Tarleton returns to site of WAC’s first-ever win over Utah Valley on New Years Day


THE GAME

Teams: Tarleton (6-8) at Utah Valley (9-4)

Dated: 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, January 1

Site: UCCU Center in Orem, Utah

TELEVISION: ESPN +

RADIO: Tarleton Sports Network, KTRL 90.5 FM

Casey hogan, read by read

ABOUT THE MATCHUP

The UCCU Event Center epitomizes a quintessential place for Tarleton to spend the New Year’s holidays, which is rooted in the celebration of new beginnings, luck and prosperity.

Tarleton’s first match in 2022 takes place at the site of one of the most important victories of 2021 and in school history and which has symbolized his rise to the highest level of amateur athletics.

The Texans captured the college’s first win in the Western Athletic Conference with a 70-62 victory over Utah Valley on Jan. 29 in Orem.

Since then, Tarleton has won nine Division I wins and a 5-2 record over his conference counterparts, including his 83-69 triumph over Dixie State on Thursday.

Now the Texans are tasked with chasing a skyrocketing end through 2021 upon their return to northern Utah. Tarleton ended December by winning five of his last six football games and notched four straight WAC wins – including three on the road – dating back to last season.

And a second straight win over the Wolverines is undoubtedly a clear sound for the New Year.

A VICTORY OVER THE UTAH VALLEY WOULD BE

  • Giving Tarleton his sixth win in his last seven outings

  • Extend Tarleton’s winning streak at the WAC to five games dating back to last season

  • Give the Texans their fourth consecutive WAC road victory

  • Be Tarleton’s sixth road win in WAC

  • Improves Texans road record at WAC to 6-7

  • Signify Tarleton’s second straight win over Wolverines and make all-time streak 2-1 in favor of Texans

  • Raise Tarleton’s record in January matches to 4-6 as a D1 schedule

  • Be the ninth real victory for the Texans in D1

  • Mark Tarleton’s second road win of the season

  • Sends Tarleton to his first 2-0 start in conference since the 2016-17 season

  • Set Tarleton’s all-time record in games played in Utah 4-2

  • Spike Gillispie road record at Tarleton at 6-7

  • Giving Gillispie his 165th career D1 victory

NOTABLE TEXAN

  • Tarleton earned his 14-point victory over the Trailblazers despite missing five players and two coaches due to COVID-19 protocols. The Texans have only registered six players, four of whom have played the entire game.

  • The Texans had their best 3-point shooting performance of the winter in St. George, reversing a downtown high of 10-20 attempts. Tarleton also shot 50% (29-58) from the field.

  • The Texans continue to lead the WAC in free throw percentage (74.4). They rank second for turnover margin (+4.64) and third for defensive score (62.4 points per game).

  • The team’s rotation margin is tied for 25th nationally with Kansas and Vanderbilt and leads all reclassification teams. The Texans finished with a positive turnover differential in 12 of 14 games this year.

  • Tarleton has reversed 32 three-pointers in his last three games. Since the start of the season 34-137 (19.6%) from downtown, the Texans have connected on 45% of their 3 points.

  • The Texans are ahead of their opponents by 50 combined points in the first half this season. They have led in intermission for six straight games and are 5-1 in that streak.

  • Tarleton limited his opponents to 57 points per game during his four-game winning streak in the WAC. Dixie State was the first team to eclipse 60 points during that span.

  • Tarleton’s 83 points against the Trailblazers were the highest ever against a D1 opponent.

  • Tarleton is one of only two WAC teams with a pair of top scorers in Gipson (14.7 points per game) and Tahj Small (14.4 pages per day). They rank seventh and eleventh respectively.

INDIVIDUAL NOTABLES

  • Freddy hicks scored a game, a season and a career-high 27 points on 9-18 shots in Tarleton’s victory on Thursday. His 27 points scored were tied for the second most in a single game by any Texan this season.

  • Hicks increased his scoring average from 8.1 points per game to 9.4 points per game following his performance on Thursday. He delivered his best performances in purple and white in the conference road games. His three double-doubles in 2021 came from Stephenville. Hicks’ 27 points against Dixie State on Thursday were the most important in a true D1 road game by a Texan.

