This one was important for Tarleton State.
Wednesday’s 68-46 Lone Star Conference victory over Angelo State Wednesday night halted a two-game losing streak and gave the TexAnns some momentum headed into two straight road games.
In addition, much of the TSU bench saw action Wednesday as 13 players showed up on the score sheet for the TexAnns.
“Our goal is to go 6-0 these last six games, ,” said first-year head coach Misty Wilson. “Going into the conference tournament, playing games back-to-back, that depth really comes into play.”
A slow offensive start in the first half saw the teams knotted at 13-all before an 8-0 run gave Tarleton a lead it would not relinquish.
The Rambelles closed the gap to within six with :36 remaining in the first half with a bucket by 6-4 post Minja Savic.
The TexAnns responded with a Travanti Downs jumper, one of two baskets for the 5-10 sophomore from Kennedale in the last minute of the half, giving TSU a 30-22 advantage at the break.
A defensive emphasis in the second half slowed the Rambelles’ offense even further.
“We just felt like we weren’t doing a very good job if helping each other out in the first half, “ Wilson said, “of helping the helper. When our post players are moving out, those guards have to stop that girl from rolling down the middle of the floor. I felt like we did a good job of that most of the second half.”
With the TSU defense clicking, the margin extended to double digits early in the second half when Ikpeaku Iwobi nailed a short bucket and followed with a free throw to put Tarleton State in front 33-22.
Kathy Thomas drilled a 3-pointer with about 15 minutes left in the second half to push the TSU lead to 43-26 on the strength of a 17-4 Tarleton streak.
The lead stretched to 21, 53-32, on a lay-up by Breanna Fuller, a short jumper from Meagan O’Dell and a pair of Averie Mack free throws with under 11 minutes left.
The TexAnns shot 46 percent against ASU, hit three of 10 long-distance buckets and connected on 15 of 18 free throws.
Thomas led the TexAnns with 12 points, giving the senior guard from Flint, Mich. 38 in the last two games. Meagan O’Dell added nine points on 3-of-6 shooting and Karli Moore added eight points and two blocks.
Tarleton’s defense, which outrebounded the Rambelles 39-26, and forced 20 turnovers, limited ASU to just 33 percent shooting from the floor.
The TexAnns inprove to13-8 on the year and 6-6 in conference games. Angelo State slides to 1-10 against LSC competition and 6-15 overall.
Tarleton returns to action Saturday at Texas A&M-Kingsville.