Tarleton fades after fast start, falls to undefeated CBU
STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton suffered its second defeat in as many days at the hands of California Baptist, as the Texans dropped a Western Athletic Conference affair 89-66 on Saturday in Wisdom Gym.
The loss marks Tarleton's fifth consecutive defeat and dips the Texans' conference record to 0-2. Conversely, the Lancers moved to 12-0 on the season and extended their winning streak to 15 games dating back to the 2019-20 campaign. CBU sits in first place in the WAC at 4-0 and is one of the last remaining undefeated teams in the country.
The result was a stark contrast from Friday's ballgame, in which Tarleton lost 70-60 but held CBU to its second lowest shooting percentage (40.0) and under its points and assists per game figures.
The Lancers finished with their best shooting percentage of the year (52.4)and knocked down a season-high 14 shots from beyond the arc. CBU used a 27-11 second quarter scoring advantage to take a 46-28 lead into halftime and effectively separate from the Texans.
"You saw why they're the first-place team in the conference and undefeated on the year," head coach Misty Wilson said. "Their ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, and if you take away the perimeter, they're going to get you in the paint. They're just tough to defend. We made a decision to take away the paint and they punished us on the perimeter."
Early on, Tarleton (3-8) appeared to be the more energized bunch following tipoff and primed to play the Lancers tough once again.
The Texans raced out to an 11-0 lead in the game's first 2:22, prompting Lancers head coach Jarrod Olson to call a timeout. A pair of 3-point shots from Emily Cunningham and five points by Iyana Dorsey had the Texans shooting 4-6 from the field. Tarleton forced seven CBU turnovers and led for almost the entirety of the quarter.
The Lancers, though, promptly responded with an 8-0 scoring spurt and closed the frame on an extended 19-6 scoring run. CBU then used scoring runs of 10-0, 7-0, and 6-0 throughout the second quarter to build an insurmountable lead.
"I thought we got greedy, a little less disciplined in our possessions," Wilson said. "They switched to a zone and we let that take us out of our offensive rhythm. Instead of reversing the ball and being patient against the zone, I thought we took hurried shots and tried to do things that ended up giving them opportunities to score on the other end."
The Texans shot under 35 percent for the fifth consecutive game. The team, which led the WAC in free throw percentage (73.8) entering the contest, also failed to take advantage of opportunities at the charity stripe. Tarleton shot a season-worst 59 percent (13-22) on foul shots.
Tarleton received several strong individual offensive efforts despite its collective struggles.
Kandyn Faurie netted a career-high 15 points on 6-12 shooting in her second start of the season in fourth of her career. Wilson slotted in the Liberty Hill native as the team's primary ballhandler in place of Alexa Hoy (9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), who missed her second consecutive game. Faurie finished with 25 points for the weekend.
"Kandyn's a competitor," Wilson said. "She's got a lot of grit, she's tough, and I think she's doing a great job running the point. I thought Kandyn had an even better game today than she did yesterday."
Faurie at the point enabled Dorsey to play her natural position at shooting guard. The 5-6 freshman and Tarleton's leading scorer (13.2 ppg), Cunningham and Marissa Escamilla all finished with 13 points.
Cunningham shot an efficient 4-7 from the field went 3-4 from long range. The Hill College (TX) transfer came in ranked inside the top-five in the WAC in both field goal and 3-point field goal percentage.
Lucy Benson led Tarleton on the glass with nine rebounds while Escmailla and fellow forward Callie Boyles added seven and six boards, respectively.
Tarleton struggled to match the Lancers' depth throughout the afternoon. CBU enjoyed a 44-16 advantage in bench points. The Texans had just 11 players available and eight played more than two minutes combined in Friday and Saturday's games.
Up next for the Texans is their farthest trip west of the season, as they will face Seattle U (4-6) on Jan. 22-23 in the Evergreen State. Tipoff for both games is set for 5 p.m. CT inside the Redhawk Center.