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STEPHENVILLE (November 5, 2015) – Tarleton put on a show for the home faithful that came out to Thursday night’s exhibition in Wisdom Gym as the new-look TexAnns poured in 84 points from all 12 active players to beat the Cowgirls 84-53.
“While I like the effort on offense, especially in our new system, I don’t worry too much about offense,” said head coach Misty Wilson. “We wanted to emphasize our defense because if we put ourselves in a position to get stops, you’ll be in position to win games. With that said, I do like to see everyone contribute to the scoring and that’s what I expect to see night in and night out. It’s going to be a full team effort all season.”
The team’s leading high-scorer from a year ago, Ikpeaku Iwobi, led the TexAnns with 15 points in just 19 minutes of action while Morgan Ashmore scored 11 points to go along with four assists on the night. Had the stats counted as a regular season game, the 11 points from Ashmore would have tied her career high.
Tarleton had a trio of player chip in eight points, including Travanti Downes who added seven boards in 20 minutes on the floor. Meagan O’Dell also scored eight while Catherine Okwilagwe had eight points and nine boards in her near-double-double unofficial college debut.
Tiara Tatum scored seven off the bench while Raven McGrath (6), Nia Jackson (6), Bailey Wipff (6),Averie Mack (5), Karah Sicurella (2), and Shelby Mankins (2) rounded out the scoring for Tarleton.
“I thought a couple of our newcomers were real bright spots for us,” said Wilson. “Nia did good job of getting to the basket a couple times and I was happy to see Cat (Okwilagwe) come out of her shell a little bit. Tori and Tiara shot the ball. We did some things well and some things not so well, but that’s what exhibition games are for. Now it’s time to get back to work in practice.”
As for the things the second-year, defensive-minded coach wants to see improved before next Friday’s season opener, the answer was simple.
“Half-court defense,” said Wilson. “We’ve got to play better half-court defense.”
Tarleton shot 46-percent from the floor on 30-65 shooting but scored 40 points off 32 Cowgirl turnovers. The TexAnns also won the battle down low, outscoring Hardin-Simmons 40-22 in the paint and winning the battle of the boards 39-28.
The TexAnns will have a just over a week before the official season opener takes place Friday, November 13 at 5 p.m. in Wisdom Gym as a part of the TexAnn Tip-Off Classic against Concordia-Irvine.