WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Tarleton State held Missouri Southern State to its second lowest point total in a 69-52 victory on Saturday.

Tarleton came out of the gate ready to play and jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.  The Texans held MSSU scoreless until the 17:12 mark.

The Lions put together a run of their own though and made it a 6-5 contest by the first media timeout. MSSU took their first lead of the game with 15:27 to go as they pulled ahead 7-6.

Over the next several minutes, the teams battled back and forth for top position.  The Texans led by as much as six points while the Lions led by as much as seven points in the half at the 11:36 mark.

Tarleton found themselves down by three possessions, but did not give up. Thanks to the strong guard play of Coleman Furst and Chris Harrell, the Texans mounted their own comeback.

With 5:12 left in the first half, Fabian Wilson cut the deficit to one point with a tough layup in a congested paint.

It would take another two minutes before Tarleton would tie the game at 25-25 with 3:48 before halftime. Wilson had a nice rebound and put back to even the score.

After a couple of strong defensive stops on the other end of the floor, the Texans took the lead back with a three by Harrell in the corner.

The Lions stayed with the Texans though and as the clock ticked under a minute to play in the first half, the score was even at 30-30.

With just six seconds to go, Tarleton trailed by three points. Furst took the ball out of bounds and hurried down the court for a last second, desperation shot. A high-arching lob went off the corner of the glass and in for two points, and Furst was fouled on the play. The free throw gave Tarleton a 33-30 advantage entering the locker rooms.

Through the first 20 minutes of play, the Texans shot 46.2 percent from the floor and held MSSU to 40.7 percent. Tarleton outrebounded a taller Lion team 18-17.

Furst led the way with nine points while Wilson added eight points and four rebounds. Harrell also chipped in six points and four assists.

Keane Thomann, the South Central Region Player of the Year, had 12 points in the first half to lead the Lions.

The Texans carried momentum over into the second half and took a 39-32 lead on a huge Wilson dunk over the 6’11” Thomann.

That play was amidst a Tarleton run that reached double-digits with Shedrick Haynes 3-pointer at the 16:10 mark to make it a 42-32 contest.

The Texans had complete control of the game and kept out of reach of the Lions for the rest of the game. Tarleton would push the margin to 10-point before an MSSU basket would give the Lions a little hope. The Texans quickly responded though and would extend the lead even more.

MSSU did not lead at any point in the second half.

By the 6:28 mark in the final period of the game, Tarleton took their biggest lead of the game at 59-40. From that point on, the Lions had no shot at the No. 9 team in the nation.

The second half saw a 36-22 Texan scoring advantage.

Tarleton got scoring from a variety of players down the stretch and the bench gave the Texans a chance to rest the starters.

Tarleton shot 51.0 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from 3-point range. The Texans held the Lions to 36.7 percent shooting and forced 15 MSSU turnovers.

Wilson led the way with 15 points and 10 rebounds, his seventh double-double of the year, while Harrell contributed 13 points and five assists. Wes Dipprey and Haynes both added 11 points to the effort.  Furst finished with nine points and four assists.

Thomann had 18 points to lead MSSU, while Marquis Addison scored 15 points. The Lions finished the season 22-8.