Texans blow past McMurry with 112 points behind career night from Gipson
STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton men's basketball won its third straight game behind a career performance from Montre Gipson in the Texans' 112-54 lopsided win over McMurry on Tuesday in Wisdom Gym.
In the ensuing game after Tahj Small nearly posted a quadruple-double, Gipson flirted with one of his own by posting 14 points, 14 assists, 8 steals and 7 rebounds with just one turnover in 33 minutes of play. Gipson established career highs in assists and steals with the 14 assists ranking fourth in school history.
The 112 points by the Tarleton (6-8, 1-5 WAC) are the second most scored this season (113 vs. Howard Payne) and the third time to top 100 points on the year. It's the first Tarleton team to score 100 points in three or more games since the 2013-14 season, which that team did four times.
With Gipson in pass-first mode for the game, it led to a wealth of points for his teammates as Konstantin Dotsenko and Jonathan Jackson Jr each topped the 20-point mark, the second time this season a Texan duo each scored 20 points. Dotsenko finished with a game-high 22 points on 9-13 shooting, his second 20-point game of the season, while Jackson posted a career-high 20 points on 8-10 shooting.
McMurry, an NCAA Division III member from Abilene, had the game close early on, trailing the Texans 15-11 in the first eight minutes. Tarleton put an end the War Hawks' hopes with a 20-0 run over the next five minutes that put the game out of reach and more.
Tarleton's first-half lead grew to as much as 34 points on a two-hand dunk by Jackson from Gipson. The Texans led 53-30 at the break and shot 59.5 percent in the half.
For the second straight game, the Texans controlled the paint, outscoring McMurry 72-16 down low and was led by big man Heri Ngalamulume, who tallied 19 points and nine rebounds on a perfect 6-6 from the floor and 7-7 at the free-throw line. As a team, the Texans shot 18-19 at the charity stripe, their best performance of the season.
The second half was mirror image to the first as the Texans went on runs of 10-0, 12-0, and 15-2 to build a 58-point lead. The Texans shot a season-high 60.8 percent in the game and posted its second straight 50-point win while forcing 67 turnovers in the last two games.
Tahj Small (9) and Shakur Daniel (8) combined to scored 17 points while Small grabbed seven rebounds and Daniel registered four steals. Joey Madimba logged six points and Freddy Hicks, Cadarius Baggett and Javontae Hopkins each scored two points.
Tarleton is scheduled to travel to Utah for the third time this season to take on Dixie State on Feb. 19-20 in the Burns Arena.