Monday, November 15, 2010

LSC Roundup 11-15

Javelinas get No. 2 seed, bye for playoffs - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Texas A&M-Kingsville was rewarded Sunday with an opening-round bye when the NCAA Division II Football Selection Committee pegged the Javelinas as the No. 2 seed in Super Regional 4.

Fourth-year coach Bo Atterberry had said before that it would have been difficult to envision any other possibilities if the events transpired as expected Saturday, when the 10-1 Javelinas defeated Southeastern (Okla.) State 38-24. As it turned out, the top six teams in the region entering Saturday retained their positions.

“We’re excited. I feel like it’ll be a good week for us. We’ll get some guys healthy,” Atterberry said. “I thought through every scenario and was prepared. I was hopeful it’d work out the way it did.”

Wildcats win LSC, get first-round bye in playoffs - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
No. 2 Abilene Christian won its second outright Lone Star Conference football title in three years, easing past Southwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

ACU is making its fifth straight playoff appearance and is one of only five teams to have reached the postseason the past five years.

Now, the Wildcats (11-0), the No. 1-ranked team in Super Regional Four, get a week off before opening the Division II playoffs Nov. 27 against either LSC rival and No. 5 seed West Texas A&M (8-3) or No. 4 seed Central Missouri (9-2) at Shotwell Stadium.

Texas A&M-Kingsville, the No. 2 seed in the region, also will get a first-round bye, after beating Southeastern Oklahoma 38-24. The Javelinas (10-1) — the last LSC team to reach the national title game (1994) — will play either No. 3 seed Northwest Missouri State (9-1) or No. 6 seed Missouri Western State (6-3) on Nov. 27 in Kingsville.

WT punched its ticket to the playoffs with a 55-21 victory over East Central. Central Missouri had a bye to end the season.

Everything went right for Buffs - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
How well was West Texas A&M's offense clicking Saturday during a 52-21 win against East Central?

Even when the Buffs fumbled they scored.

Even when the Buffs ran the same play twice they scored.

And running back Jay Tillman played a big part.

The breakdown:

• On third-and-goal from the ECU 1 in the first quarter, the Buffs fumbled on a handoff exchange. Tillman picked up the loose ball and dove in for the touchdown.

• Tillman caught two touchdown passes on the same play - a wheel route - and was wide open both times. The first score was an 8-yard pass from Taylor Harris in the first quarter, and the second was a 14-yard pass from Harris in the second quarter.

"I just scooped up the fumble and tried to make something happen. Luckily, I got it in," Tillman said. "It was the same play (on the touchdown receptions.) We had two receivers to that side, so I guess the corner and the outside (line)backer were focusing on them. (Harris) found me, and I got in there."

MSU likely to go bowling - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
The Midwestern State Mustangs find themselves on the outside looking in for the NCAA Division II playoffs, as they were not among the six teams selected from Super Region Four on Sunday.

Missouri Western of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association was the sixth and final pick for the region as the rankings stayed the same as they were last week.

But the Mustangs should get to play one more game as they are almost assured of being the Lone Star Conference’s representative in the Lower Kanza Bowl against a representative from the MIAA on Dec. 4 at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kan.

That announcement is set to be made at a news conference this morning.

“We would have liked to have made the playoffs, but that just didn’t work out,” said MSU head coach Bill Maskill, who is on the regional committee. “You especially like to make the playoffs because then you have a chance to play for the championship. But in reality, it is what it is and we’ll go on from there.

“The most important this is we get to play another ballgame, and we’re excited about going. It gives everyone a chance to play one more game.”

Area college football report - San Antonio Express News
Game balls
TRENT RIOS: Incarnate Word running back from Smithson Valley rushed for a school-record 207 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries, had 16 yards on three receptions and 65 more on three kick returns.

NATE POPPELL: A&M-Kingsville QB completed 16 of 21 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns.

