(December 2, 2014) — Tarleton State scored 18 consecutive points down the stretch to pull away in an otherwise difficult 86-60 victory over Arlington Baptist, the No. 1 team in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association, at Wisdom Gym Tuesday evening.
Tarleton remains hot in one of the year’s coldest months. The TexAnns won their 14th straight December game. Their last December loss was on Dec. 2, 2010, when Southeastern Oklahoma State hit a buzzer-beater in a 78-77 thriller.
Ikpeaku Iwobi led the TexAnns (5-1) to their fourth straight win with 19 points, but the real story was their balance. Meagan O’Dell scored 12, Breanna Fuller 11, Kathy Thomas 11 and Karli Moore 10 to make it five in double figures, and each found multiple ways to have an affect.
Thomas also collected eight rebounds and six assists a day after being named the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week for scoring 42 points on 17-27 shooting in two wins last weekend. Moore had six boards, four assists and a career-high three blocks, Fuller grabbed eight rebounds and O’Dell had five boards. Iwobi was also good in ways besides scoring, hitting the glass six times, dealing thee assists and swiping three steals.
Tarleton scored 58 points in the paint, many of those coming in transition off turnovers. The TexAnns scored 33 points off 20 takeaways, and had 37 fast break points to two. They amassed 26 offensive rebounds that were converted into 25 second-chance points, and dominated the backboards overall, 60-34.
The TexAnns were ahead 68-58 before a pair of free throws by Thomas touched off the decisive 18-0 run. Iwobi scored five points and Moore four for the first half of the run, then Tarleton began to empty its bench. It was 82-58 after a layup by Fuller and a 3-pointer by McGrath with 1:52 remaining.
When Hannah McGaughy hit a jumper in the last second, it was Arlington Baptist’s first field goal since the 6:28 mark.
Tarleton is idle for almost two weeks, returning to the court in the Rollins Invitational in Winter Park, Fla. The event is unlike traditional Division II classic-style events that feature a predetermined schedule. The TexAnns face Indianapolis in the second game of the event at 5 p.m. (CST) on Monday, The winners and losers of that game and the prior contest between host No. 15 Rollins and Concord (W.Va.) will face off on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The consolation game is at 3 p.m. (CST), and the championship at 5 p.m. (CST), all at the Alfond Sports Center.