Travis M. Smith – @travis5mith
Texan News Sports Editor
SAN ANGELO – The (7-3, 1-1) Tarleton State University TexAnns defeated the (5-6, 0-1) Angelo State Rambelles 81-71 on Wednesday night. Raven McGrath set a new career-high with 19 points, 16 of those coming in the first half. Tarleton led for all but 19 seconds of the contest and forced 23 ASU turnovers.
This marked the first time either team has scored 80+ points in the series since 2006. Morgan Ashmore’s assist in the second half moved her into a tie for thirteenth all-time on the TexAnn assist list.
Raven McGrath scored the first 8 TexAnn points of the contest, including knocking down a jumper to give TSU a 4-3 lead. The TexAnns never looked back.
McGrath, Meagan O’Dell, Morgan Ashmore and Bailey Wipff each found the net from beyond the arch in the first half. The TexAnns failed to make a single three-pointer in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Texas Woman’s.
McGrath made a lay-up with just second left in the half to extend the TSU lead to 47-38. Angelo’s Jasmine Caston’s half-court prayer was answered, and the TexAnns took a 47-41 lead into the half.
Both teams were red-hot from the field in the first half. The Rambelles shot an eye popping 65%, and the TexAnns a very respectable 53% themselves. The key stat of the half was the 23 TexAnn points off of 14 Rambelle turnovers.
After yet another turnover, Kathy Thomas drove the lane and got the TexAnns on the board first in the second half. Thomas followed with a 16-footer on the TexAnns next trip down the court and they led 51-43 with 17:59 left to play.
Ikpeaku Iwobi left her mark on the game 4 minutes later. After sinking both of her free throw attempts, Iwobi stole a pass on the defensive end, ran the length of the court and took a textbook Ashmore pass to the hoop extending the TexAnn lead to 14 points, 60-46.
Thomas found her rhythm in the second half, and a three ball from the left wing with 11:06 remaining in the contest gave her 11 points. The 11 points marked the twenty-fifth time in her career that she has scored 10-plus points.
ASU went cold from the floor in the second half and TSU never allowed to game to get closer than 7 points. The TexAnns cruised to their first conference victory of the season, winning 81-71. McGrath had a game-high 19 points. Thomas (12), Breanna Fuller (10) and Iwobi (9) all contributed nicely, with Iwobi adding 13 rebounds to her stat line.
The TexAnns return home for their first home game in 41 days on Saturday to face an 0-10 Texas A&M Kingsville squad. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.