E-T Staff Report
When Tarleton State (4-1) went on a 9-0 run to steal the lead away from Cameron (4-1) early in the second half of a defensive struggle Saturday, it appeared the No. 6 Texans had put their first-half offensive woes behind them and were on their way to another win.
But the Texans were outscored 7-0 over the final 70 seconds of the game and suffered their first loss, 49-44, at Aggie Gym in Lawton, Okla.
"I didn't think we played with a lot of intensity. I thought we just went through the motions," Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman said. "When you're ranked No. 6 in the nation everyone is going to get up for you and you always have to be ready."
Both teams were poor on the offensive end in the opening 20 minutes and Cameron led 15-14 at the break, when the Texans were shooting just 5-20.
The Aggies weren't much better in the first half, but they hit their first three attempts from the field in the second to stretch their lead to 21-14.
It was 23-16 before the Texans had their only solid stretch of the game, scoring nine straight to lead 25-23. They led by two again at 44-42 before Cameron took over in the final minute-plus.
Tarleton finished the game shooting just 31.9 percent, slightly worse than Cameron's 37.8 percent. Tarleton seniors Corin Henry and Devon Hills combined to score only nine points after both entered the contest averaging in double figures. Henry had seven and Hills just two.
"I thought we had some good looks on the offensive end," Reisman said. "We just couldn't get the ball to go down. You have to hit shots and you have to rebound to win games."
The Aggies won the rebounding battle 41-21, including a dominant 26-6 advantage on Tarleton's offensive end. Texan post players combined for only eight total rebounds.
Fabian Wilson led the Texans in scoring with 13 points. Cameron had two players reach double figures as Nathan Murray tallied 11 and Terry Dawson netted 10.
"We're going to face this more and more," Reisman said of being on the road. "We have to get back and fix some things and be ready the next time."
The Texans are back home this week for Thursday and Saturday night games against East Central and Southeastern Oklahoma State.