Offensive struggles continue for Tarleton in loss to ACU in WAC opener


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton battled against I-20 rival Abilene Christian in the conference opener on Thursday, but offensively the Texans couldn’t get much going in their 61-43 loss.

The Texans (6-6, 0-1 WAC) lost at home for the first time this season, now 5-1 at Wisdom Gym, as ACU improved to 7-5 overall, 1-0 in conference play.

Tarleton’s 43 points makes back-to-back games of their season-low scoring output. They shot 16-of-56 (.286) from the field, including 2-of-17 (.118) from the three-point line. Although ACU didn’t shoot that much better, making 24-of-58 (.414) from the field, the Wildcats outrebounded the Texans 42-33 and outscored them in the paint 36-18.

Despite all of that, Tarleton had the game competitive in the first half, a charged battle in front of a solid late December crowd of 1,287 fans.

ACU jumped out to an 8-0 lead and finished the opening frame up by the same margin, 20-12. The Wildcats led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Tarleton cut it to five with just over two minutes left and trailed at the break 33-25.

There was little scoring in the third quarter from both teams, a 9-4 frame, as both teams combined to shoot 5-of-26 (.192). ACU made 8-of-14 in the final frame to stay well ahead and send Tarleton to a season-long three-game slide.

Tyler Jackson led the Texans with 14 points, adding two steals. Teresa Da Silva had eight points, four rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks. Starr Omozee made her first start of the season, going for six points and four rebounds. Nyajah Mitchels led the bench with six points on 3-of-3 shooting, adding three rebounds.

ACU had three in double figures, led by Bella Earle and her 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Aspen Thornton finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Addison Martin tallied 10 points (5-10 FG) and five rebounds.

Tarleton will head to the metroplex for a New Year’s Eve contest on Saturday at UT Arlington at 4 p.m. CT. The Lady Mavericks also dropped their conference opener on Thursday, 67-61 at California Baptist.

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