KINGSVILLE – The Tarleton women’s basketball team earned the No. 4 seed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament after a commanding win over Texas A&M-Kingsville, 66-37, on the road. With the fourth seed, the Texans clinch a first-round bye into the conference tournament next week in Frisco.
The Texans end the regular season with a 21-7 overall record and a 15-7 mark in conference play.
Tarleton shot 45.1 percent from the field and stand at 17-0 on the season when shooting over 40 percent. The Texans forced 25 Javelina turnovers and scored 22 points of them.
Mackenzie Hailey led the Texans with 22 points, her 26th career 20+ point game. The senior added four rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Marissa Escamilla tallied 18 points, one-point shy of her career-high. Escamilla has shot over 50% from the field in the last 10 games. The sophomore also added four rebounds, three assists, and one steal in her second career start.
Kylie Collins added nine points and seven rebounds, a career-high, in the win. In the final four games of the regular season, Collins averaged 17.5 points per game. Lucy Benson tallied five points, five rebounds, and three steals to lead the Texan defense. Callie Boyles (6), Jayci Morton (3), Jasmine Bailey (2), and Madison Mitschke (1) rounded out the scoring for the Texans.
Tarleton opened the match-up on an 8-2 run, propelled by back-to-back threes from Collins. A three-point play from Benson put Tarleton up seven, 14-7, with under three minutes left in the opening quarter. Tarleton maintained its’ comfortable lead into the second quarter with a score of 15-9.
Hailey and Escamilla led the Texan offense through the second quarter. The duo was responsible for 21 of Tarleton’s 24 second quarter points. Hailey tallied 11, while Escamilla contributed 10. The Texans opened the second quarter on a 16-1 run to lead 31-10 at the six-minute mark. A three-pointer from Collins pushed the Texan lead to 22 into the locker rooms, 39-17 Texans.
Two Texans notched double-digits in the opening quarters. Hailey led the team with 15 points, while Escamilla tallied 12. Only two other Texans scored in the first half: Collins notched six points and Benson tallied three. Tarleton shot 60 percent from the field and was 4-8 from behind the arc.
Tarleton scored just nine points in the third quarter, but held the Javelinas to eight to keep their 20+ point advantage into the final 10 minutes of the match-up, 48-25. The Texans did not commit a turnover in the quarter.
The Tarleton lead grew to 30 with a layup from Bailey at 4:20, 61-30 TSU. The Texans stayed composed through the final minutes of the match-up to win their final regular season game of the 2019-20 season.
The Texans will travel to Frisco next week for the LSC Tournament. Since Tarleton earned the fourth seed, they will play Thursday, March 5th, against the winner of the No. 5 and No. 12 seed play-in game that takes place on Tuesday. Tarleton’s game will take place at 8:30 p.m. at the Comerica Center. For LSC Tournament ticket information, visit TarletonSports.com.
LSC Tournament all-session and single session tickets will be sold for a discounted price at the Wisdom Gym Ticket Office Monday through Wednesday. The ticket office will remain open after Tuesday’s men’s basketball play-in game and all day on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fans can also call 254-968-1832 to purchase over the phone.
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