Utah Tech MBB Goes Down to Tarleton State
Utah Tech suffered another tough road loss on Saturday which puts them at 7-13 for the year. They've got a bunch of home games coming up to try and get back on the right track.
Here's the full press release from UT Athletics Media Relations (full article)
(Stephenville, Texas – Jan. 27, 2024) Utah Tech men's basketball played on Saturday, falling in a road contest to the Tarleton State Texans. The result now puts Utah Tech's 2023-24 record at 7-13 with four of the next five games set to be played at home.
Playing in his home state of Texas, Aric Demings made his second consecutive start and found an offensive groove early, opening the game's scoring with a triple to score six points in the game's opening five minutes. Though the Texans took a two-point lead with 14:22 on the clock, an Angelo Kambala triple ignited a quick 10-2 run to put Utah Tech ahead by seven entering the under-12 media timeout.
Tarleton responded, however, going on a 21-7 run to build a lead up to 11 points with 6:02 remaining in the first. Though Kambala and Jaylen Searles found a groove offensively in the latter portions of the first half, TSU held a 12-point lead going into the break.
Searles and Noa Gonsalves found buckets early in the second period, but Tarleton's offense continued to hum as Caleb Stearman found himself connecting on a mid-range jumper that put the deficit at 15. Kambala hit a free throw to set a new career-high for single game scoring with 13:08 on the clock but Tarleton soon responded with a quick 7-0 run.
Utah Tech would find some more offensive momentum down the stretch, going on a 9-2 run that ended with a pair of Demings free throws with 6:49 on the clock. The hot shooting continued with Gonsalves and Searles combining to score the team's next seven points, cutting the deficit down as low as 14, but it was too little too late as Tarleton took the 86-68 victory.
Gonsalves finished with a team-high 17 points (7-12 FG, 2-4 3PT) to go with two rebounds and two assists while Searles' strong outing resulted in 16 points and five boards. Kambala scored a career-high 14 points (4-8 FG, 2-5 3PT) to go with two rebounds in 20 minutes played, while Demings had eight points and four rebounds. Stearman scored seven and tied a career-high with six rebounds while Hamed Olayinka and Tanner Christensen finished with four rebounds apiece.
As a team Utah Tech shot 24-55 (43.6%) from the field and 8-22 (36.4%) from deep, connecting on 12 shots at the line while winning the rebounding battle 34-29. Using 13 offensive rebounds alone the Trailblazers scored nine second chance points and 16 in the paint, while using four steals and two blocks to generate 13 Texan turnovers.
Utah Tech will be back at the Burns Arena next weekend, hosting UTRGV (Feb. 1, 7 p.m.) and UT Arlington (Feb. 3, 3 p.m.).