Dixie State gets hot from 3 as Texans fall on the road to split series

TSU Sports Information
Freddy Hicks

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Tarleton's season-high four-game winning streak came to an end as the Texans fell to Dixie State 64-48 on Saturday at Burns Arena.

The Texans split the weekend series with WAC transitional member Dixie State and now moves to 7-9 overall and 2-6 in the WAC.

Freddy Hicks was the lone Texan to score in double figures, as the freshman posted 13 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks for the second double-double of his young career, with both coming in conference play (20 points, 13 rebounds vs. California Baptist on Jan. 16).

Dixie State started the game hot from 3-point range and didn't let up, as they connected on 11 3's while the Texans went just 2-13 from downtown. Isaiah Pope was responsible for more than half of the Trailblazers' long balls as Pope made a school-record six 3's en route to a game-high 22 points.

The Trailblazers (8-11, 4-8) led for all 40 minutes, but the Texans kept it close in the first half with eight ties in the first 20 minutes. Montre Gipson scored the first seven points for Tarleton to match the Dixie State total in the first five minutes. Gipson finished with nine points and a team-leading two assists.

In the closing minutes of a defensive-minded first half, Caleb Starks tied the score twice at 26-26 and 31-31 with pull-up jumpers, but the Trailblazers connected on its sixth three of the half right before the buzzer to take a 34-31 lead at the break. Starks paced the Texans off the bench with eight points on 3-3 shooting in a career-high 19 minutes.

Tarleton struggled to score in the second half, posting just 17 points on 23 percent shooting while Dixie State connected on 42 percent of its shots for 30 points. Trailing 36-33, Dixie State went on a 12-0 run to build a double-digit lead over the next eight minutes of play. Konstantin Dotsenko drained back-to-back buckets to cut the deficit to nine, but Dixie State responded with a 13-4 run to pull away from the Texans. Dotsenko finished with six points on the night.

Offensively, Shakur Daniel added eight points and Jonathan Jackson Jr. posted two points. Shamir Bogues had two points and three steals, as the WAC leader in steals now has seven games with three or more steals this season.

Tarleton will return home for its final home series of the season as they take on three-time defending WAC champion New Mexico State on Friday and Saturday in Wisdom Gym.