By BRAD KEITH
LAWTON (February 6, 2016) — Suddenly, the case could be made that Tarleton State is as hot as any team in the Lone Star Conference.
The TexAnns won their third straight Saturday, building a 16 point fourth-quarter lead then surviving a late Cameron rally for a 73-61 victory at Aggie Gym.
Tarleton snapped a six-game losing streak to Cameron and tied the Aggies for fourth in the Lone Star Conference. It was the first of Saturday’s league games to go final. Tarleton visits Angelo State at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Tarleton seized control with a 19-6 run that began with a Bailey Wipff 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first quarter, and did not end until the TexAnns were in control for good. Cameron never got within six the rest of the way.
Wipff hit another 3-pointer and Averie Mack had a pair of inside buckets during the run, that saw the Tarleton lead swell to 34-25 by halftime. The lead encompassed the entire second quarter, when Cameron scored just six points.
Much of that was because Tarleton found a way to quiet Brittany Leal after the Cameron guard hit four 3-pointers in the first. Tarleton put Bailey Wipff in tight defense on Leal regardless where the ball was on the floor, then went into an aggressive 2-3 zone that forced her to back out of range. The Aggie star didn’t hit her fifth and final 3-pointer until the third.
The TexAnns, meanwhile, were just warming up from outside. Wipff hit four 3-pointers of her own on her way to 18 points, none bigger than two free throws for a 69-61 lead with 33.9 seconds left. Tarleton hit its last six from the line. Ikpeaku Iwobi and Raven McGrath each knocked down a pair to reach the final tally.
Here Wipff talk about the big win here:
That came after Cameron closed a 61-45 deficit to six, with the biggest plays during the run coming from Dayla Threatt inside. Threatt scored 11 for Cameron, trailing only the 15 by Leal.
Iwobi had 13 points and eight boards for Tarleton, and McGrath also scored 13, thanks largely to a perfect 3-3 from outside the arc.
Tarleton remains unbeaten when turning the ball over less than 15 times, giving it away just 11 times Saturday. Cameron had 18 turnovers that led to 27 Tarleton points, the biggest difference in the game. The turnover differential and 16 offensive rebounds gave Tarleton 10 more shot attempts than the Aggies.
Cameron hosts Eastern New Mexico at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.