CANYON — Execution, not effort, was the problem in the Tarleton State Texans’ 69-62 loss to the West Texas A&M Buffaloes Wednesday.
Crucial miscues by Tarleton — including 24 turnovers and poor free throw shooting in the clutch — allowed the Buffaloes to keep the Texans from picking up their first road win of the season.
“It was a valiant effort,” head coach Lonn Reisman said.
“They played their guts out.”
The game was one the Texans could have won, Reisman said, but he added that if the team shows a similar kind of intensity throughout the rest of the season, “we’ll take our chances.”
Jeremy Gilbert led the Texans with 18 points. John Davis recorded another double-double, with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Tarleton even outshot their opponents, hitting 48 percent of their field goals to the Buffs’ 44 percent.
The Texans stormed out to an early 10-1 lead as Tanner Morgan and Jeremy Gilbert both hit 3-pointers and John Davis and Dan Eichel added layups.
Halfway through the first half, the Texans had a 20-8 lead, but key 3-pointers from the Buffs helped them to cut the deficit to three at the break, 32-29.
West Texas A&M took their first lead of the contest early in the second half, going up 37-36 on a layup by Pierre Barlow. The lead see-sawed from there on out, but after a Gilbert 3-pointer gave Tarleton a 59-56 lead with 4:30 left, Chris Hinz answered with a three-point play to tie. Damien Lolar then hit two free throws, and the Texans could not come back.