INCARNATE WORD: LB Juan Asencio led the Cardinals with 10 tackles. ... P Aaron Willis averaged 40.4 yards on five punts, including a 54-yarder.

A&M-KINGSVILLE: The Javelinas (10-1, 5-1 in the Lone Star Conference) enter the NCAA Division II playoffs as the No. 2 seed in Super Region Four. LSC champion Abilene Christian is the No. 1 seed. The two LSC teams received first-round byes. ... The 10-1 record marks the 16th time the Javelinas have won at least 10 games in a season.

Midwestern State accepts Kanza Bowl Invitation - MSU Sports Information
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Midwestern State accepted an invitation to compete in the second annual Kanza Bowl on Dec. 4 at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kan.

The Mustangs (8-3), who will make their first bowl appearance in 63 years, were selected as the Lone Star Conference's representative and will face Washburn of Topeka, Kan.

The Ichabods were picked as the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) representative after posting a 7-4 mark this season.

It will be the first meeting between MSU and Washburn on the gridiron.

Midwestern State defeated Central Arkansas in the Kickapoo Bowl following the 1947 season in its last non-playoff postseason showing.

Tarleton can't overcome penalties, turnovers in finale
Sports Editor

Tarleton State did in its season finale Saturday what the Texans had done for much of the year - shoot themselves in the foot.

The Texans committed 13 penalties for 142 yards and quarterback Nick Stephens tossed four interceptions including three in the first half.

Eastern New Mexico took full advantage, building a 28-3 third-quarter advantage on its way to a 35-10 win in the season finale for both teams at Tarleton Memorial Stadium.

The Texans lost their sixth straight regular-season finale and finished 3-8 on the year including 3-7 in the LSC. They completed LSC South Division play last week with a 2-4 mark. The overall record is their worst since 1998 and their league mark is the program's worst since 1997.

Tarleton appeared to be about to cut into a 14-3 deficit late in the first half until Stephens was picked off at the 2-yard line by Devin Sweet. He returned the ball 78 yards to the Tarleton 20 before being wrapped up and alertly flipping a lateral to teammate Chase Kyser, who took it the rest of the way for a Greyhound touchdown.

The play ended in chaos with three flags and a hat on the turf representing four penalties. When it was all sorted out there were off-setting personal fouls, a sideline warning and penalty on Tarleton and an ejection. Texan center Mike Hernandez was ejected for hurling a Greyhound player's helmet 20 yards into the end zone.

ENMU marched down the field on its second possession of the second half and scored on Tony Valenzuela's third TD run from four yards out to lead 28-3. Valenzuela, who led all rushers with 92 yards on 24 carries, also scored the Greyhounds' first two TDs on carries of 1 and 11 yards.

The Texans showed signs of life early in the fourth when a 29-yard screen pass to Jerome Regal set up the true freshman running back for a two-yard scoring plunge. It didn't matter, however, because Eastern answered on its next drive with a four-yard scoring pass from Wesley Wood to Jessie Poku to provide the final tally.

The Texans took the opening kickoff and ate up the first six minutes with a 13-play 66 yard drive before settling for a 25-yard Blake Wiest field goal.

The Greyhounds wasted no time taking the lead for good, going 67 yards on 12 before Valenzuela's first score late in the first. Valenzuela made it 14-3 in the second at the end of a 15-play, 69-yard drive.

Wood was 23-41 for 220 yards for the Hounds and also tossed a pair of interceptions, both to Texan junior Terrence Henry. That was better than Taleton's Stephens, who completed only 15 of 34 attempts for 169 yards. Two of his four picks went to Tavius Bigelow while Sweet and Curtis Jackson had one each.

Both teams averaged less than three yards per run, but Eastern was still clearly better on the ground than the Texans. The Hounds picked up 122 yards on 43 carries while Tarleton rushed 35 times for only 64 yards. Eastern finished with 342 yards of total offense while Tarleton had only 233. Marquis Wadley, Dashaun Phillips and Damian Perkins had 10 tackles each to lead Tarleton while Nathan Uland and Curtis Jackson both made seven stops for the Hounds.

