Apparently final exams and a long break between games aren't enough to slow No. 22 Tarleton State.
Cedarville (Ohio) (3-5) certainly wasn't enough to do it, either.
The TexAnns (8-1) won their fifth straight 77-59 at Wisdom Gym Wednesday night, matching their best nine-game record under 11th year head coach Ronnie Hearne in a game not nearly as close as the final score indicates.
Kiara Wright's 43rd career double-double consisted of 15 points and 10 boards in just 27 minutes of action. She dealt six assists and collected four steals while going 5-6 form the floor and 5-7 from the free-throw stripe
Tarleton had five in double figures, led by Raven McGrath with 17 on 6-7 shooting including 3-4 from the arc. Stephenville product Brianna Bledsoe scored 16. Shanae Lowrance was 6-7 and netted 13 points and Kathy Thomas was 4-6 on her way to 10. Combined, Wright, McGrath, Lowrance and Kathy Thomas were 21-27 from the floor.
The offense was especially potent early in the second half. The TexAnns were 75 percent from the field and scored 25 points over the first nine minutes of the second, stretching their lead 65-37.
Then Tarleton really poured it on, scoring the next five points, including three when Stephenville product Brianna Bledsoe hurled in a circus shot while being fouled then knocked down the ensuing free throw. Wright dealt an assist to Shanae Lowrance on the next possession, and Tarleton led 70-37 with nine minutes left before emptying its bench. The TexAnns were shooting 56.2 percent at that point, and finished at 49.2 percent
Tarleton led 40-22 at halftime, thanks largely to four 3-point field goals in a three-minute span. They were Tarleton's only field goals from the nine to six minute marks of the opening half, but they were enough to help provide a solid margin.
Cedarville cut a big early deficit to 20-16 before the first of the 3-pointers, a 25-foot bomb from Meagan O'Dell. Thomas drained a triple at the 8:05 mark to make it 26-16, and Bledsoe ripped the chords from deep for a 29-18 lead with seven minutes on the clock.
Kathy Thomas struck again with 6:18 to go in the half, making it 32-18 with the last triple of the stretch.
Cedarville got no closer than 12 the rest of the way, and by the time two minutes remained in the half, Tarleton had made it a 16-4 run for a 36-20 advantage.
That's when Wright came back in off the bench to add two points and a steal to a half that saw her score eight points, grab eight boards, deal four assists and swipe two steals.
The TexAnns never trailed, using a 12-2 run to build an early 18-7 edge. Cedarville answered with its only serious push of the night, a 9-2 run to trim its deficit to four before Tarleton dominated the rest of the way.
Cedarville's Kayla Jenerette, one of the top 3-point marksmen in school history, went 0-6 from the arc and scored just six points. Cedarville shot only 36.8 percent including just 30 percent in the second half. The Lady Jackets hit just 3 of 14 from the arc.
Tarleton matched its 2009 team for best start under Hearne. Those TexAnns started 8-0, then followed their first loss with four straight wins for a 12-1 mark.
It was the final game of 2013 for Tarleton, which doesn't return to action until hosting Texas College on Jan. 2. Lone Star Conference play begins Jan. 4 against Texas Woman's, also at Wisdom Gym.