PORTALES, NM – TaShawn Mabry‘s career night sparked No. 15 Tarleton State to an 89-64 rout of Eastern New Mexico Saturday night at Greyhound Arena.
Mabry poured in a career-high 31 points, becoming the 17th player under head coach Lonn Reisman to score at least 31 points in a game as well as the second player in as many trips to Portales to top 30 points at Greyhound Arena – following De’Andre Upchurch‘s 38 point effort here on February 22 last season.
EJ Reed got the scoring started with a 3-ball on Tarleton’s second possession of the game to put the Texans on the board first in, what would start out to be a tight contest. After the Reed triple started a 7-2 Tarleton run, the Greyhounds put up five unanswered to tie the score just 3:17 into the game.
The teams stayed tight over the first 6:40, with Eastern New Mexico never leading and Tarleton not leading by more than one possession, but with the Texans up 12-11 at the 14:20 mark, a Damion Clemons layup shifted the momentum entirely in Tarleton’s favor.
Clemons, who played in his 100th career game Saturday afternoon, started a run of 13 consecutive Tarleton points over the next three minutes to turn a one-point lead into a 14-point lead at 25-11.
Eastern New Mexico answered with a short surge to pull within eight at 30-22 with 8:39 left in the opening half before Mabry buried a jumper to start a 6-1 push for Tarleton to extend the lead back to 13. The Greyhounds struck back with seven unanswered to keep the game within reach at 36-30 with 5:34 to go in the opening half.
Tarleton exploded over the next four minutes with a 16-1 run to extend its lead back to 17 at 48-31 with 1:38 left in the half. Over the final 5:30 of the opening half, Mabry connected on the only field goals for Tarleton – hitting a pair of triples and a layup – while Reed, Michael Hardge, Nosa Ebomwonyi and Mabry added free throws to send Tarleton into the break with a 49-33 lead.
The Texans set the cruise control in the second half, never leading by less than 16 and extending the lead to as many as 29. Mabry’s final points of the game came on a jumper with 2:42 left in the game to make the score 89-61.
As a team, Tarleton shot a season-high 67 percent from the floor on 24-58 shooting. The 67-percent shooting from the floor approached the school record for shooting percentage in a game, which is .694 against Texas College on February 3, 1990.
In addition to Mabry’s game-high 31 points, Reed scored 15 points in just 11 minutes of game time while Michael Hardge and Mo Lee each tallied 11 points. Ebomwonyi added eight points while Malcolm Hamilton (7) and Clemons (6) rounded out the scoring for Tarleton.
The Texans will return home Wednesday night for a one-game break from Lone Star Conference action when they host McMurry at 7:30 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.