By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (March 1, 2015) — It turns out the weather was the only thing delaying Tarleton State (17-9, 9-7) from locking down the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Lone Star Conference Championship tournament.
Texas A&M-Commerce (13-13, 7-9) was only a speed bump Sunday afternoon, when the TexAnns scored a season best 52 points in the first half and cruised to a 97-53 victory at Wisdom Gym. Tarleton matched a school record with 12 3-pointers made, also achieving that feat four other times, the last against Texas Wesleyan on Nov. 26, 2013.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was delayed due to Winter weather. When the teams finally took the court 24 hours late, Tarleton was more sharp and focused from the opening tip. It also helped that the TexAnns shot the lights out.
The TexAnns shot 58.3 percent from the floor in the first half, when they knocked down 9-16 from the arc (56.3 percent) including going 8-11 after a 1-5 start.
Fittingly, point guard Kathy Thomas played one of her best games on senior night for the TexAnns. She was 6-8 from the floor including 3-4 from the arc for 16 points at halftime after scoring 11 over the first eight minutes. She finished 7-10 from the floor and 4-6 from the arc, netting 23 points to go with four rebounds and four assists.
It was also senior night for Karli Moore, who checked out at the same time as Thomas, with many of the 2,439 in attendance offering a standing ovation during Tarleton’s third straight win.
A&M-Commerce finishes sixth in the LSC regular-season race after a disastrous first half in which they shot just 32 percent including 0-5 from the arc, were out-rebounded 21-14 and committed 12 turnovers. Tarleton outscored TAMUC 21-4 off turnovers and 10-4 on the fast break in the opening 20 minutes.
Tarleton picked up 11 points each from Meagan O’Dell and Raven McGrath as both junior guards hit three 3-pointers. Bailey Wipff scored 10 points and dealt three assists. Ikpeaku Iwobi had six points and seven boards, while Breanna Fuller contributed six and six. Morgan Ashmore had five assists.
All 15 players on the active roster scored for the TexAnns, who face No. 5 seed Texas Woman’s in the opening round of the LSC Championship Thursday at Allen Event Center in the North Dallas suburb of Allen.
A&M-Commerce was led by Gabby Scott with 11 points. TAMUC faces No. 3 seed Cameron in the LSC Championship quarterfinals Thursday.