Apparently the Tarleton TexAnns haven’t forgotten what happened on March 4.
That is when the Central Oklahoma Lady Bronchos sent the TexAnns home from the Lone Star Conference Championship tournament with a 66-63 loss.
It may not mean as much this early in the season, but Tarleton (6-0) took another step in the right direction by knocking off the No. 19 Lady Bronchos (3-2) 85-55 to remain undefeated at Wisdom Gym Tuesday night.
“I really don’t know how we beat them that bad. They’re a well coached team and they’re the best team defensively we’ve played all season,” Tarleton coach Ronnie Hearne said. “Give our players credit, they wanted this game badly.”
Tarleton matched its best start under Hearne, equaling the 6-0 start to the 2007-08 campaign.
Tarleton continued showcasing it’s dominance - the TexAnns have beat every opponent thus far by at least 26 points, with the tightest contest coming in the opener against Texas-Permian Basin (64-38).
Despite being in foul trouble most of the second half, the TexAnn defense, which was one of the best in the LSC entering the game, was able to shut down the Lady Broncho offense, holding them to just 22-percent shooting from the floor.
“When you hold somebody to 22-percent shooting and they’re supposed to have four or five good shooters, then you’ve done a good job,” said Hearne.
Tarleton’s offense, which came into the contest averaging over 80 points per contest to be good enough for second in the LSC, stood up to its reputation by connecting on 48-percent from the floor.
The TexAnns got the action started with a bang as Sonya Sundberg and Tori Skarke drilled back-to-back 3-point bombs and Brittnie Haley added an old-fashioned 3-point play before UCO ever sank a basket.
UCO would fall behind 14-3 after another Sundberg bomb, but then went on a 9-1 run lasting more than seven minutes to cut its deficit to three.
A Kelsey Benford layup, a Skarke 3-point play and a 3-pointer from Lisa Parker gave the TexAnns a little cushion at 23-14, and they remained in control with a 35-25 advantage at the half.
Tarleton outscored UCO 50-30 in the second half and held at least a 10 point lead throughout the remainder of the contest.
Tori Skarke led the TexAnns in scoring with 17 points while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Sundberg (12), Morgan Stehling (11) and JoAnne Jones (11) also reached double figures for a Tarleton team that saw every player record at least one point.
One aspect of the game that was different on Tuesday than the March meeting was the presence of Haley.
Along with Jones and Benford, Haley dominated in the paint, where the TexAnns outscored UCO 36-12 and won the rebounding battle 57-36.
“(Haley) is so strong down low,,” said Hearne. “She’s made (Jones) and (Benford) so much better. Shedera Bowman also got some playing time tonight. There isn’t another team in the country with the depth we have at the post position.”
Benford finished with five points and nine boards while Bowman had three points and five rebounds in her first action of the season.
Another LSC North foe will try their luck against the TexAnns at 6 p.m. Thursday when Northeastern State makes the trip to Stephenville.