By BRAD KEITH
(February 27, 2016) — Tarleton State is on a tear, playing its best basketball in two seasons under head coach Misty Wilson.
The TexAnns ran their win streak to seven with two wins last week, including an upset special as they held on with a defensive stop at the buzzer to beat then-No. 9 West Texas A&M, 53-52.
WTAMU still locked up the regular-season LSC title last weekend, but Tarleton has since seen the door open for the TexAnns to grab the No. 3 seed – with the No. 2 not out of the realm of possibility – with a win at Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday. Tipoff at The Field House is set for 4 p.m.
“What’s been great is how we’ve been able to win different ways,” said Wilson. “We’ve been able to adjust to different match-ups and do the things necessary to win each game, and that’s big because different opponents sometimes demand a different style of play.”
During the win streak, Tarleton’s longest since 10 straight from November 23, 2013 through January 15, 2014, the TexAnns have scored in the 70s to win three games, and they have held opponents to 53 or less points in the other four.
“I think we have shown the ability to open up and get up and down the floor and take advantage of what the opponent gives us, and against opponents that don’t give you very much, like West Texas A&M with its great defense, we’ve shown the ability to get string together stops and get the big stops and the big time.”
Like with mere seconds remaining against a top 10 opponent.
The win streak began with a 71-64 victory in Stephenville over an A&M-Commerce team that typically plays much better at home.
“All we can do is win. Scoreboard watching, all that, that’s for teams that don’t control what they’re trying to do,” Wilson said. “Sure we would love the No. 2 seed, but we put ourselves in position to have to fight for seeding early in the year. Now, while we’re hot, we just need to focus on us and continuing to play well.”
So don’t expect to see the TexAnns preoccupied by the unlikely possibility of A&M-Kingsville upsetting Angelo State in South Texas Saturday – TAMUK is 0-15 in LSC play – to open the door to the No. 2 seed. Wilson says her team is instead focused on charging through the door already opened.
A home loss by Texas Woman’s earlier this week to Cameron gave Tarleton a half game lead over TWU, and a win Saturday locks up a top three seed.
“That’s all we’re focused on, because that’s what we can control,” Wilson said. “We just need to take care of our business one more time, get whatever seed we deserve and continue to play well. That starts on Saturday.”
At TAMUC, where a victory means Tarleton will remain the hottest team in the LSC entering next week’s conference tournament in Allen.
Regardless what seed number is posted before its name.