Tarleton wins third straight with four-point victory over UTPB

Kathy Thomas (12) scored 17 points as TexAnns knock off Texas-Permian Basin in final game of LCU Invitational in Lubbock on November 29, 2014. (Tarleton Sports courtesy photo.)
Kathy Thomas (12) scored 17 points as TexAnns knock off Texas-Permian Basin in final game of LCU Invitational in Lubbock on November 29, 2014. (Tarleton Sports courtesy photo.)

LUBBOCK – Kathy Thomas followed up her career-high performance with a 17-point effort Saturday to pace Tarleton State (4-1) as the TexAnns handed Texas-Permian Basin (4-1) its first loss of the season.

Thomas, who scored 25 points against Lubbock Christian last night, poured in 17 more Saturday on 8-13 shooting from the field to go along with nine rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist to lift the TexAnns to their third straight win. For the weekend, Thomas totaled 42 points in two games.

Carrying the momentum from an overtime thriller last night, Tarleton came out on fire with nine straight points to open the game on a 9-0 run. Morgan Ashmore got the scoring started and a pair of Breanna Fuller free throws capped it off for the early lead.

The Falcons pushed back to cut the Tarleton lead to just four with 10:40 left in the game but a layup from Averie Mack that started a 15-10 push for the TexAnns to extend the lead to a game-high 10 points at 31-21 with 3:45 left in the opening half.

Texas-Permian Basin answered with a quick run of its own, however, by pulling within three at 33-30 entering halftime.

Out of the break, the teams jockeyed for position over the first 11:04 of the new period – with seven lead changes and five ties – until the Falcons went on an 8-0 run to turn a 47-47 tie into a 55-47 Tarleton deficit.

Ikpeaku Iwobi ended the UTPB run with a layup at the 8:56 mark to start a 7-0 Tarleton push to cut the deficit back to one with 7:19 left to go. After a Falcon bucket put UTPB back up by three, Tarleton got a pair of buckets from Iwobi and one from Thomas for a 6-0 push to retake the lead at 60-57.

After the Falcons tied it up again at 60-60, Thomas struck again with the go-ahead bucket.

UTPB added one more point on a single free throw with 2:40 left and the TexAnns held them scoreless over the rest of the game while adding another jumper from Thomas and a free throw from Meagan O’Dell with eight seconds on the board to make it a two-possession game and secure the win.

Every TexAnn that played scored with Thomas leading the way at 17 and Iwobi right on her heels with 15 points on 6-7 shooting from the field and 3-3 from the charity stripe.

Bailey Wipff scored eight off the bench while O’Dell and Karli Moore each scored six points while Fuller (4), Raven McGrath (3), Ashmore (2) and Travanti Downes (2) rounded out the scoring. As a team, Tarleton shot 55 percent on 26-47 shooting from the floor.

Texas-Permian Basin entered the game with a 4-0 record with three of their wins coming against Lone Star Conference schools, including a season-opening win over No. 1 West Texas A&M in Canyon.

The TexAnns will return home Tuesday night against Arlington Baptist for a 5:30 p.m. tip off on ‘Toys for Kids’ night in Wisdom. Fans will received one free admission to the game for every new, unwrapped toy donated to Toys for Kids in the lobby of Wisdom Gym.

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