Women’s Basketball set for D1 debut in Denton against North Texas


Tarleton women’s basketball will earn a special designation as the first Texan sports team to play a regular season game against a Division I opponent as a member Division I school on Wednesday vs. North Texas. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. inside UNT Coliseum, commonly referred to as ‘The Super Pit,’ in Denton.  

The Texans make the jump to the Division I ranks on the heels of a successful three-year run at the Division II level under head coach Misty Wilson. Tarleton posted a 63-29 overall record over the last three seasons and earned a pair of NCAA Tournament berths while a member of the Lone Star Conference. Wilson enters her seventh season at the helm with a 5-1 mark in season-opening games. 

The Mean Green concluded last season with a 12-19 overall record but return nine letter winners from their 2019-20 roster. UNT finished with winning records the previous two seasons under head coach Jalie Mitchell. 

Opponent: North Texas 
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. CST  
Location: The Super Pit – Denton, Texas 

Wednesday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools. 

Links for live stats and free video stream can be found on the women’s basketball schedule at TarletonSports.com. A complete video broadcast of the game can be seen and heard at ConferenceUSA.com/watch. Kyle Crews will have the call on the new home of Tarleton women’s basketball – KXTR 100.7 FM in Stephenville – and worldwide at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tipoff. 

Fans near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex or travelling to Denton can purchase tickets online at meangreensports.com. UNT is limiting capacity inside The Super Pit to 15 percent (1,500). 

Tarleton enters its inaugural Division I season with a backbone of sorts in eight returning letter winners. Seniors Lucy Benson (5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 53 steals), Kaitlyn Guillory (4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 61 assists), and Alexa Hoy (9.7 ppg, 2 rpg, 31 steals) made a combined 78 starts for the Texans in 2019-20. The Texans also return three players – guards Kandyn Faurie and Jayci Morton and forward Marissa Escamilla – who started at least one game in 2019-20. 

Hoy is Tarleton’s returning leading scorer and was named to the Preseason Coaches’ All-WAC Second Team in October. Benson provides a defensive prowess for Wilson and offers valuable experience. The 5-11 forward has led the Texans in steals in eight games and is the only member of the roster to have spent the entirety of her college career in Stephenville. Guillory arrived at Tarleton in 2019 after a two-year playing career at Colby College (KS) and did a little bit of everything for the Texans last season. She was the team’s leader in assists in six games and ranked inside the top-five in team totals for rebounds (108), assists (61) steals (39). 

Forward Callie Boyles’, who blocked 24 shots for Tarleton in her freshman campaign, is also back as is junior guard Reagan Heun, who transferred to Tarleton in 2019 after spending her freshman year at Noth Dakota State. 

Wilson brought in three junior college transfers in juniors Emily Cunningham and Malaya Kendrick and sophomore Nya Moody. Freshmen guards Iyana Dorsey, Emily Cavey and Blythe Williams rounded out Tarleton’s inaugural Division I recruiting class. The Texans also added walk-on guard Hailey Ibarra out of Glen Rose High School to round out the 2020-21 roster. 

Fans won’t have to wait long to catch their first in-person glimpse of the team. Both basketball programs are set to play a doubleheader vs. Howard Payne on Saturday at Wisdom Gym. The women’s team kicks off the action at 2 p.m. while the men follow with a 6 p.m. tipoff. This is the only scheduled doubleheader of the 2020-21 season. 

Tarleton is no stranger to the Division III Yellow Jackets despite last squaring off in 1997. The programs have met 22 times, with the Texans owning a 16-6 series advantage. Howard Payne, located in Brownwood, Texas, was 11-15 overall last season as a member of the American Southwest Conference. 

Fans interested in attending Saturday’s contest can purchase individual game general admission tickets at TarletonSports.com/Tickets. Fans will only be charged once to attend both the men’s and women’s games. All tickets must be purchased in advance. No walk-up sales are allowed this season and the ticket office inside Wisdom Gym will be open one hour before tipoff for will call and complimentary ticket pickup only. 

Questions regarding basketball tickets should be directed to the Tarleton Athletic Ticket Office at tickets@tarleton.edu or 254-968-1832. Policies, ticket information and a map of Wisdom Gym can be found at tarletonsports.com/fanguide. In the event that a game is canceled, fans who purchased general admission tickets will receive a refund for that game. Refunds will be processed at the conclusion of the 2020-21 Basketball Season.

Tarleton completes a two-game homestand with a 6 p.m. tilt against Bacone College (OK) on Dec. 2. The Texas face Champion Christian College (Dec. 12) and Arlington Baptist (Dec. 14) in between road contests with regional Division I opponents Lamar (Dec. 5) and Oral Roberts).  

A trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for a pair of neutral site games at the South Point Classic caps the nonconference portion of the Texans’ schedule. Tarleton meets North Alabama on Dec. 20 before turning around to take on Eastern Michigan a day later. Both games tip off at noon CT. 

The Texans are scheduled to welcome California Baptist (Jan. 15-16), Utah Valley (Jan. 29-30), Dixie State (Feb. 19-20) and UTRGV (March 5-6) to Wisdom Gym for the first time. Full schedule details can be accessed at TarletonSports.com/Womens-Basketball/Schedule. 

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