By BRAD KEITH
WICHITA FALLS (January 28, 2017) — Tarleton State (9-9, 8-4) built a big lead by shooting 60 percent form the arc before halftime, and Mackenzie Hailey earned her 10th double-double of the season as the TexAnns kept the Mustangs at bay down the stretch in a 69-57 road win Saturday.
Tiara Tatum knocked down all four of her first-half 3-point tries and led all scorers with 12 at half, when the TexAnns owned a comfortable 37-22 margin, and MSU trimmed it to no less than 11 after intermission.
Bailey scored 13 points the first three quarters and snared her 10th rebound in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. She finished with 15 and 11, respectively, the fourth double-double in six games for the sophomore from Burleson, her first in three outings.
Tarleton did not make a 3-pointer after intermission, not did it need to. The TexAnns hoisted up just two attempts from the arc in the second half, none in the fourth quarter. Instead they turned to Ikpeaku Iwobi and Hailey inside, and both delivered.
Iowa scored 11 to go with six boards and three steals. Tatum didn’t finished with the same 12 she had at halftime, and Bailey Wipff also scored 14 while dealing a career-best eight assists.
MSUI was led by Jennifer Arbuckle with 12 points and Jasmine Richardson with 10. The Mustangs were just 1-12 form the arc, 0-6 after halftime. They had 19 turnovers and shot just 53 percent from the stripe.
Tarleton returns home for four straight games over the next two weeks, beginning with Eastern New Mexico next Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Tatum highlighted the first half with her personal shooting spree, including three bombs in a brief stretch to help the TexAnns out to a 35-17 lead en rout to a 37-22 advantage at intermission. Tarleton made as many 3-pointers in the first half – nine – as MSU did total field goals, outscoring the Mustangs 27-6 from the arc. Compounding MSU’s troubles were 12 first-half turnovers.
Tatum scored 12 and Hailey seven in the first two quarters, while MSU was led before the half by Whitney Taylor with seven points including the only 3 with the Mustangs shooting just 1-6 from outside the arc before the break.
Wipff wasted no time getting the TexAnns started from the arc, knocking down two first-quarter 3-pointers to help the TexAnns to a 23-14 lead after one. Bailey was also good early with seven points, and Ikpeaku Iwobi beat the buzzer for the final two of the period.