By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 30, 2016) — Ikpeaku Iwobi poured in 18 points including four straight to break open a one-point game midway through the fourth quarter, and guards Morgan Ashmore and Bailey Wipff combined to go 7-8 from the foul line in the final minute to lead Tarleton State (10-9, 4-5) to a 71-64 win over Texas A&M-Commerce (10-10, 3-5) Saturday at Wisdom Gym.
Breanna Fuller scored the first four Tarleton points of the fourth with an A&M-Commerce basket in between. Then Bailey Wipff buried a 3-pointer, making it a 9-2 run going back to a short third-quarter buzzer beater that rattled home for Tiara Tatum.
Tarleton led 49-47 after Tatum beat the clock, and Fuller and Wipff made it a 9-2 run for a 56-49 lead early in the fourth.
A&M-Commerce used a 14-3 run to tie the game right after Tarleton had earned its largest lead of 44-33. Tatum ended the run with a buzzer beater that rattled home and made it 49-47 TexAnns after the third, but even with Breanna Fuller scoring four of the first six points in the fourth, Tarleton was
A&M-Commerce fought its way back as it had to do for much of the evening. The Lady Lions scored the next six, getting to within 56-55 with just more than seven minutes left. The run ended with a takeaway and fast break bucket.
But Iwobi scored the next four on a pair of baskets in the paint, 60-55, and when A&M-Commerce cut it to 60-58 with three free throws, Wipff took her turn to hit a big shot with a long right-wing two-pointer for a two possession lead.
Shomari Harris finished through McGrath in transition to cut it to two again, then Iwobi and Lion center Artaejah Gay exchanged baskets to make it 64-62 with 2:13 left.
Ashmore’s first two free throws were followed by two from A&M-Commerce with 23 seconds remaining, then the guard from Spearman hit two more before turning the foul stripe over to Wipff. The junior guard hit two on her first trip and split a pair on her last with just 1.34 seconds remaining.
Wipff netted 17 for Tarleton and McGrath added 11. Iwobi had seven boards, three assists and three steals to go with her big offensive night.
Tarleton led 33-29 at intermission thanks to nine first half points by McGrath. Tarleton shot just 38 percent and TAMUC 48 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but he TexAnns were 5-12 from the arc and had seven more shot attempts thanks to a 20-15 rebounding margin and four less turners than the Lions.
Harris had 11 at the break to keep A&M-Commerce close. Her speed in transition was troublesome throughout the evening, but only one other Lady Lion, center Artaejah Gay, reached double figures with 11. She also had seven boards, and Audrisa Harrison and Gabby Scott each netted nine.
Tarleton hosts Midwestern State on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.
Hear Iwobi discuss the big win by the TexAnns here: