By BRAD KEITH
(January 4, 2017) — Mackenzie Hailey earned her 17th career double-double in a performance that was basically a microcosm of how the TexAnns played as a whole Thursday evening – strong and balanced.
Hailey slowed some after coming one point shy of a double-double in the first half alone, finishing with 11 points, rebounds, five steals and two blocks to lead the Tarleton State (8-5, 2-3) to its fourth straight win, a 72-56 rout of a tough Angelo State (8-3, 2-3) team the TexAnns also upset in the final of the Lone Star Conference Championship last season.
The TexAnns led 38-23 by halftime on the strength of back-to-back 3-pointers by Baylee Peck, stretching a five-point lead to 11 and igniting an 11-0 Tarleton run to close the first half with a 38-23 lead.
As everyone braced for the talented Lady Rams to respond at the start of the second half, it was the TexAnns who came out on fire once more with Katie Webster and McKinley Bostad combining for the first five points, Bostad’s on a 3-ball to make it 43-23. She scored all of her game-high 14 after halftime when the TexAnns led by at least 12 the whole way and by as many 24 in the fourth quarter.
Peck scored a career-best 11, Webster also netted 11 and Tiara Tatum scored five. Off the bench came Trejouir Wilson with eight and Nina Alvarez with seven, performances they hope to repeat at home Saturday when they host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 2 p.m.
Tarleton was perfect on 14 free throw attempts while shooting 39 percent from the floor. The TexAnns were a strong 10-23 from 3, a 44 percent mark. The Rammbelles did shoot strong 52 percent in the second half, but that followed just 27 percent before intermission. They were only 2-10 from the arc, where the TexAnns outscored ASU 30-6. The Rambelles 22 turnovers, nine of them on steals by the TexAnns, who turned the ball over 15 times.
Da’Anira Moore scored 15 to lead ASU, which also received 11 points each from Marquita Daniels and Dezirae Hampton. The Rambelles visit Texas A&M-Commerce at 2 p.m. Saturday.