Eastern snapped its six-game losing streak to Tarleton. The Hounds last defeated the Texans in 2000.
MSU men win playoff; remain perfect at home - Andy Newberry, Times Record News
The Midwestern State home unbeaten streak goes on into 2011 at 32 and counting.

But the surprising 2010 Mustangs will march on, at least to California with one victory needed for another Final Four trip to Kentucky next month.

The Mustangs bid goodbye to MSU Soccer Field and their followers with a gutsy, nerve-racking final 40 minutes of action.

Well, at least 38 of the final 40 minutes were full of drama until the crowd of 1,102 could finally exhale and celebrate when MSU’s Paulo Teixeira fired a knockout blow from the top of the box into the back of the net for a 3-1 lead over Colorado Mines that easily held for the final 121 seconds.

MSU (18-0-2) will hit the road for the first time in the playoffs on Saturday at Cal State-Chico for a 3 p.m. kickoff. The winner will advance to the NCAA Division II Final Four on Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky.

WT, Emporia State paired in regional volleyball - Amarillo Globe News
The West Texas A&M volleyball team will play No. 17 Emporia State in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament at 5 p.m. Thursday in Warrensburg, Mo.

The Lady Buffs (27-8) are the fifth seed in the South Central Region, while Emporia State (22-9) is the fourth seed.

Central Missouri, ranked eighth nationally, is the top seed and host school, followed by fifth-ranked Washburn as the second seed and 18th-ranked Truman State as the third seed.

No. 22 Abilene Christian is the region's sixth seed, while seventh-seeded Northwest Missouri State and eighth-seeded St. Mary's round out the bracket.

The Lady Buffs, making their 21st NCAA tournament appearance, earned an automatic bid to the 64-team event by winning their fifth consecutive Lone Star Conference Championship on Saturday.

Abilene Christian volleyball gets region tournament berth - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
The drought is over. The Abilene Christian University volleyball team got an at-large berth in the South Central Region Tournament, the NCAA announced Sunday.

The Wildcats (25-6), the No. 6 seed, will play No. 3 seed Truman (25-7) in the first round of the tournament in Warrensburg, Mo., at noon Thursday.

The winner of that match will play either No. 2-seeded Washburn (30-2) or No. 7 Northwest Missouri State (15-14) on Friday.

It’s the Wildcats first region tournament berth since 2006 and fourth overall. ACU posted a 55-15 overall record the previous two years, including a 29-6 mark last season, but didn’t earn an at-large berth.

This year, ACU finished second behind West Texas A&M by a match in the Lone Star Conference regular-season standings and lost 3-0 to Angelo State in the second round of the LSC tournament on Friday.

No. 5 seed WT (27-8), which won its fifth straight LSC title and 10th in 12 years, plays No. 4 seed Emporia State (22-9) in the first round, while host and No. 1 seed Central Missouri (28-4) draws No. 8 St. Mary’s (15-17).

Once again, a huge thank you to Don Garrett for his coverage of LSC Cross Country. He has helped raise the profile of cross country higher than ever. He is already preparing for his track and field outlooks.

