Rebounding, Cold Shooting Doom Texans vs. Cardinals

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STEPHENVILLE – Between the battle of the boards and Tarleton’s shooting Thursday night, they couldn’t muster enough to get it done against Lamar at Wisdom Gym, losing 53-45.

The Cardinals’ Akasha Davis recorded 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds (eight offensive) and three steals to give Lamar their third straight win. They’re now 10-7 on the season, 5-3 in WAC play, dropping Tarleton to 12-8 overall, 4-5 in the conference.

Tarleton faced a tall task early by losing their tallest player. Seynabou Thiam, the Texans’ starting center and a major part of the team, played just five minutes after suffering an injury in the first quarter that she never returned from. Over her previous five games entering the contest, she had racked up 22 blocks (4.4 BPG), 48 boards (9.6 RPG), three double-doubles and three 10+ point games.

That paved the way for the Cardinals to clean up the boards, out rebounding Tarleton 43-34, with 15 offensive rebounds that led to 11 second chance points. In a low scoring affair with neither team shooting particularly well, that was all the difference.

Davis earned her third straight double-double and her third 20+ point game of the season.

Iyana Dorsey, coming off the bench for the first time since Dec. 13, had a team-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 33 minutes. No one else had much luck shooting the ball save for Malaya Kendrick and Marissa Escamilla. Kenrick tallied eight points (4-10 FG), six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Escamilla had eight points (2-4 FG) and three rebounds.

The Texans made 16-of-52 (.308) from the field to Lamar’s 23-of-61 (.377) clip.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 9-2 lead through the midway point of the first quarter, allowing just four points almost throughout the frame if it wasn’t for a Dorsey three-pointer with 22 seconds left to make it 12-7 after one. The two teams went back and forth in the second quarter, with Tarleton getting as close as two points (21-19) before Lamar went up by six at the break, 25-19.

Lamar built an 11-point lead, their largest of the game, at the 6:48 mark in the third quarter, making it 32-21. The purple and white scored five straight and eventually had an 11-2 run to get back within a pair, 34-32, with 2:33 left. Escamilla nailed a three-pointer to send Wisdom Gym into a frenzy to get Tarleton within just a single bucket. Lamar led 39-32 entering the fourth quarter. In the final frame, Tarleton got as close as five points down late, but back-to-back buckets by Davis virtually ended any hope.

Tarleton has now alternated wins and losses in 10 straight games, their last consecutive win or loss coming on Dec. 22. They’re 7-0 following a loss this season, a mark they’ll put to the test on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT against UTRGV at Wisdom Gym.

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