By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 9, 2017) — Tarleton State just played back to back overtime games for the first time since February of 2014, so it’s only fitting the TexAnns return home to face the last team it went to overtime against before this season.
Tarleton edged Texas A&M-Commerce, 78-74, in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Conference Championship in Allen last March, and welcome the Lions to Wisdom Gym at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with a men’s contest to follow.
The overtime victory gave Tarleton three wins in its last four games and 11 in its last 14 against A&M-Commerce (9-4, 4-2), which joins the TexAnns (5-7, 4-2) and West Texas A&M in a three-way tie for third in the LSC standings. They are each two games behind co-leaders Angelo State and Eastern New Mexico after ASU beat both Tarleton and A&M-Commerce in close games last week in San Angelo.
Tarleton bounced back from a 81-74 overtime loss at ASU with a 62-59 overtime win at A&M-Kingsville Saturday. The Lions had an equally tough week while facing the same teams in reverse order. They won 78-71 at A&M-Kingsville on Thursday and lost by the same score at ASU on Saturday.
The Saturday loss snapped a three-game win streak by the Javelinas, while the Saturday win snapped a three-game skid by the TexAnns, who are also home Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. LSC game against Texas Woman’s.
The Lions score 72 points per game and shoot 36 percent for the season. The TexAnns score 64 points on average and are shooting 39 percent. A&M-Commerce has grabbed about five more rebounds per game than its opponents and owns a +1.1 turnover differential. The TexAnns are -1.8 in rebound margin and +2.5 in turnover differential.
Artejah Gay scores 13.2 points per game, Khala Riley 12.2, Krystal Pickron 11.2 and Brianna Wise 10.1 to lead the balanced Lion scoring effort. Gay, Riley and Pickron all average more than five boards.
Reigning LSC Offensive Player of the Week Mackenzie Hailey has been putting up monster numbers for Tarleton, averaging 20.2 points and 10.2 boards. The last TexAnn to average a double-double was 2013-14 Division II National Player of the Year Kiara Wright posted 19.6 points and 12.3 rebounds.
Bailey Wipff scores 11.9 for the TexAnns, while Ikpeaku Iwobi averages 10.2 points and 6.8 boards.