LSC Cross Country Meet Review
Thought I would review the meet, while looking back at the predictions from earlier that week. The number in parentheses is my prediction. Also, it is gratifying to know that many of the coaches and athletes read these pieces on about track and cross country. I write about track and XC because I love the sport of track and field and I believe that more people will love the sport if they know more about the nuances of the sport. Also know that I never wish to demean  anyone or any team – there is generally a reason why a team does particularly well or poorly and writing about that reason wil help the general public better understand the sport.
1.       1.      ACU (1st) – not a surprising pick, but the ‘Cats had to fight tooth and nail to win this year over strong teams from ENMU and ECU. Amos Sang won the overall race handily, which is hardly surprising as he is probably the best distance runner in D-II. ACU also had good efforts by Cleophas Tanui (3rd) and Romain Rybicki (6th). ACU’s youngsters ran reasonably well and should benefit from this year of experience.
2.       2.     Eastern New Mexico  (3rd) – superb effort from the Greyhounds. Great finish from Mohammed Noor to finish 2nd (he caught ACU’s Cleophas Tanui about 15 yards from the finish line) and the race of a lifetime from Duster Netcher to finish 20th overall and the 4th ENMU runner – far better than I would have ever dreamed he would finish. The margin between ACU and ENMU was 14 points, but realize that the Hounds #2 man, Casey Robertson was running injured and finished back in the pack. If Robertson finishes where he was expected to finish (somewhere around 10th-15th), the Hounds might have won it all!
3.     3.       East Central (2nd) – a huge rebound from last year’s 8th place finish, with ECU getting 2 kids into the top 10 – Daniel Kiptoo and Armando Saldivar. ECU is another case where they might have finished even higher as a team is one of their top runners, Ezekiel Kissorio, had not run a terrible race and finished 40th. If Kissorio finished in the top 10, then ECU would have been in the hunt for 2nd and maybe even 1st.
4.      4.      Cameron (5th) – terrific race from Julius Korir, who finished 4th. For the first time all year, their entire team ran and virtually all of them ran to capability, thus a 4th place finish for the team.
5.      5.      TAMU-Commerce (10th) – fortunately for my prognosticating psyche, I slipped a line into my TAMU-C prediction that “with Cody Hughes showing up, this team could move up as high as 5th or 6th” and that was the case. Hughes’ appearance 3 weeks ago made this team a totally different group. Hughes finished 8th, Robert Reed finished 14th, and a large group of freshmen ran more like seasoned veterans to move the Lions back into conference contention, where they should stay for the foreseeable future with a very young team.
6.       6.     Incarnate Word (4th) – lack of strong production from their most experienced hands – Howard Gill (28th) and Adrian Carrillo (30th), who I thought would both be top 20 finishers, hurt the Cardinals in their first year in the LSC.
7.     7.       Tarleton State (7th) – strong runs from Westyn Rosiles (7th) and Logan Mynar (18th), particularly Westyn who has developed into a top LSC distance runner, but Tarleton saw a big dropoff to their #3, #4 and #5 men.  Their lack of depth was magnified at this conference meet, which showed more depth from other teams than in years past.
8.      8.      West Texas A&M (6th) – freshman Luke Irwin, who ran on the track last spring for WT, but was only a freshman in XC was the LSC Freshman of the Year, finishing 11th. But it is safe to say that just about everyone else had a disappointing meet for the Buffs. Seems like everyone finished about 5-10 places lower than I would have expected. Not sure why freshman Jadon Rankins did not run the last few meets, he could have helped WT.
9.      9.      Angelo State (8th) – the Rams were short on bodies this year and they did not have a “go-to” guy to finish high like Tarleton did with Westyn Rosiles or Cameron did with Julius Korir. Their top three guys all finished in the 25-50 range, but I expected their top 5 to finish in that range, which would have move them up 1-3 places.
10.   10.     TAMU-Kingsville (10th) – a fantastic race from their top runner, Kiya Dandena, who finished 5th in a stellar field. However, most of their other runners had disappointing races. I thought the Hogs would move out of the cellar, but it was not happening this year.

This was a good men’s race. The top 20 this year was a higher quality group than the top 20 in 2009. The teams making big moves up were East Central and TAMU-Commerce. The teams who had particularly disappointing meets were Tarleton, West Texas and Angelo. I frankly expected Incarnate Word to make a bigger splash, but that will have to wait another year or two.

On the men’s side, the loss of the Okalahoma schools to that new Okie-Arkie Conference will not have a huge impact in 2011, except that East Central has again asserted itself as a quality program. I expect to see them compete well in that conference.

