Late Offense Lifts Texans Over Hilltoppers in Thriller

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AUSTIN –  The Tarleton women’s basketball team (14-5, 8-5 LSC) secured a clutch win, 68-64, in the final minutes of the game to defeat divisional rival St. Edward’s (11-8, 7-7 LSC) on the road Thursday evening.

The Texans shot 42.6% from the field and held the Hilltoppers to 32.3% shooting. Tarleton is now 12-0 when shooting over 40%. 

Marissa Escamilla secured a career-high of 15 points in the game, surpassing her previous best of 14. The native of Burnet, only an hour away from St. Edward’s, went 6-12 from the field and tallied eight rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal. The sophomore did not commit a turnover in the match-up.

Mackenzie Hailey led the Texans in scoring with 18 points, shooting 58.3%. Hailey now moves into third in program history in points scored with 1,724 points, passing Kathy Buckler. The senior also totaled eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Tarleton and St. Edward’s went back and the forth in the opening half. The Texans were 5-6 from the field into the first media timeout. Back-to-back three point plays from Marissa Escamilla put the Texans up 22-14 with under two minutes left in the opening quarter. A second chance jumper from Callie Boyles put the Texans up by double-digits through the first 10 minutes, 24-14. The Texans closed the quarter on an 11-1 run.

Another set of layups from Escamilla put the Texans up 11, 34-23, with five minutes left in the half. St. Edward’s went on a 12-7 run at the end of the half to cut the Tarleton lead to six, 41-35. St. Edward’s outscored the Texans 21-17 in the second quarter.

In the opening 20 minutes of play, Tarleton shot 47.2% from the field and were perfect from the free throw line (5-5). The team also recorded just four turnovers. Escamilla led the team with 12 points and did not record a turnover in the opening quarters. Freshman Jasmine Bailey recorded two steals in the first half, while Boyles tallied two blocks. 

The Hilltoppers cut the Texan advantage and tied the game at 45 midway through the third quarter. St. Edward’s gained a four-point lead during the quarter, but Escamilla cut the advantage to one with a trey at 1:52, 51-50. The three pointer lifted Escamilla to a new career-high. The 51-50 score would keep through the rest of the quarter.

After high scoring opening quarters, both teams brought their defensive A-games in the final 10 minutes. A scoring drought ensued for almost three minutes midway through the quarter. A layup from Hailey ended the field goal drought and put the Texans up, 56-55, with four minutes to play. St. Edward’s gained their highest advantage of four at 2:19, 61-57. Back-to-back clutch threes from Alexa Hoy and Hailey put the Texans up by two, 63-31, with under a minute to play. Three sets of free throws from Hailey and Kandyn Faurie secured the win for the Texans, 68-64. 

Hoy (9), Kylie Collins (7), Kaitlyn Guillory (5), Boyles (4), Faurie (4), Lucy Benson (2), Jayci Morton (2), and Jasmine Bailey (2) rounded out the scoring for the Texans.

The Texans will head to San Antonio to face St. Mary’s at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. This game will also count towards the divisional LSC standings.


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