STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State has been head and shoulders above everybody in Lone Star Conference men’s basketball this season.
You don’t have to convince Eastern New Mexico University.
The Greyhounds got an up-close-and-personal look at NCAA Division II’s No. 4 team Saturday night as the Texans improved to 17-0 (6-0 LSC) and tied their school-record winning streak with an 86-64 win.
TSU took the suspense out of the contest early, using — ironically — a 17-point run to open a 23-3 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Guard De’Andre Upchurch led four Texans in double figures with 23 points, shooting 5-of-8 from 3-point distance. Chuck Guy added 13, while reserves Emannuel Andrews and Tashaw Mabry chipped in 13 and 10, respectively, off the bench.
ENMU (9-8, 3-3), which saw its three-game winning streak end, shot 7-of-30 from the floor in an opening half which ended with the Texans leading 45-21. Tarleton led 40-11 before the Hounds closed the half on a 10-5 run.
The teams played virtually even in the second half. Tarleton built a 29-ploint lead again with just under 15 minutes left; the Hounds were never able to get closer than 21 points.
The Texans shot 52 percent for the game — 59 percent after halftime — and went 11-for-19 from 3-point range. Guy posted a double-double with 11 of the team’s 15 assists.
TSU, which improved to 12-0 at home this season, also had just eight turnovers in the contest.
For ENMU, senior guard Rafael Love scored 20 points, hitting 6-of-8 shots from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the Arc. Senior guard Devone Davis added 16 points, and senior foward Cornelius Cammock scored 10.
The Hounds were outscored off the bench 35-10. They shot 61 percent from the floor in the second half to finish at 40 percent overall (21-of-53).
ENMU’s next outing is a non-league matchup against South Dakota School of Mines & Technology at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday. Two days later, they travel to rival West Texas A&M for a 3 p.m. league contest.