For 2011, I expect to see Tarleton come back strong – they are a quality distance running program and they will fill those holes quickly. I think that ENMU will put even more pressure on ACU in 2011, as they bring back almost everyone and they are on a huge upswing. ACU loses its top three runners (Sang, Tanui, Rybicki), but they also had the luxury of redshirting 2 excellent XC runners this fall and they have an quality freshman class. Overall, I expect to see even more parity in 2011 and I am certain that ACU will have even more competition to see if their 20-year stranglehold on the conference championship can be broken.

1.       Midwestern (1st) – this is a very good Midwestern team, the best overall team I have seen them field in the 3 years they have won conference. Their top 2 ran well – transfer Brissia Montalvo (2nd) and defending champ, Sydney Cole (6th). But what must thrill Coach Koby Styles the most is the their great group of freshmen all finished in the top 16 – freshman of the year Ashley Flores (9th), Janel Campbell (13th), and Cara Mack (16th). Midwestern is very capable of going to nationals and making some noise with this team.
2.       Angelo State (2nd) – strong efforts for Angelo from their veterans, such as Emeline Crutcher (1) and  Andria Nussey (15th),  but outside Sofia Ramos (19th), their freshmen had a disappointing meet. Angelo still has the 2nd best overall group of freshmen in the LSC and hopefully, they learned a lot from this meet which will benefit the Rambelles in the future.
3.       ACU (4th) – outstanding production from their top three runners – Anais Belledant (1st), Chloe Susset (3rd) and Alyse Goldsmith (5th). There is still a big drop down to ACU’s group of freshman, the highest of which placed 65th. I suspect ACU hoped for more production from these freshmen, but like Angelo, the Wildcats can hope that their youngsters learned a lot from this meet and will benefit from experience.  This entire squad should be back in 2011 and with an addition or 2, they could be very good next season.
4.       Eastern New Mexico (3rd) – great efforts from their top 2 runners – Nicky Reid ran great finishing 4th and Adrienne Montoya only missed Freshman of the Year honors by a few seconds, finishing in 11th. Another freshman, Brittany Buchanan, finished a competitive 35th. However, it was some of the other Zia veterans who finished too low to allow ENMU to contend for 3rd place.
5.       Central Oklahoma (7th) – a terrific effort from Alina Istrate (8th) and solid runs from the next 4 UCO women, who all finished in the top 50, provided the support for a 5th place finish. I noticed that UCO’s top returning runner from 2009, Cara Cox, did compete, but she was not a factor in her first meet of injury-marred season.
6.       East Central (8th) – outstanding efforts from Hayley Jennings (10th) and particularly Samantha Bartlett (12th) who finished in 77th last year, an astounding climb of 65 places in just one year. The next 3 UCO finishers did just enough to keep them in 6th place, with only one finishing in the top 60.
7.       Incarnate Word (5th) – solid efforts from Marie Troufflard (14th) and Bailey Loyd (28th), but the Cardinals did not have another finisher in the top 50 for a rather disappointing debut in the LSC. I  honestly thought they would finish at least top 5 in their first year as a LSC member.
8.       TAMU-Kingsville (11th) – a nice effort for the team that finished 10th in 2009 and who lost the conference runnerup to graduation. All 6 girls who ran for Kingsville were first year competitors in XC for Kingsville. No one kid stood out in the group, but their top 5 all finished between 30th and 45th and that was enough to move them up from last year.
9.       West Texas A&M (6th) – everything that could go wrong for WT, did. They got pretty good production from Jessica Blakely (22nd) and Allie Reyna (26th), but 2009 Freshman of the Year Aries Bazaldua finished 3rd last year and fell all the way to 40th this year. Ouch! A lack of veteran depth also hurt WT this season. I still think they are not that far from have a very competitive squad, but they took a big step backwards last weekend.
10.   Tarleton State (9th) – another team that just could not see to put it together this year, the TexAnns saw 2009 7th place finisher Vanessa Elizondo-Martinez fall to 32nd and top-20 contender Katherine Grillo finish in 56th at conference. It was one of those meets for Tarleton where no one ran up to their potential and they paid for that with a 10th place finish from a team that on paper should finish much higher.
11.   Southwestern Oklahoma (10th) – as I mentioned in the predictions 2 weeks ago, SWO would not be able to finish as high as 10th if their top runner Chelsey Dillon did not run. Chelsey did not run and they finished 11th, even with a strong effort from Melissa Banks (17th).  They simply did not have the depth to offset Dillon’s absence.
12.   TAMU-Commerce (12th) – one runner (Carolyn Bell – 23rd) in the top 25 and just one other in the top 50 (Kate Donovan – 43rd ). Commerce was probably better than last year, but still a long ways from being competitive in the LSC.
13.   Southeastern Oklahoma (13th) – I could only find evidence of 4 finishers in the results, but SEO was credited with 5 finishers in the final team results and finished in the cellar.

