By Jeff Craig, Sports Writer
Audrey Maxwell-Lively recorded her 12th double-double of the season, but it was not enough, as the Tarleton State TexAnns beat the Wildcats 73-59 Wednesday in front of a raucous crowd in Stephenville.
Lively scored 21 points and collected 12 rebounds but was matched step-for-step by Tarleton center JoAnne Jones, who scored 20 points while collecting a game-high 14 rebounds. The forward and sister tandem of Jody and Jamie Meyer combined for 26 points as well.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for ACU against TSU and was the TexAnns first victory against the Wildcats since Feb. 3, 2007. The Wildcats actually outrebounded the TexAnns, and out shot them from the field as well. The difference in the game seemed to come from beyond the arc and with ball control. ACU made only three 3-point shots, while Tarleton made eight. TSU also took better care of the ball, committing only 11 turnovers, while forcing 19 by the Wildcats.
The game was vital for the TexAnns, who desperately needed the victory to stay alive in the Lone Star Conference South Post-Season Tournament. With the victory, Tarleton improved its record to 14-11 on the season and raised its conference record to 5-5. ACU, on the other hand, fell to 15-9 overall, while its conference record dropped to 6-3.
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs clinched the LSC South crown on Wednesday night by marching into San Angelo and whipping Angelo State 61-49. ACU currently sits second in the LSC South, and can clinch a playoff spot with one more victory. The top four teams in the LSC North and the top four teams in the LSC South will play for the Lone Star Conference Championship on March 4-8 in Bartlesville, Okla.
The Wildcats next chance to clinch a playoff spot will be this Saturday against the Midwestern State Mustangs. The game will be a home game, but will be played at McMurry University’s Kimbrell Arena because Moody Coliseum will play host to Sing Song on Saturday. Head Coach Shawna Lavender said to have success against the Mustangs, her team must regain its focus.
“The big thing is that we need to make sure we are focused on the things we need to accomplish. We need to ensure that (MSU) have to work for everything that they get, especially by keeping them off the offensive board,” Lavender said.
Midwestern State has compiled a record of 8-15 on the season, while winning only three of nine conference games. The Mustangs are anchored by Regiane Arauju, who leads them in scoring and rebounding. The Mustangs, like all LSC opponents, will present a worthy test for a Wildcat team on the verge of a playoff berth.