Hounds rally past Tarleton

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Junior guard Justin Redman-Trotter’s 3-pointer with nine seconds left — his only field goal of the night — forced overtime and Eastern New Mexico University’s men never trailed in the extra session in upending Tarleton State 77-74 on Saturday at Greyhound Arena in a Lone Star Conference South Division clash.

The win ended a 17-game losing streak for ENMU to the Texans, dating to a 77-62 win at Greyhound Arena on Feb. 6, 1997. It wasn’t enough, however, to get the Greyhounds (12-14, 6-6 South) into next week’s LSC tournament.

Earlier Saturday, Texas A&M-Kingsville defeated Abilene Christian 92-87 and the Javelinas (19-8, 6-6), who swept ENMU, earned the division’s fourth and final berth into the tournament on a head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Texans (18-9, 7-5) finished third in the South and will travel to the North runnerup in a first-round game on Tuesday.

It was the fifth overtime game in the last six outings for Tarleton, and its sixth OT game of the season.

Senior guard Tristan Largent scored a career high-equaling 29 points for the Hounds, including the last six for ENMU in the extra session. Largent’s two free throws with 4.7 seconds left made it a three-point lead, and the Texans’ Dan Eichel turned the ball over after a timeout to seal the outcome.

Senior forward John Davis led three Texans in double figures with 27 points, and also grabbed 14 rebounds.

ENMU struggled through the opening half, falling behind 8-0 at the outset and trailing by double digits for much of the period.

With Tarleton shooting 62 percent from the floor to just 6-of-28 for the Hounds, the Texans rolled into halftime leading 35-18. Eastern held Tarleton scoreless for the first 2 1/2 minutes when play resumed to pulled to 35-25 on a jumper by Wilson.

Tarleton extended the lead to 44-28 on a 3-pointer by Effran Bryant with 14:07 to go. The Hounds got the margin back under double figuers when consecutive Largent 3-pointers made it 50-43 at the 8:36 mark.

That kicked off an 11-0 run, capped by another Largent trey which made it 50-48. Wilson’s 3-pointer with 4:44 to go tied it 57-57.

The Texans scored the next five points and led until a free throw by Donald Young made it 64-64 with 1:37 left. Davis’ jumper with 1:04 left put Tarleton in front again, but he missed the second of two free throws with 14 seconds to go to leave the door open.

Senior guard Stephen Wilson, who had 15 points for the Hounds, got a dunk off a steal for the first points in overtime. The Texans then missed a shot and turned the ball over twice — they had 27 for the game — and baskets by senior Mikal Monette and Largent made it a six-point lead.

Tarleton eventually got within 75-74 on a 3-pointer by Davis with six seconds left. Morgan Tanner then fouled Largent on the inbounds, setting up the finish.