The big winners in the improvements department in 2010 came from ACU, ENMU, and TAMU-K. Midwestern and Angelo were undoubtedly the best 2 teams in the field – both are stronger than in 2009, with Midwestern having a particularly good chance to compete at the regional meet. Disappointing performances came from WT, UCO, ECU and Tarleton. Just like their men, Incarnate Word did not have as big an impact as I would have expected in their LSC debut.

The loss of the Oklahoma schools next year will have a more profound effect on the women’s side simply because most of them – UCO, SWO, and SEO – only fielded a women’s team. UCO and ECU have been consistently competitive at the conference meet. Neither SWO or SEO has had good XC teams for the past few years, with SEO having a stranglehold on the cellar when they even had enough kids to field a full team of 5.

I should note that the women’s race had a twist that undoubtedly made a difference in the race – by taking a wrong turn about 1/3 of the way through the race, they only ran 4.5 kilometers instead of the intended 6,000 meters. That may not seem like a big deal, since they all ran the same distance. But in the sport that is very “tempo-conscious”, the typical runner plans out their race extensively with plans to surge at certain points of the race. It is disappointing to see a gaffe of that magnitude at a conference meet, but we will never know how much it might have affected the runners.

Texans open season with largest-ever margin of victory

Sports Editor

Tarleton State opened its men's basketball season in record-setting fashion in front of 2,582 at Wisdom Saturday night.

The Texans set a new school mark for margin of victory, thrashing Arlington Baptist College 108-30.

Tarleton, which was 24-8 and reached the regional semifinals last year, won its eighth straight season opener and 17th consecutive home opener. The margin of victory exceeded the old record of 75 set when Tarleton overhwelmed Dallas Christian 94-19 back in 2007-08.

Arlington Baptist hit just two field goals and nine free throws in the opening half. The first field goal came just 45 seconds into the game, the second more than 19 minutes later on a 3-point bomb with only one second remaining in the half.

"Defense - that's the name of the game," said Lonn Reisman, "I thought our defense was good tonight, and I thought we executed our game plan they way we were supposed to."

Tarleton turned 28 Arlington Baptist turnovers into 42 points while outscoring the Patriots 50-8 in the paint, 18-0 on second-chance points and 23-2 on fastbreak points.

Darrion Washington went 4-4 from downtown to tally 14 points in the first half, three more than Arlington Baptist's entire team.

"The coaches always say to let the game come to me," Washington said. "Tonight was definitely one of those nights when it came to me."

Washington has worked his way up from playing sparingly as a freshman to earning a significant amount of minutes as a sophomore. As a junior, he is now a major contributor any time he's on the court.

"The coaches tell me they love my defense and my intensity," Washington said. "I give God all the glory. None of those shots go in if it's not for him."

Reisman enjoys the comfort of having Washington around to come off the bench.

