CANYON - Tarleton women's basketball successfully pulled the upset over No. 20 West Texas A&M (21-5, 14-3 LSC) for the third straight year in the First United Bank Center. The Texans defeated the Lady Buffs, 52-49, in overtime.
The last time the Texans beat a ranked opponent was last season against then-ranked No. 8 West Texas A&M. The Texans beat the Lady Buffs in Canyon, 72-65. The Texans also beat West Texas on the road the year prior, 66-64. The Lady Buffs were also ranked eighth that year. Prior to Thursday's match-up, the Lady Buffs were undefeated at home this season. Now, they stand at 11-1.
The Texans have won six straight games and improve to 18-5 on the season and 12-5 in the Lone Star Conference.
Mackenzie Hailey recorded her 31st career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The senior also added three steals and a block. Kylie Collins added nine points and four rebounds. Three other Texans had at least six points, led by Lucy Benson (8), Alexa Hoy (8), and Kaitlyn Guillory to balance the scoring attack.
The Texans forced a season-high 31 opponent turnovers. Of those turnovers, 11 came off a steal. Freshman Callie Boyles secured five rebounds and four blocks, while Kandyn Faurie, Hoy, and Guillory added two steals each. Benson also added two blocks.
The Texans had a seven-point advantage, 40-33, going into the final quarter. The Lady Buffs went on a 11-0 run to gain their first lead since the second quarter, going up 46-44, with 90 seconds to go in regulation. A second-chance jumper from Benson and a pair of free throws from Guillory, a 77.4% free throw shooter, put the Texans up two, 48-46. A set of WT free throws sent the game into extra minutes.
Both teams remained scoreless through the first two and a half minutes of overtime. A Texan foul sent the Lady Buffs to the line at 2:26. WT went 1-2 at the line, putting them up one, 49-48.
It was time for the Texans to make some magic, and magic they did. A Hoy steal led to a huge three from Collins to put the Texans up, 51-49, with 90 seconds left. The Lady Buffs tried to even the score, but Hailey grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled to secure the win.
It wasn't all Tarleton to start the game as both teams went back and forth battle in the opening quarter, as the Texans and Lady Buffs traded shots throughout the first 10 minutes. A late run by WT gave them a three-point advantage into the second quarter, 14-11.
The Tarleton offense picked up in the second quarter as the Texans went on an early 6-0 run, propelled by back-to-back jumpers from Mackenzie Hailey. The momentum continued through the quarter, pushing the Texans into another run. Tarleton scored seven straight points in the final minutes to lead 26-22 into the locker room. Alexa Hoy recorded four of her six first half points during the run. The Lady Buffs and Texans recorded 13 turnovers a piece in the first half; however, the Texans shot 50% from field, while WT completed just 33.3%. Tarleton outscored WT 15-8 in the second quarter.
Mack-Attack was in full force during the third quarter. At the seven-minute mark, the Texans led 28-26. Hailey stole the ball from WT's Nathalie Linden and punched in an easy layup. The Texans then forced another Lady Buff turnover to allow for a layup from Hoy. Hailey grabbed another steal and score to put the Texans up eight, 34-26. A layup from Marissa Escamilla with under five minutes to go in the quarter pushed the lead to double digits for the first time to 38-28. West Texas cut the advantage to seven, 40-33, into the final quarter.