Dorsey makes offensive history for Tarleton women's basketball in loss to UNT

TSU Sports Information
Iyana Dorsey

DENTON – Positives abounded inside the Tarleton women's basketball locker room after the program made its much-anticipated NCAA Division I debut at North Texas on Wednesday. 

Indeed, the Texans fell to the Mean Green 87-71 to open the 2020-21 campaign but made the Conference-USA adversary work for every bit of the victory. Especially freshman Iyana Dorsey, who proved to be a thorn in the side of the North Texas defense in her collegiate debut. 

Dorsey led all scorers with 18 points and hit 10-12 free throws to keep Tarleton within striking distance throughout the evening. Dorsey, a 5-6 guard, put forth a historical performance on a night with far-reaching significance for Tarleton athletics. Her 18 points were the most in a season-opening game since the 2014-15 season and the most by a freshman under head coach Misty Wilson. 

Dorsey scored seven of the game's first 11 points to stake Tarleton to an early lead. The Texans led the contest 18-13 at the end of the first quarter on the strength of strong shooting and a positive rebounding margin. Tarleton shot 50 percent from the floor (5-10) and recorded 11 boards in the frame. 

The offensive effort mirrored Tarleton's ability to get the ball inside and convert high-percentage shots throughout the ballgame. All five starters scored in double figures for the Texans and the team posted a 50 percent shooting clip for the evening. 

A 21-6 scoring run by the Mean Green to open the second quarter put the hosts ahead 34-24. Tarleton never led again in the contest. 

Fouls and a noticeable North Texas size advantage caught up with the Texans in the second frame. Dorsey, fellow starters Emily Cunningham and Marissa Escamilla and forward Callie Boyles all played with two fouls throughout the period. 

The Mean Green out-rebounded Tarleton 43-31 for the game and took a 44-33 advantage into the intermission. 

Both teams largely traded baskets in the second half with UNT outscoring Tarleton 43-38 over the final two periods.  

Senior Lucy Benson played a team-high 37 minutes and matched her career-high in points with 15. The forward was also one of three players to record at least five rebounds. Escamilla led the team in rebounds with 7. Both Cunningham and Escamilla registered 10 points apiece. 

Dorsey and senior guard Alexa Hoy split ballhandling duties at the point guard position throughout the game. Hoy finished with 12 points on 6-11 shooting and consistently drew double-teams from the Mean Green. It was the 11th time in which Hoy scored in double figures for the Texans. 

Wilson and the Texans received a welcome piece of news before tipoff when it was revealed that Kandyn Faurie would suit up for the game. The junior has dealt with nagging ankle issues since the conclusion of the 2019-20 season and was not expected to play but scored four points to go with four rebounds in 23 minutes played. Faurie started the second half with Cunningham in foul trouble. 

Sophomore Jayci Morton and Faurie were the only Texan reserves to score in the game.  

Tarleton has an opportunity now to earn its first Division I win in front of a pro-Texan crowd. The team welcomes Howard Payne University to Wisdom Gym on Saturday as a part of a doubleheader with the Tarleton men's basketball team. The Texans and Division-III Yellow Jackets are set to tip off at 2 p.m.