Tartleton State Turns Over Women's Basketball, 55-50

Junior Kelly Martin led the Skyhawks with 11 points and six assists. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Second half run spurs TexAnns to victory as turnovers prove costly for Skyhawks

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (December 18, 2015) – Tarleton State University used a big run to start the second half to fuel a 55-50 victory over Stonehill College, ranked seventh in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, in non-conference women's basketball action on day one of the 2015 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena tonight.

Senior Morgan Ashmore (Spearman, Texas/Spearman) led Tarleton State with a game-high 13 points as she made 6-of-9 free-throws and all three shots from the field to go with four assists and three steals. Junior Travanti Downes (Kennedale, Texas/Kennedale) added eight points on 3-of-5 shooting with four rebounds and three steals, while classmate Bailey Wipff (Lubbock, Texas/Lubbock Coronado) contributed eight points, connecting on 2-of-4 three-pointers, with three rebounds and two assists.

Junior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led Stonehill with 11 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the free-throw line, six assists and three rebounds. Senior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) added nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, and three rebounds, while sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) registered eight points and seven boards. Freshman Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) chipped in with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, while senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) pulled down a game and career-high 11 rebounds.

Tarleton finished shooting 36.2-percent from the field (17-for-47), including 55.6% (10-18) in the second half after making just 24.1% (7-29) in the opening half when it trailed by four (25-21) after 20 minutes of play. The TexAnns made 5-of-11 three-pointers (45.5%), including 4-for-5 (80%) in the second half, converting 16-of-23 (69.6%) free-throws. Stonehill shot 39.6-percent from the field (19-for-48), including 4-for-12 (33.3%) from three-point range overall and just 1-for-6 (16.7%) in the second half. The Skyhawks were also just 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the line and turned the ball over a season-high 27 times – their most since committing that same amount against Assumption College on January 11, 2011. Tarleton only posted a 20-15 advantage in points off turnovers on those Stonehill giveaways, while the Skyhawks posted a 39-27 rebounding edge.

Senior Shannon Brown pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds in her hometown. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Stonehill held Tartleton scoreless for the first four and a half minutes of the second quarter and without a field goal for seven minutes, but led by just four (25-21) at the half. Tarleton roared to life in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 15-2 run as it scored 15 straight after Martin scored the first two points of the frame with a pair of free-throws to push the Skyhawks lead to six. Wipff scored five of the TexAnns points during the run, including a three-pointer to put her team in front for good, while senior Meagan O'Dell (Tuscola, Texas/Jim Ned) added a triple to cap the run and a nine point lead (36-27) midway through the quarter.

Stonehill, which went the first 5:17 of the second half without a field goal, closed back within three twice over the final five minutes of the third. Tarleton took a five point lead (42-37) into the final quarter and regained a seven point cushion (46-39) on Downes jumper three minutes in. The Skyhawks would close back within three four times over the final five minutes, but could get no closer as the TexAnns closed the game out by converting six of eight free-throws in the last 39-seconds, including four by Ashmore who also canned a key three-pointer during that stretch.

Stonehill led by two (10-8) after a quarter of play in which both teams struggled to find its scoring touch over the first ten minutes. The Skyhawks scored the first seven points of the second quarter and used a 10-2 run overall to take a game-high ten point lead (20-10) after a three-pointer from sophomore Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) with 3:17 left in the half. Tartleton outscored the Skyhawks 11-4 over the final three minutes to close the gap to four at the break.

Stonehill (6-4, 3-3 NE-10) closes out its weekend in Las Vegas tomorrow night when it faces Midwestern State University, also from Texas, on day two of the Holiday Hoops Classic at 11 p.m. (EST). The Skyhawks return home on Wednesday, December 30, when they host Bloomfield College for a non-conference contest at Merkert Gym at 6 p.m. Tarleton State (6-3, 0-0 LSC) faces Montana State University-Billings tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. (EST).

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