Play defense 94 feet for 40 minutes.
That is the defensive philosophy that Tarleton State Head Coach Ronnie Hearne said he wanted to test in the first exhibition game against Concordia at Wisdom Gym Saturday night.
That philosophy proved successful as the TexAnns opened exhibition play with a 75-23 against the Division III Lady Tornados.
“They had a couple of quick guards, but I think if we can maintain what we want to do, it’ll wear teams down,” said Hearne. “You saw tonight how much athleticism we have, but we still need to work on some things. We need to improve our half-court defense. It was better in the second half, but they still aren’t doing what we try to do in practice.”
The TexAnn defense forced 38 Tornado turnovers, with freshman Brittany Coleman, from Rockwall, leading the way with five steals.
Tarleton also dominated the paint against Concordia. The TexAnns outscored the Lady Tornados 42-8 in the paint and won the rebound battle, 70-46.
JoAnne Jones posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, while freshman Tori Skarke reached a double-double in 20 minutes from the bench.
Tarleton struggled offensively from the get-go.
TSU connected on only 14-47 shots from the field in the first half.
While the shooting did improve in the second half, the TexAnns only managed a 32-percent field goal percentage for the contest.
In addition to the defensive philosophy, Hearne came into the contest wanting to establish a clear rotatio, and to make sure everyone saw action. He sent seven of his team’s eight freshmen onto the floor.
Shelby Adamson, also from Rockwall, got the start at the two-guard position and posted 11 points, grabbed seven boards and had three steals.
Adamson’s high school teammate, Coleman, added nine points and six boards.
Tarleton will end its exhibition schedule on Saturday when the TexAnns travel to the Metroplex to face Division I Texas-Arlington at 2 p.m.