STEPHENVILLE — Wisdom Gym has provided Tarleton State with a tremendous home court advantage over the years. The Texans entered Thursday night’s contest with an incredible 429-75 record inside Wisdom Gym over the last 31 seasons.
No. 4 West Texas A&M (26-3, 15-1) were unfazed by the environment and opened the game with a barrage of three-point baskets and stifling defense to quiet and stun the Texans, along with the 1,602 fans in attendance, as the Buffs earned an impressive 81-65 win over Tarleton State.
The Buffs were impressive beyond the arc as they made 14 of 30 3-point attempts in the game.
“It’s just a basketball game, but what a special night for our young guys and our older guys, two years in a row winning here," West Texas A&M head coach Tom Brown said. "It’s a pretty special night and it feels good to be a Buff right now."
It is also rare for Tarleton State (18-8, 8-7) to lose by more than 10 points inside Wisdom Gym. The 16-point defeat Thursday night is the largest margin of defeat for the Texans at home since a 17-point loss to rival MSU Texas in February 2010.
“Give WT credit. I thought they made some really tough shots in the first half," Tarleton State head coach Chris Reisman said. "I thought what set the tone for them was their defense. They really did a good job of forcing us into turnovers (23 turnovers). They really did a good job taking away our first option (on offense) and I thought we panicked a little bit and tried to make plays too much one-on-one. They really got us out of what we wanted to do offensively.”
QUAID’S HISTORIC NIGHT:
West Texas A&M senior Ryan Quaid became the second leading scorer in the history of the Buffs program with a 3-point basket in the second half. Quaid led all scorers with 23 points.
“Ryan (Quaid) can score inside or outside. He’s a heck of a player. Second all-time in points and first (all-time) in rebounds. Ryan’s a special player.
Joel Murray added 16 points while Qua Grant scored 15 points and Jordan Collins chipped in 12 points for the Buffs.
Jesse Hill led Tarleton State with 19 points as the Texans were without their second leading scorer, Corinthian Ramsey, due to an injury.
“They (Tarleton State) had a player out tonight, Corinthian Ramsey, that makes a difference, but I thought they had a good effort and we were lucky to get the win here tonight," Brown said.
Richie Mitchell scored 13 points and Josh Hawley contributed 12 points and nine rebounds for the Texans.
West Texas A&M returns to action on Saturday afternoon with another important Lone Star conference game as they travel to play Texas A&M-Commerce. The Buffs can lock up the regular season title with a win on Saturday.
“Jaret (Rosenburg) is doing a very good job over there (Texas A&M-Commerce)," Brown said. "They’ve got good players. It’s not just one guy or two guys and hopefully we’ll be up for the challenge."
Tarleton State will need to rebound quickly as they host another good team on Saturday afternoon when Eastern New Mexico comes to town.
“We have to take care of the ball better," Reisman. "I think for us it’s about getting back to who we have been offensively."