"We know he's a scorer off the bench," said Reisman, whose bench outscored Arlington Baptist's 63-13. "I thought his shot selection was good and obviously he had a good night shooting the basketball."

Washington hit another 3-ball in the second half, finishing a perfect 5-5. He was 6-8 from the floor overall and led all scorers with a career-high 19. He was one of four Texans to reach double figures including Devon Hills with 17, Warren Webb with 13 and Fabian Wilson with 10.

Tarleton hit 51.4 percent (36-70) from the floor and 77.1 percent (27-35) from the charity stripe. The Texans out-rebounded the Patriots 55-16.

Arlington Baptist shot just 23.7 percent (9-38) for the game.

The Texans are home again Friday and Saturday in the Texan Tipoff Classic. They face Texas-Permian Basin at 7 p.m. Friday and Newman University at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"The level of competition coming for the event is very high," Reisman said. "We will learn a lot more about our team after next weekend."

TexAnns run away from Wesleyan in opener
E-T Sports Staff

After recording their best season in school history at the Division II level, the Tarleton State TexAnns entered the 2010 campaign with high expectations.

The TexAnns looked every bit the team that received seven first-place votes in the official Lone Star Conference preseason poll in Saturday's season opener, even if was just NAIA-member Texas Wesleyan on the other side.

Tarleton (1-0) had no problem knocking off Wesleyan (1-1), cruising the whole way to a 74-46 win in front of 2,208 at Wisdom Gym, where the TexAnns have now won 15 straight home openers.
"We played a very good team," said head coach Ronnie Hearne. "They're very athletic and are hard to guard. I'm surprised we beat them by that much.

"We played hard and played pretty well together," he added. "But we made too many mistakes with the basketball. We have to work hard to improve those turnovers and offensive rebounds."

Texas Wesleyan got on the board first with a free throw from Kristi Alexander, but a layup by Tarleton junior Shelby Adamson gave Tarleton a lead it would not relinquish.

After the Adamson bucket, Tarleton went on a 12-1 run over the next five-and-a-half minutes to lead 14-2.

The two teams played close over the remainder of the first half and Tarleton went into halftime with a 37-22 lead.

Over the first 12 minutes of the fresh half, the lead for Tarleton never went above 25 or below 18.

At the 6:59 mark, however, senior Sonya Sundberg drained a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 63-35.

Senior Kelsey Benford added a free throw and freshman Bri Bledsoe connected on the first 3-pointer of her Tarleton career to pad the lead to 67-35.

The TexAnn lead was at least 28 points the remainder of the game.

Adamson led all scorers with 15 points on 6-7 shooting while collecting four rebounds and four assists.

Junior Morgan Stehling tacked on 14 points before fouling out with 4:30 left in the game. Sundberg and Benford each cracked double digits with 12 and 10, respectively.

"When you've got three guards (Adamson, Sundberg and Stehling) like that, it gives you a comfort level," said Hearne. "Then we had Bri (Bledsoe) and Lisa (Parker) play well off the bench, and when Tara (Towns) gets back, we'll really have some quality depth."

Tarleton shot 48-percent (25-52) from the floor while holding Wesleyan to just 29-percent (15-51)

The TexAnns won the rebounding battle 38-36 and outscored Wesleyan in the paint 34-14.
Tarleton has five freshmen on the roster, most of which saw extended time including Kiara Wright, Bledsoe and Crystal Atwood.

"I thought they really stepped up tonight," said Hearne. "They looked comfortable against Texas Wesleyan's quickness and with a big crowd here. I didn't see any intimidation at all, and that's what you like to see from freshmen."

Bledsoe, a 2010 Stephenville High School graduate, led the freshmen with seven points while Wright tacked on six. Atwood and Kimber Koonsman each had two.

"It was a good start to the season, but we're going to be playing an even better team on Thursday," said Hearne.

That's when the TexAnns host NAIA-power Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m.

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico