Dominant Fourth Quarter Lifts Texans Over Dustdevils


LAREDO – The Tarleton women’s basketball team outscored Texas A&M-International 31-17 in the fourth quarter to secure the 70-59 win on the road.  

The Texans improve to 20-7 on the season and 14-7 in the Lone Star Conference. Tarleton control its own destiny for the fourth seed, which would guarantee a first round bye in the LSC Tournament. A win on Saturday at Texas A&M-Kingsville would clinch the fourth seed.

Tarleton shot 50 percent in the win and stand at 16-0 on the season when shooting over 40 percent. The Texans also shot 55.6 percent from behind the arc (10-18), its highest three-point percentage of the season.

Four Texans tallied double-digits during the match-up. Marissa Escamilla, who earned her first career start on Thursday, recorded her second career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The 19 points is also a career-high for the sophomore. Kylie Collins led the Texans with 21 points, while freshman Jayci Morton tallied 11 points, also a career-high. Mackenzie Hailey added 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.

Kaitlyn Guillory tallied eight assists in the win, which is the most by a Texan player this season. The junior also contributed six points, six rebounds, and four steals. Lucy Benson (2) and Jasmine Bailey (1) rounded out the scoring for the Texans.

In her second career start, Morton started the Texan offense with a three-point shot. The freshman matched her career-high of eight points in the first quarter. The Dustdevils led for most of the opening 10 minutes, but Hailey was able to even the score at 12 at the end of the first. 

There were six lead changes in the second quarter. A set of Dustdevils free throws gave them a one-point advantage into halftime, 28-27. Tarleton outrebounded International, 14-8, in the first half.

International gained its’ largest lead of nine halfway through the third quarter, 40-31. Tarleton closed the gap to five with Morton’s third three of the night, 42-37, at 3:19. The Texans ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to close the advantage to three, 42-39, into the final 10 minutes. 

The Texans cut the game to one with a three from Guillory, 44-43, in the opening minutes of the fourth. Two straight buckets from Collins gave the Texans their first lead since 9:22 of the first quarter, 48-47, at the seven-minute mark.

Escamilla brought the Texans to life in the final quarter. Escamilla made a layup, grabbed the defensive rebound on the opposite end of the court, and then made a tip-in shot to put the Texans up three, 52-49, with under six minutes to go.

Another set of threes from Collins gave the Texans a comfortable eight-point advantage, 59-41, in the closing minutes of the game to secure the 20th win of the season for Tarleton.

The Texans will travel to Kingsville for its’ final regular season game of the season. Tarleton will battle the Javelinas at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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