By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 18, 2015) — NAIA member Our Lady of the Lake never backed down.
Not when trailing 12-0 in the opening moments, not when down 27-17 midway through the second quarter and not even when Tarleton State tried to charge back into it after falling behind nine early in the fourth.
Our Lady of the Lake (1-2), the No. 7 team in one NAIA national preseason poll, used a 22-9 run over the end of the second quarter and start of the third to take the lead for good and rolled on to a 68-57 win, its first of the season and first ever in three meetings with the TexAnns (2-1), who suffered their first loss.
Tarleton cut the fourth quarter deficit to 58-55 when McGrath made a layup, Ashmore stole the ensuing inbound pass and scored, then Ikpeaku Iwobi followed a defensive stop with a put back.
But Our Lady of the Lake finished strong with a 12-2 push that included some late free throws to pull away. Taylor Hamilton was 10-12 from the line and scored 23 points to go with seven boards, while teammate Sonji Green racked up 13 points and 20 rebounds to lead the way.
Tarleton was led by Bailey Wipff, who was 5-7 from the 3-point line on her way to 19 points and two steals. The junior guard scored 11 in the first quarter.
Ikpeaku Iwobi scored 14 and collected nine boards. Morgan Ashmore had eight points but also seven turnovers before fouling out. No other TexAnn scored more than four, though point guard Raven McGrath did accumulate nine rebounds and four assists.
Tarleton shot just 32.1 percent including only 23.3 percent in the second half, when the TexAnns hit only 18.2 percent from outside the arc. That came after knocking down 43.5 percent including 42.9 percent from 3-point range before intermission.
The TexAnns look to get back in the win column against Texas Wesleyan on Saturday. Tipoff in the first game of a women’s and men’s doubleheader is at 5 p.m., and players will autograph free team photos for fans following the games.
Tarleton looked as if it would run away early with a 12-0 start, fueled by Wipff scoring the first eight points of the game. Our Lady of the Lake scored the next eight, but Wipff knocked down a triple to momentarily right the ship. Our Lady of the Lake still managed to get within 15-10 after one.
Tarleton looked as if it would stretch out the advantage in the second, leading 27-17 before Our Lady of the Lake scored 10 of the final 14 to trail just 31-27 at halftime.
Tarleton helped the opponent back in the game by committing 15 of its 20 turnovers in the first half. Our Lady of the Lake returned the favor by shooting just 26.3 percent before intermission, but came out on fire in the second half, shooting 55.6 percent to improve to 38.5 percent for the game.
Photos courtesy Tarleton State University