous shot, except this time Camidge saw a lane and attacked the rim and finished with a lay-up off the glass as he was tossed to the ground.
"It was exciting," Camidge said after the game. "From the jump, I told them we are out here to win and nothing else. This is a business trip and we stayed focused and got the job done.
"[Coach Reisman] told us to score in transition [on the final possession]," Camidge went on to add, "and I stayed behind [Deshawn] Riddick and saw a hole open in the lane. I looked at Riddick and Riddick looked at me and gave me the ball and I finished it."
The top-15 matchup wasn't as easy as Camidge often made it look, as the two teams exchanged leads 25 times. Western Washington (8-2) had its largest lead at 10 in the first half, Tarleton's largest lead was only three that came midway through the second half.
When Western Washington went up by 10 points at 35-25 on a two-handed dunk by Jeffrey Parker, the Texans never blinked.
The Texans responded with an 11-1 run over the next three minutes to tie the score at 36. Camidge gave Tarleton its first lead since the Texans were up18-17 when he connected on a 3-point jumper for a 41-40 advantage. The Vikings, however, led 48-45 after one half.
The 48 points was the most Tarleton has allowed in a half all season. But the Texans, who pride themselves on the defensive end of the court, shut down the Vikings in the second half by only allowing them to score 35 points.
"We held them to 35 points in the second half, that's why we won the game," said Reisman. "We could not give up 48 points again and expect to win. I thought we did a better job defensively and our zone really worked in the second half."
Romond Jenkins has been on a tear as of late on both ends of the court and the trend continued Monday night. Jenkins, who is averaging 17 points and 13 rebounds over his last four games, scored eight of his 14 points in the second half and finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Tarleton improves to 7-0 when Jenkins records a double-double this season.
Tarleton's biggest lead came at 68-65 on a layup from Josh Hawley with 7:36 to go. Hawley had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench for his third straight double-digit scoring game.
Western Washington used a late 6-0 run to go up 75-71 and later led 81-76 with 2:59 remaining. Deshawn Riddick scored four straight points to cut the lead to three. Riddick had 11 points and tied a career-high with nine assists, including the pass to Camidge for the game-winner.
"It was a great trip," said Reisman. "I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids. They keep coming back and working hard and it was a big win for us. That was my Christmas present right there."
Anthony Davis posted eight points and grabbed five rebounds while Chantz Chambers added seven points and four boards. Curtiss Anderson came off the bench to record six points to round out the Tarleton scoring efforts.
Tarleton shot 47 percent in the game, but more importantly, only had eight turnovers – the third straight game of having 10 turnovers or less. Western Washington shot 50 percent from the floor and 44 percent (12-27) on 3-pointers.
Tarleton improved to 7-1 all-time in the Holiday Hoops Classic and 5-1 all-time against Western Washington, including wins in four straight.
The Texans, who have won eight straight games, take on Ouachita Baptist on Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.