STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Going in with an undermanned squad to play the No. 16 team in the nation in NCAA Division II is not exactly a recipe for victory.
On top of that, Tarleton State was coming off a loss at West Texas A&M on Saturday in a game which determined the Lone Star Conference South Division champion.
Senior guards Avery Patterson and Jeffrey Henfield scored 17 points each and the Texans stormed to a 44-18 halftime lead en route to an 83-43 rout of Eastern New Mexico University on Thursday night.
ENMU has lost all but three of the original members of its roster due to suspensions and injuries, and the depleted Greyhounds (6-20, 0-11 South) were simply no match for the fired-up Texans in this one.
Tarleton (22-4, 9-2) went on a 19-0 run for a 39-10 cushion late in the first half. The Texans went on to lead by as much as 41 points near the end of the game.
Henfield shot 7-of-9 from the field while Patterson was 7-for-10, and they combined for five of the team’s 10 3-pointers. Tarleton shot 57 percent from the field in each half while holding the Hounds to 27 percent and forcing them into 21 turnovers, leading to 34 points.
Senior guard Justin Redman-Trotter turned in another valiant effort for the Hounds, scoring 20 points and posting team highs of five rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Marquis Ruffin added 14 points.
Tarleton State is ranked No. 1 in the South Central Region and is vying to host the regional tournament early next month.
West Texas A&M wrapped up the South title on Thursday night with an 82-77 victory over Angelo State, finishing South play with an 11-1 record.
ENMU closes its season at home on Saturday night against Midwestern State.