By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (February 3, 2016) — Tarleton State outscored Midwestern State by 15 points from the foul stripe and dominated the backboards to avenge a prior Lone Star Conference loss with a 63-49 win at Wisdom Gym Wednesday.
Tarleton (11-9, 5-5) was 20-29 from the foul stripe and MSU (4-16, 3-7) just 5-14. The TexAnns out-rebounded the Mustangs, 44-29, and picked up a big boost off the bench – 25-6 scoring advantage – including a career-best 13 points by sophomore guard Tiara Tatum.
Joining Tatum in double figures was Breanna Fuller with 12 points and seven boards and Bailey Wipff with 11 points.
The 44 rebounds are the second most in LSC play by the TexAnns, who collected 46 boards in a conference-opening loss to Cameron. They visit Cameron at 2 p.m. Saturday in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Tarleton had to fight off a 21-point night by MSU star Whitney Taylor, who scored in double figures for the ninth straight game.
MSU had an 8-2 run to make things interesting in the second half, closing what was 15-point Tarleton lead after the opening basket of the third quarter to just 39-31. The TexAnns regathered themselves and answered with a 9-2 run to lead 48-33 entering the fourth. Five different TexAnns scored during the run, and the lead grew to 18 on two occasions in the fourth.
Contributions from Tatum have continued to increase, and she was the best player on the court over the final five minutes of the first half, which culminated in her buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 33-20 Tarleton advantage at intermission. Tatum at 10 at half, matching her previous career high for a game.
Hear Tatum discuss her performance and the team’s here:
Tarleton grabbed the lead two minutes into the game and never relinquished it. Morgan Ashmore scored four early points and Tatum knocked down her first two to make it 11-4 early on.
MSU closed the gap to 17-13 early in the first quarter, but Tarleton used a 8-2 run – including five points by Tatum – to stretch the advantage back to 25-15.