Special to the E-T

Tarleton Sports Information

SAN ANTONIO — The Tarleton women’s basketball team dropped its first-ever season opener under the direction of head coach Ronnie Hearne, falling 77-53 to Incarnate Word in the opening round of the UIW Classic at the McDermott Center in San Antonio on Saturday.

The TexAnn starters scored just 30 points compared to UIW’s starting five, who scored 72 points paced by Nia Torru’s career-high 28 points. D’Anna Dingler was the only TexAnn to score in double figures, putting up 10 points in the loss.

The Cardinals were able to build a 15-point lead (24-9) following an early 14-2 run, but the TexAnns were able to cut into the deficit and headed into the locker room down 38-30 at the break.

Unfortunately the TexAnns were unable to keep that momentum and the Cardinals scored the first six points of the second half to take a 44-30 lead with 17:20 left to play. A three-pointer from Dingler with 10:48 left to play pulled the TexAnns to within six points (47-41), but that would be as close as the TexAnns would ger as the Cardinals outscored them 30-12 in the final 10 minutes.

The TexAnns did outscore the Cardinals 14-4 inside the paint, but UIW dominated from the outside, tallying 27 points on 9 of 16 shooting from beyond the arc. Tarleton scored just nine points from downtown on 3-13 shooting.

The TexAnns (0-1) will return to the court tomorrow in an afternoon game with St. Mary’s (1-0). Tip-off is set for noon at the McDermott Center.