Tarleton State sets school record for most points, largest win in tournament
DENVER -- Tarleton State set a school record for most points scored in an NCAA tournament game, downing the No. 7-seeded Texas A&M-International Dustdevils 92-56 in first-round action of the South Central Regional on Saturday evening at Auroria Event Center.
The 36-point lead is Tarleton's largest margin of victory in a NCAA tournament game as well, breaking the breaking the previous mark of its 17-point win against Missouri Southern State in a first-round game back in 2012 in Wichita Falls.
Chuck Guy opened the scoring with a 3-pointer at the 19:31 and the Texans were well on their way to a 47-16 lead in just the first half alone. TAMIU would not score its first bucket until the 16:45 mark, and by that point, the Texans already had a 10-0 lead.
The Dustdevils would get another two points on a pair of free throws at the 15:26 mark to make it a 13-4 game in favor of the Texans and Tarleton would counter with a 21-0 run to extend its lead to 34-4 with 6:55 left to play in the first half.
TAMIU would finally get its next bucket at the 6:18 mark, but by that time the Dustdevils were just 2-for-24 from the field during the first 13-plus minutes of play.
The Texans shot a blistering 63.0 percent from the field in the first half and that included a 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) effort from beyond the 3-point line. Tarleton turned the ball over just one time in the first half, while forcing 11 TAMIU turnovers and scoring 24 points off those miscues.
The Texans would go on to outscore the Dustdevils 45-40 in a second half that saw Tarleton finish the game with five players scoring in double figures, including three bench players in Emmanuel Andrews (13 points), Mohammed Lee (11) and Tashawn Mabry (12). Davene Carter added 13 points on Friday and De'Andre Upchurch scored a game-high 21 points.
Upchurch has now scored 20 points or more in four consecutive games and is averaging 24.0 points in his previous seven games.
Guy had an all-around night for the Texans, scoring eight points, pulling down five rebounds and dishing out a game-high eight assists.
The Texans finished the game shooting 59.6 percent from the field and sank a season-high 14 3-pointers as well. Tarleton shot 58.3 percent from downtown and finished shooting 66.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Tarleton had just five turnovers, forced 15 TAMIU turnovers, recorded four blocks and tallied six steals.
Tarleton's 92 points not only breaks a school record for most points in a NCAA tournament game, but it also extended its school record of scoring at least 90 points or more to nine games on the season.
The Texan defense limited the Dustdevils to just 33.3 percent shooting and TAMIU knocked down just six of its 19 3-pointers. TAMIU came into the game averaging a little more than 81 points per game, but were held to its third-lowest output of the season with its 56-point effort on Friday.
TAMIU's Matthew Pritchett led his squad with 11 points, while both Matthew Culliver and Johnel Grey recorded 10 points each.
The Texans, who improved to 28-2 overall, will move onto the semifinal round for the eighth time in school history. Tarleton will face Midwestern State, who downed Arkansas-Fort Smith in the game before. The two teams will meet up for the fourth time this season and second time in the past week.