Saturday, March 12, 2011

Women's Basketball: Tarleton, UCO, NSU advance at regional

Tarleton, Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State each won their first-round games at the South Central Regional. The trio advances to the semifinals on Saturday with Tarleton facing Northwest Missouri, while UCO plays NSU.

Tarleton State 86, Southeastern Oklahoma 75
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Tarleton women’s basketball team picked up their first NCAA Division II tournament win in school history with an 86-75 win over Southeastern Oklahoma in the first round Friday afternoon.

Through the first 20 minutes, the TexAnns shot 46.9 percent from the field, led by Shelby Adamson with 10 points. Morgan Stehling added eight points, while Brianna Bledsoe and Kiara Wright both chipped in seven points apiece.

Tarleton held SE to just 24.2 percent from the floor and 2-of-10 from behind the arc. The TexAnns also had a 12-6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Overall for the game, Tarleton shot 45.8 percent from the field and went 26-of-37 from the charity stripe. The TexAnns were out-rebounded 41-34, but committed eight fewer turnovers than the Savage Storm.

Adamson led all scorers with 19 points and went 3-for-3 from the field, 2-of-2 from deep, and 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Stehling and Wright both added 14 points, while Lisa Parker added 10 points with a perfect day shooting from the floor.

Stehling also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, with Tara Towns adding six boards. Adamson led Tarleton with six assists.

The TexAnns will play the winner of Texas Woman’s and Northwest Missouri State at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Tahlequah, Okla.
-Courtesy of Tarleton Sports Information

Northwest Missouri 92, Texas Woman’s 73
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (Mar. 11) – Senior Taja Guerin scored a career-high 22 points and cleared a team-high eight rebounds but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers fell to #19 Northwest Missouri State, 92-73, in the first round of the NCAA South Central Region Tournament.

TWU (22-11) ends its season with a school record 22 wins after capturing its first Lone Star Conference title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

Guerin, playing against the big front line, had the best game of her career shooting 8-for-16 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. Senior Brooke Shepherd added 13 points in her final career game while junior Jessica Hanna added 17 points.

The Pioneers stayed with Northwest in the opening minutes before the Bearcats went on a 12-0 run to take a 16-4 lead at 14:31 mark. TWU rallied to the cut the deficit to five points half way through the first half.

Northwest push the lead to double digits, 41-30, with little over four minutes to go but the Pioneers answered with a 7-1 run. The Bearcats closed out the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 50-37 lead at the break.

The Pioneers scored the first three points of the second half but Northwest extended its lead to 18 points by outscoring TWU, 16-11, in the first six minutes. NWMSU build a 30-point lead at 7:03 mark before the Pioneers went on a 17-3 run to cut it 16 points. That’s the closest they would as the Bearcats answered with four straight and captured a 19-point victory.

Northwest finished the game with a 65.3 field goal percentage after shooting 72.0 in the first half. The Pioneers shot 46.9 from the field and 70.0 from the free-throw line.

The Pioneers handed out 24 assists on 30 field goals led by senior Tiandrea Dixon and junior Cambria Smith with seven each. Senior Kayla Weaver also reached double digits in scoring with 11 points.

Dixon, Guerin, Shepherd, Weaver and senior Diandra Marquez end their outstanding careers after helping the Pioneers set numerous records this season. TWU closes out the season with most wins in a season (22), most conference wins (10), most 3-point field goals made (215), most 3-point field goals attempted (668) and most points scored (2188).

- Courtesy of TWU Sports Information

Central Oklahoma 65, Washburn 64
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (March 11) – Ashley Beckley rebounded her own miss and made a short follow shot with 4.8 seconds left to vault Central Oklahoma past Washburn 65-64 here Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

The Bronchos had to withstand some tense moments at the end of the game when two players collided at the buzzer, but officials ruled that time had expired and UCO survived in the back-and-forth thriller.

Beckley got a shot at the game-winner when the Lady Blues missed the front end of a one-and-one with 20 seconds left and Alex Richardson pulled down the rebound. The senior star's first shot was off the mark at 7.5, but she pulled down the carom and made the second try for the win.

The Bronchos improved to 21-9 and moved into Saturday's semifinals against the Northeastern State/Texas-Permian Basin winner.

Beckley's last-second bucket not only pushed UCO into the semifinals, but it also gave her a single-season school record 591 points. She finished with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in playing 39 of the game's 40 minutes.

Richardson also ended with 18 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots and 4-of-5 free throws while adding nine rebounds.

Alyssa Fuxa added nine points and six rebounds, Britney Morgan eight points and four assists, Kylie Mayes seven points and Courtney Allen five points and six rebounds before going down with an apparent serious knee injury midway through the second half.

Beckley and Richardson made two free throws apiece to give UCO a 63-61 lead with 2:33 remaining, but the Lady Blues went in front 64-63 on a 3-pointer at the 2:04 mark.

The Bronchos turned the ball over on their next two possessions and WU got two offensive rebounds off missed shots to keep the ball before UCO was called for a foul with 20 seconds to play.

Washburn missed the ensuing front end and Richardson gathered in the rebound to set up the game-winning sequence.

The Bronchos were outrebounded 46-38, but limited WU to 34.8 percent shooting (23-of-66) from the field. UCO shot 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the line in the second half.

Beckley scored seven points in the first five minutes of the game to help stake the Bronchos to a quick 13-6 lead and it was 16-9 at the 8:44 mark after an Allen 3-pointer.

WU came back to tie it at 20-all and hit two free throws with one second left to send the teams to the locker room deadlocked at 29.

UCO trailed by four on a couple of occasions in the second half, the final time at 50-46 with 10:56 to play. The Bronchos responded with eight unanswered points, getting a 3-pointer from Fuxa, a three-point play from Richardson and an inside bucket from Beckley to go on top 54-50 at 8:27.

It was still a four-point lead (59-55) following a Richardson goal at 6:06, but WU used a 6-0 run to move in front 61-59 and set up the wild finish.
-Courtesy of UCO Sports Information

Northeastern State 88, UT-Permian Basin 68
Randy Gipson, NSU head coach: "I think we were emotionally into the game right from the start. We played with energy. We adjusted fairly quickly in defending them the way we wanted to as far as guarding against their dribble penetration. They're a team that is a different preparation from anybody else we play. We struggled some with turnovers but we did move the ball well and finished well in the lane."

On UTPB: "It's just very difficult to simulate what they do. We don't see it very much in our league. We don't play with the same type of personnel they have. We needed to take care of the ball a little better. When we did move the ball well we found people in the lane and we were able to convert those shots. That helped to overcome our turnovers."

Jasmine Webb, NSU forward: "This game doesn't matter anymore and now it's all about UCO. We need to focus and play hard."

Taylor Lewis, NSU guard: On UTPB: "They're really scrappy – really quick. There were hands everywhere. We struggled at times, but overall we did what we needed to do and got through it pretty well."

Adam Collins, UTPB head coach: "It's been a good year. I told the girls in the locker room, because sometimes players aren't always aware of the history, that just five years ago this program won zero games. To go from there to the NCAA Tournament shows a tremendous amount of effort and talent on the players' parts."

Miesha Blackshear, UTPB guard/forward: "We went in at halftime and Coach (Collins) and my teammates were saying we needed to play harder. We didn't play as hard as we could have the first half. We came out with a different mindset in the second half."

Tammy Acosta, UTPB guard: On facing a 31-point deficit at half: "Our goal was to beat NSU in the second half and we accomplished it."

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