“Tonight was a great effort and show of intensity by our guys against a really good Tarleton State team,” said head coach Rick Cooper. “We did not convert on several of our free throw opportunities and I think that probably had an effect on the outcome of the game. We did have some good looks from the floor but we were just not able to knock them down. Now, we just need to come back and go to work to get better.”
Following the setback, the Buffs drop to 13-6 on the season and 3-1 in Lone Star Conference South Division play while TSU improves to 16-2 overall and 3-0 in league action. Saturday’s contest was a memorable one in an already tight series, featuring 15 ties and 19 lead changes. The Buffs were outrebounded by a 40-30 margin on the night which led to the Texans holding a 15-0 advantage in second chance points.
For the game, WT shot 50 percent from the floor (26-of-52) including a 65 percent mark during the second half. Tarleton State, meanwhile, was 23-of-59 from the floor for a 39 percentage on their home court. During the game’s opening half, senior guard Robert Lee led the way with eight points, including a perfect 4-of-4 mark from the free throw line, but the Buffs headed to the locker room trailing 29-24.
Lee, led the Buffs in scoring for the seventh time in eight games with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Following the break, the Buffs retook the court with a fury and used a 20-9 run to build their biggest lead of the night at 44-38 on a three pointer by Lee at the 13:08 mark. The Texans countered with a 12-1 run of their own over the next 3:56 to develop their largest advantage of the second half, 50-45, while the Buffs did not make another filed goal following the Lee three-pointer until the 7:37 mark. In the extra session, sophomore Ben Doherty came up big with a pair of long range field goals, the second of which gave the Buffs a two-point lead with just 1:00 to go.
TSU proved to be too tough down the stretch as it registered the game’s final four points to secure the win. Doherty finished the game with a perfect 3-of-3 mark from long distance for a career-high 11 points. WT’s Andre Hill set a new career-high with five blocks in the contest and was also active on the offensive end where he made 5-of-8 field goals for 12 points. The Texans’ Eric Williams was a standout as he recorded a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
The season-long five-game road trip continues for the Buffs on Wednesday as they travel to South Texas for a LSC South battle against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
ARTICLE COURTESY: www.gobuffsgo.com