Smothering defense boosts Tarleton to big win over Northwestern State


STEPHENVILLE – There was a long stretch Tarleton’s opponent couldn’t buy a bucket, and the Texans turned a close game into a comfortable win to remain perfect at Wisdom Gym.

The Texans (6-3, 0-0 WAC) are 5-0 at home to start the season for the first time since 2013-14 after beating Northwestern State on Wednesday night in Stephenville 67-46. The Lady Demons (4-5, 0-0 SLC) had their two-game winning stretch snapped, falling to 0-4 on the road.

Although Northwestern State entered the game with one of the lower shooting percentages in the country, Tarleton still limited them to one of their worst shooting nights of the year. The Lady Demons made just 16-of-58 (.276) from the field, including 5-of-22 (.227) from distance, scoring no more than 12 points in any quarter. That included a 6:36 stretch of not scoring a single point, turning a 25-23 Tarleton lead at the 5:28 mark in the second quarter to a 37-23 Texan lead over a minute into the third quarter.

Tarleton’s big push grew to a 31-7 run that ended near the end of the third quarter, building their lead to 26 that eventually became 27 in the fourth.

Teresa Da Silva had a game-high 17 points (3-8 3PT), adding four assists, two rebounds and five steals in 35 minutes. Elise Turrubiates powered Tarleton’s big bench advantage (23-6) with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, to go with five rebounds in 21 minutes. Tyler Jackson finished with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Mayra Caicedo and Nyajah Mitchels each pitched in eight points. Caicedo added eight rebounds and two assists, with Mitchels adding five rebounds.

Tarleton made 23-of-57 (.404) on the night with an 8-of-12 (.667) clip in the third quarter, a frame they won 22-11. The Texans forced 21 turnovers to their forced low shooting percentage, and over their two games against Northwestern State over the past two seasons, they’ve allowed just five total three-point makes.

The Texans are 2-0 in the all-time series and are 14-6 (.700) in non-conference play overall since last season.

Tarleton started Wednesday with the first four points, followed by a Lady Demons’ five-point push to take their first and only lead. On the benefit of an 8-0 run, Tarleton eventually grew their first quarter lead to 17-9 before finishing the first frame up 17-12.

The second quarter was neck-and-neck until Tarleton simply stopped Northwestern State from scoring anything. At 25-23 with 5:28 left, the Texans scored the quarter’s last 10 points to lead 35-23 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Tarleton essentially put the game out of reach by forcing a 3-of-13 (.231) clip from the field, ending the frame up 57-34.

The Texans struggled offensively in the fourth quarter, shooting 4-of-16 (.250), but they still barely lost the quarter (12-10) and cruised to the 21-point victory.

Northwestern State was paced by Candice Parramore’s 15 points (4-16 FG, 0-6 3PT, 7-8 FT). Sharna Ayres also scored in double figures with 12 points, six rebounds and three steals.

The Texans are off to Puerto Rico next for the Puerto Rico Clasico in San Juan. Tarleton will play their last two non-conference games against Ball State on Monday at 1 p.m. CT, followed by a meeting with Richmond on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. CT.

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