Tarleton State University

11/29/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2023 00:25

Fourth quarter slips away for Texans in WAC opener against Ladyjacks

STEPHENVILLE, Texas - The Western Athletic Conference opener at Wisdom Gym featured great basketball for the first three quarters, but the fourth quarter slipped away from the Texans in their loss to the Ladyjacks.
Tarleton State (1-4, 0-1 WAC) dropped Wednesday's contest 80-67 against Stephen F. Austin (4-2, 1-0 WAC), the Texans' fourth straight defeat and SFA's third straight win.
Tarleton led 18-11 after the opening frame and had a tied contest after three quarters, 50-50. The Ladyjacks won the final frame 30-17, shooting a blistering 8-of-12 (.667) from the field, 5-of-9 (.556) from three and 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
The Texans' star of the game was true freshman , who made her collegiate debut. The center was unstoppable down low for a good stretch, finishing with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, seven rebounds and three blocks.
joined Acker in double figures in her second straight start, totaling 13 points (5-6 FG, 2-2 3PT), five rebounds and four assists.
Like last year in this matchup, free throws boosted SFA to a win, as the Ladyjacks made 20-of-24 (.833) from the stripe to Tarleton's 5-of-12 (.417) clip. Using 15 more free throws and eight more three-point makes (14-of-35 to 6-of-13), the Ladyjacks were able to get past being widely outshot, as Tarleton made 28-of-54 (.519) from the field to SFA's 23-of-62 (.371) clip. SFA also won the battle of the boards (39-31) and the turnover battle (11-16).

The Texans switched up the starting unit again to start this one, most notably putting at point following her impressive performance last week against Eastern Washington. Tarleton's defense shined in the first 10 minutes, forcing SFA to shoot 4-of-17 (.235) from the field and 1-of-9 (.111) from deep. After being down 8-7 at the six-minute mark, Tarleton allowed just one more bucket the rest of the quarter, ending the frame on an 11-3 run to lead 18-11.
The Ladyjacks got right back in it in the second, making three quick treys for a 9-0 run to take a 20-18 lead. The teams traded shots the rest of the way, capped off by an jumper and three to make it a 32-30 game at the break, advantage SFA.
This time it was Tarleton who started the quarter hot, going on a 6-0 spurt to begin the third. After leading 45-38 with 2:52 left, SFA answered with a 7-0 run over the next 90 seconds to tie it. Neither team could miss at the end of the third, and the game was knotted 50-50 headed to the fourth.
For the first time all night, Tarleton's offense wasn't clicking to start the fourth, as they scored just two points nearly halfway through. SFA started with an 8-2 run to take a 60-52 lead, and they didn't look back from there, making nearly every free throw to close out the home team.
SFA's Kyla Deck scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-9 from distance, adding three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kurstyn Harden got to the free throw line 14 times, making 12, finishing with a double-double of 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
The Texans will now play their lone road WAC game before the new year, as they'll head to Edinburg, Texas, to take on UTRGV on Saturday at 2 p.m.