STEPHENVILLE – Mackenzie Hailey came close to posting the second triple-double in school history as Tarleton women’s basketball topped UT Permian Basin, 58-51, to run its winning streak to a season-high six games on Thursday in Wisdom Gym.
Hailey recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high seven assists in the victory. Tarleton Hall of Famer Jennifer Washington has the programs only triple-double with 31 points, 22 rebounds, and 10 steals back in 1982 as an NAIA affiliate.
The Texans improve to 12-4 on the season and 6-4 in the Lone Star Conference, having won five straight conference games during the win streak too.
Hailey and Kandyn Faurie were the only Texans to score in double figures, with Fauire adding 12 points off the bench. However, three other Texans had at least seven points, led by Marissa Escamilla (9), Kylie Collins (7) and Alexa Hoy (7) to balance the scoring attack.
Tarleton overcame a slow start offensively as they trailed the Falcons (7-9, 4-6) by one, 12-11, after the first quarter. While the offense might’ve been slow out of the gate, the Texan defense remained in mid-season form as they forced 19 turnovers and held the Falcons to 16 points below their season average. The Texans have forced opponents into 133 turnovers (22.1 per game) during their six-game win streak. Of the 19 turnovers, 10 came off a steal, as Hailey led all players with three. Lucy Benson, Kaitlyn Guillory and Hoy each had two steals.
The Tarleton offense picked up in the second quarter as the Texans went on a 12-4 run in the middle of the frame for its biggest lead of the half, 24-19. Kylie Collins had five points during the run and finished with 7 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. The Texans led 24-20 at halftime.
In the second half, the Texans produced an 11-1 run after the score was tied at 30-30 in the third quarter. Tarleton had seven of the 11 points at the free-throw line during the stretch, and went 13-19 from the stripe for the game. Hailey’s layup with under a minute to go in the third quarter pushed the lead to double digits for the first time at 43-33. The Texans outscored UTPB 19-16 coming out of the break.
Kaitlyn Guillory gave Tarleton its biggest lead of the game at 11 when her layup put the Texans up 49-38 to open the fourth quarter. The Falcons would go on a 6-0 run to cut the game to a one-possession Tarleton lead at 53-50 with 2:42 left. The Texan defense came up big when it mattered most, as they limited the Falcons to just one point in the final two minutes to get the win on their home court.
Tarleton will take on Western New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.