STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Despite shooting 56 percent (29-for-52) from the field, a late Tarleton State University surge grounded McMurry University 89-83 Tuesday evening.
McM led 72-71 with 4:35 remaining in the second half, but the Texans – ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division II – went on an 18-11 run to close out the game.
“They (Tarleton State) are just a really, really talented team and to close out a nationally-ranked team on the road you almost have to play perfect,” McM head coach Clif Carroll said. “We had some silly fouls and some silly turnovers and defensive lapses. We just didn’t execute when we needed to.”
Despite the setback, Carroll remains encouraged by the play of juniors Alex Lewis (Converse, Texas/Temple College) and Brandon Golden (Austin, Texas/Coastal Bend College).
Golden finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor, while Lewis chipped in 16 points – including an early 4-for-5 start from the field in the first half.
“We ran some plays there early to get him (Lewis) going,” Carroll said. “He’s an explosive player for us and when he’s in rhythm he’s a great threat. Brandon (Golden) is a consistent scorer and he played great again for us tonight.”
6-foot-8 center Alfred Perez (Spring, Texas/Klein Collins HS) added 17 points and hauled in a game-high six rebounds. He also was 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Kourtney Goff (Rochester, N.Y./Southern Illinois University) dropped in 10 points and grabbed three rebounds.
Tashawn Mabry scored 20 points to pace the Texans (8-0).
The War Hawks (4-4) begins Heartland Conference play Thursday night and welcomes Newman University to Kimbrell Arena. Tip is set for 7 p.m.