STEPHENVILLE – The Texans shook off a sluggish start to cruise past Bacone College 80-39 on Wednesday inside Wisdom Gym to cap a two-game homestand and move to 2-1 on the season.
The 41-point margin of victory was the second-largest under head coach Misty Wilson and most lopsided win since a 104-52 triumph over Arlington Baptist in 2017.
Tarleton is now 12-1 in home games played in the opening four weeks of the season since 2017.
The Texans outscored the Warriors 26-6 in the second quarter to take a 43-19 lead into the intermission. The offensive surge was a welcome sign for the Texans, who recorded seven first-quarter turnovers and led by just four points after the game’s first 10 minutes.
Forward Callie Boyles scored seven of her game and career-high 20 points to keep the Tarleton offense level in the game’s opening period. The 6-3 sophomore rattled off three straight scoring finishes on a pair of 1-on-1 looks inside and an and-one in traffic to break a 4-4 tie and give Tarleton a lead it never relinquished.
Eight second-quarter assists and another offensive outburst from freshman Iyana Dorsey fueled the second-quarter resurgence. Dorsey knocked down four shots from beyond the arc to go along with a pair of assists inside to catapult Tarleton to a double-digit lead. Dorsey, who leads the Texans in scoring (17 ppg), netted 12 of her 16 points in the frame.
The strong second quarter play was an encouraging development for Tarleton. The Texans were outscored 31-15 in the period by North Texas in their 16-point, season-opening loss on Nov. 25 and allowed Howard Payne to score 20 of its 50 points in the second quarter during Saturday’s 76-50 win.
Tarleton went on a 20-2 scoring run over the game’s final 5:18 to seal the final score.
The Texans shot a season-best 55 percent from the field and converted 21 Bacone turnovers into 22 points. It was the third straight game in which Tarleton has shot over 50 percent collectively and second time it held its opponent to below 30 percent shooting.
Bacone (3-5), which competes as an NAIA independent team, played with seven players and was without first-year head coach Mike Gonzales due to positive COVID-19 tests.
The Texans used their size and depth advantage to out-rebound the Warriors 43-23. Senior Lucy Benson was responsible for five of Tarleton’s 12 offensive rebounds.
Boyles’ scoring output was a continuation of her hot start to the 2020-21 campaign. The Denton native recorded the first double-double of her career vs. Howard Payne on Saturday and again was the first player off the bench against Bacone. Her nine rebounds were also a team and game high.
Benson (12 points) and forward Emily Cunningham (10 points) joined Boyles and Dorsey with double-digit scoring totals.
Nine of the 11 players who suited up for Tarleton joined the scoring foray.
Walk-on guard Hailey Ibarra scored her first career basket in Purple and White after taking a defensive rebound coast-to-coast for an uncontested floater late in the fourth quarter. Ibarra, who played her prep ball at Glen Rose High School, also had five rebounds and four assists in 11 minutes played.
Juniors Kandyn Faurie and Reagan Heun had five points apiece while fellow guard Alexa Hoy chipped in seven. Hoy’s six rebounds were the second-most among all Texan players and a career-high.
Tarleton sits above .500 three games into the year for the fourth consecutive season with the win.
The team now heads south to Beaumont for a 2 p.m. matchup on Saturday with Lamar. It will be the first-ever game between the two programs and first of a scheduled two over the next year. Lamar, which competes in the Southland Conference, is scheduled to make a return trip to Stephenville in 2019.
The Cardinals are 0-5 on the season, though two of those losses have come to No. 12 Texas A&M and all five of their games have been played away from home or at neutral sites.
Lamar is the second of four Division I opponents Tarleton will face during nonconference play. The Texans are set to play Oral Roberts on Dec. 10 before squaring off with North Alabama (Dec. 20) and Eastern Michigan (Dec. 21) in Las Vegas, Nevada at the South Point Classic.
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