By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 12, 2017) — Tarleton State (6-8, 5-3) took control with 11 straight points to end the third and begin the fourth then kept Texas Woman’s (9-5, 4-3) at arm’s length down the stretch to win, 65-57, in Lone Star Conference play at Wisdom Gym.
Tarleton, which played for the fourth time in eight days, temporarily remains in fifth in the LSC, but that could change following results from a full lineup of conference games Thursday. The TexAnns have a week off and host West Texas A&M at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday.
TWU had scored nine of 13 to pull within 42-41 before true freshman Trejouir Wilson began the decisive run for Tarleton. The true freshman buried a left corner 3, and moments later hit a 15-foot jumper, to make it 48-41 after the third.
Ikpeaku Iwobi made it eight straight Tarleton points to begin the scoring in the fourth, and Kylie Collins buried a 3 to finish the run and stretch the lead to 53-41. The advantage swelled to as large as 13 when Collins hit a 3 to make it 56-43 with seven minutes left.
TWU briefly pulled within seven on two occasions, but Bailey Wipff got a shooter’s roll on a jumper and Mackenzie Hailey hit two free throws, stretching the Tarleton lead to 64-53 with 1:15 left.
Hailey scored 16 points and made it a fourth straight double-double with 12 rebounds. Collins, Iwobi and Wipff each added 10 for Tarleton, while Wilson and Travanti Downes each netted eight.
Saygo led all scorers with 20, but couldn’t lift Texas Woman’s to a fourth straight victory over Tarleton. Before Thursday, the TexAnns last beat TWU on February 1, 2015.
Tarleton had to erase a 19-9 deficit after eight quick points on a baseline jumper and two 3-pointers by Saygo, who was then benched for the final two minutes of the first quarter and did not return until midway through the second despite having no fouls.
Ikpeaku Iwobi scored the final five points of the first to cut it to 19-14, and hit her second 3-pointer to trim the Tarleton deficit to 21-20, completing an 11-2 run that effectively kept the TexAnns in the game.
Tarleton took its first lead on a free throw by Collins, and the edge jockeyed back and forth until the TexAnns scored final four points of the half. Downes hit a layup as part of six first half points off the bench. She then made a nice pass through traffic to set up Hailey for a bucket in the final seconds that made it 32-28 at half.
Hailey scored five points in the opening two minutes of the third to push the TexAnns ahead 38-32 before TWU rallied within one and Tarleton responded with its decisive run.