SEATTLE – A golden opportunity for Tarleton women’s basketball to earn its first Western Athletic Conference win slipped through the team’s collective fingers, as the Texans fell 59-47 to Seattle U for the second time in as many days inside the Redhawk Center.
The Texans led 38-36 late in the third quarter but were plagued by offensive inefficiency down the stretch. Tarleton went more than six minutes without a made basket in the game’s final frame and shot a season-worst 23 percent (13-55) from the field. The team converted just five field goals in the second half.
Tarleton had three-or-fewer field goals in the first, third and fourth quarters and had two stretches where it went more than six minutes without a made basket.
Tarleton (3-10) dropped to 0-4 in conference play and has now lost seven consecutive games. Seattle U moved to 6-7 on the season and evened its WAC record at 2-2 with the win.
The team’s offensive struggles came at an inopportune time. Tarleton corrected defensive issues from Friday’s 86-54 loss to the Redhawks and was competitive the entire way. The Texans limited Seattle U to three made 3-point field goals one day after allowing the Redhawks to convert a season-high 11 shots from long range. Tarleton limited Seattle U to 41 percent shooting. No Redhawks player scored in double figures and the Texans held Seattle U to 14 bench points.
Both teams battled fatigue and got off to slow starts. Seattle U assumed an 11-9 advantage after the game’s first 10 minutes as the teams alternated leads. Tarleton forced five Redhawk turnovers and got to the foul line on four separate occasions.
Six points from Marissa Escamilla then gave Tarleton an 18-14 lead – its largest of the afternoon – early in the second quarter. Escamilla had a stellar afternoon and was arguably the best frontcourt player for either team. The 5-9 junior posted game-highs in points (16) and rebounds (10) to record the fifth double-double of her career and second of the 2020-21 season. Escamilla, from Burnet, Texas, leads Tarleton’s active players in career double-digit scoring games with 22.
A 3-point shot from Jayci Morton evened the score at 30 in the closing seconds of the first half. Neither team led by more than four points in the game’s first 20 minutes. Tarleton went 10-14 from the foul line and was fueled by 12 first-half points from Escamilla.
Tarleton’s touch at the line and from the field slowly evaporated in the second half, however. The team converted 1-4 attempts at the charity stripe in the third quarter and missed a chance to keep the score even or assume a lead heading into the fourth quarter, as Seattle U led 42-39.
The Redhawks’ took their largest lead of the contest at 52-39 midway through the fourth quarter. Tarleton responded with a 6-0 scoring run on the strength of two free throws from Emily Cunningham, a made triple by Iyana Dorsey and a gritty finish inside by Escamilla. Seattle U then iced the game with free throws to seal the victory.
Dorsey joined Escamilla in double-digit scoring with 11 points. The freshman guard has now scored in double figures in 11-of-13 games for Tarleton. Lucy Benson and Kaitlyn Guillory had five rebounds apiece while Kandyn Faurie led the team in assists with four in her fourth consecutive start as the team’s primary ballhandler.