  • Javontae Hopkins (18 points), Noah mcdavid (17 points) and Gipson watch (13 points) joined Hicks in double digits. All four players have spent the full 40 minutes. Hopkins’ 18 points were a career high in D1.

  • Hopkins picked a night as good as any to deliver his best D1 performance with the Texans shorthanded. Hopkins went 7-9 (78 percent) from the field. He scored seven unanswered points early in the second half to keep Tarleton in the double-digit lead at 55-43 with 2:00 p.m. to go.

  • Hopkins, McDavid and Jayshawn moore got their first career debut at St. George. Moore played 22 minutes.

  • Gipson is Tarleton’s leading scorer with 14.7 points per outing. He had a game-high 24 points in the Texans’ victory over UVU last season with a 10-10 mark at the foul line. Gipson’s 10 free throws were an individual high in the WAC last season.

  • Gipson is four points away from becoming Tarleton’s first D1 era player to reach 500 points. He’s averaging 19.2 points per game in Tarleton’s last five outings. The 5-11 senior scored in double digits in 10 of Tarleton’s 13 WAC cases.

  • For the first time in the whole season, Shamir Bugs did not record a robbery Thursday against the Trailblazers. He is still part of the national elite of ball defenders. Only 10 more players stole more than Bugs (29). He is tied for 30th among all D1 players in interceptions per game (2.17). Bugs ranks second at the WAC in both categories. His three-flight effort in Tarleton’s victory over the Air Force marked his sixth multi-flight game this season and the 16th of his career.

WOLVERINE SCOUTING

  • The game is the third meeting between the two schools and the first of the two this season. UVU will make its first visit to the Lone Star State when it returns to Stephenville on February 16.

  • With a 9-4 record, UVU is enjoying its best start to the season since its first D1 campaign in 2003-04. The Wolverines suffered their first home loss of the year in an 80-76 loss to Abilene Christian on Thursday. UVU is so far 4-1 inside the UCCU center.

  • 6-11 junior Fardaws Aimaq is one of the top post players in the WAC and nationally. He leads the nation in doubles-doubles (11) and defensive rebounds per game (10.2). Aimaq ranks first in the conference in points (19.5 points per game) and rebounds (13.4).

  • The Wolverines are ranked 20th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll and 88th in the NCAA NET rankings. A win over UVU would be Tarleton’s first against a team in the CIT ranking and second against a team in the top 100 in the NCAA NET rankings. The Texans were upset then-No. 79 South Alabama 65-52 December 17 in Stephenville.

  • Four of the Wolverines’ 13 games needed extra time to decide on a winner. UVU is 4-0 in overtime games, including a 72-65 loss to No.12 BYU on December 1.

  • UVU will be one of the toughest teams Tarleton faces on the glass all season. The Wolverines rank 22nd nationally in defensive rebounds per game (29.2) and rebound margin (+8.4) and 26th in rebounds per game (41.2).

  • The Wolverines are 48-14 (77.4%) inside the UCCU Center over the past five seasons.

GAME COVERAGE

Fans can access a live stream of the game at Plus.ESPN.com. Links to the video broadcast as well as live stats can be found on the men’s basketball program page at TarletonSports.com. A full radio broadcast of the game can be heard on the Tarleton Sports Network at TarletonSports.com/Watch and on Tarleton Athletics’ flagship station – KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville. The pre-match broadcast begins 30 minutes before the denunciation.

ATTEND THE GAME

For Utahns or Tarleton fans interested in traveling to Orem, tickets for a match can be purchased at GoUVU.com or by calling the UCCU Event Center box office at 801-863-7469. Reserved spaces are $ 10 each.

MORE: SAM HOUSTON

Tarleton welcomes the Bearkats to Stephenville for their WAC home opener on January 6 inside Wisdom Gym. The outcome is set at 7 p.m.

Sam Houston (6-8) started the conference game with a 77-64 home win over Lamar on Thursday.

Bearkats head coach Jason Hooten served as an assistant coach at Tarleton under the current vice-president for intercollegiate athletics. Lonn reisman from 1993 to 2004, helping the Texans to an overall record of 204-111. Hooten also played two seasons for Reisman from 1989 to 1991.

Sam Houston has a 15-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams.


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