ALLEN, Texas -- Seventh-ranked Tarleton State faced Texas A&M-Kingsville in first round action at the LSC Tournament on Wednesday night. After trailing at halftime by three, the Texans stormed back to earn a 67-55 victory and advance to the semifinals.

Tarleton got out to a 3-0 lead by the 18:50 mark thanks to a Wes Dipprey free throw and a Fabian Wilson jumper.

TAMU-Kingsville quickly countered though and tied the game back up at 3-3. That would soon become the theme for the first half of a very balanced game.

Every time the Texans would gain any sort of momentum, the Javelinas would come right back with an answer.

Kingsville passed Tarleton at the 13:35 with a score of 10-9. The Javelinas would maintain at least a one-point lead for the next 12 minutes before the Texans caught back up.

Tarleton tied the game back up at 25-25 with under two minutes to go in the first half on a pair of Brian Word free throws. During that span, the Texans trailed by as much as five, but kept it a two-possession game.

Tarleton’s defense had stepped it up the final few minutes of the opening period of play, but a 3-pointer with three seconds on the clock gave TAMUK a 28-25 advantage at the half.

LSC TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
West Texas A&M 80, Eastern New Mexico 47
Tarleton State 67, Texas A&M-Kingsville 55
Cameron 77, Incarnate Word 68
Midwestern State 64, Texas A&M-Commerce 52
Conference Championship Central
Complete Scoreboard

After 20 minutes of play, the Texans shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and were 0-for-6 from three point range. Kingsville on the other hand was shooting 39.1 percent overall and hit five three’s in the first stanza.

Tarleton still trailed despite dominating the glass with a 23-11 rebounding advantage. Wes Dipprey had eight points and four rebounds to lead the way while Fabian Wilson added seven points and six boards.

Robert Williams’ eight points were a team-high for Kingsville at the break.

Tarleton had a better start then they finished the first half and got back out ahead of Kingsville 31-29 before the first media time out. The Texans relied on their combination of big men to pound the ball inside.

On the following possession, Word gave Tarleton their biggest lead of the game at 33-29.

Chris Harrell nailed a big 3-pointer at the top of the key with 12:57 on the clock to make it a 40-34 contest, but Kingsville countered with a three of their own.

Just when the Texans thought they couldn’t get away from the pesky Javelinas, they went on a 15-4 run and took a double-digit lead against Kingsville.

With 4:54 left to play, Tarleton led 55-44. The Texans' lead held steady at 61-50 with 1:44 to go in the game.

The Texans kept their well-earned advantage over the final five minutes of the game and after a tumultuous first half, cruised into the semifinals with a victory.

With a final score of 67-55, Tarleton advanced past the first round of the LSC tournament for the ninth consecutive season.

As a team, Tarleton shot 44.6 percent and held Kingsville to 39.6 percent shooting. The Texans hit 55.2 percent of their shots in the second half and went 5-for-8 from three point range.

After committing nine turnovers in the first half, Tarleton had just three in the second half, and out-rebounded the Javelinas 43-21. The Texans had a season-high 19 offensive rebounds.

Wilson got his sixth double-double of the year with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Texans. Dipprey added 18 points and seven rebounds while Harrell had 11 points and seven rebounds. Word also scored double-figures for Tarleton State by chipping in 15 points.

Ryan Layssard led Kingsville with 13 points.