WICHITA FALLS (January 13, 2016) — Tarleton State fought off a double-digit first half deficit and finally grabbed its first lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Midwestern State scored final eight points to win the Lone Star battle, 56-52, at D.L. Ligon Coliseum Wednesday.
Tarleton led 52-48 after an 18-foot jumper by Ikpeaku Iwobi and a fast break layup by Raven McGrath, but Midwestern answered with four straight layups by Whitney Taylor and Kathryn Odom to tie the game before taking the lead for good on a layup by Jennifer Sissel, who led all scorers with 16.
Tarleton had opportunities, but Bailey Wipff missed a pair of 3-pointers and a rebounding foul allowed Taylor to hit two more from the stripe to seal it for MSU.
Sissel also had 14 rebounds for big double-double. Odom score 14 and dealt four assists for the Mustangs, and Taylor also had 14.
Tarleton shot just 31 percent, was out-rebounded 45-35 and did not have a double-digit scorer. The TexAnns were led by Iwobi, McGrath and Wipff with eight points each. Wipff, the reigning LSC Offensive Player of the Week, was just 2-12 from the field including 1-8 from beyond the arc, where she was shooting 57 percent in conference play entering the game.
Midwestern had 25 turnovers and Tarleton just 16, but the Mustangs overcame that with its rebounding advantage and by shooting 35 percent – not a high number, but five points better than Tarleton.
Tarleton overcame a slow start to both halves to lead 48-47 after a pair of free throws by Iwobi with 4:43 left, and the TexAnns were up 50-48 following an 18 foot baseline jumper by Travanti Downes with 22 seconds later.
Tarleton trailed 33-26 after MSU opened the third quarter with five straight, but the TexAnns turned to their full court pressure to come from behind, beginning with consecutive steals by Tiara Tatum and Morgan Ashmore. Tatum’s set up a layup by Ashmore, then the Ashmore takeaway led to an easy bank shot by Travanti Downes to cut it to 42-40 with 1:09 left in the quarter.
The slim MSU lead held until early in the fourth, when Brianna Fuller knocked down a free throw to knot the score at 43-43 with 8:15 left.
Tarleton endured a second straight sluggish start, trailing 12-2 after five minutes. It was still 16-9 at the end of one, when the TexAnns had seven turnovers and were shooting just 31 percent.
Tarleton came back twice in the second, first with consecutive 3-pointers by Morgan Ashmore and Bailey Wipff to pull within 18-15. MSU pulled ahead by 10 again with an 8-1 run before Tarleton answered with a 10-2 push highlighted by a left corner 3-pointer by McGrath just before the horn to cut it to 28-26 at intermission.
The TexAnns return to Wisdom Gym for a 5 p.m. Saturday LSC game against Eastern New Mexico. MSU visits Texas A&M-Commerce at 4 p.m. Saturday.