The men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Stephenville hoping to make a statement against two powerful Tarleton State teams. Instead, the Wildcats headed back to Abilene with more questions than answers.
The first-place Texans outmatched the men’s team; the Wildcats shot just 38 percent in an 83-63 loss. The Wildcats dropped to 7-12 on the season and have yet to win a Lone Star Conference game this season. The Texans, on the other hand, appear to be taking command in the LSC South. Tarleton’s record is 16-3, with a perfect 4-0 mark in conference play.
“Our struggles have a little bit to do with us having some guys out,” said Head Coach Jason Copeland. “Tarleton came out, played well; take nothing away from them, but a lot of it has a lot to do with our mistakes.”
Tarleton State entered the game with the No. 3 defense in the nation, which proved not to be a fluke, as only two Wildcats scored in double figures. The ‘Cats shot only 28 percent from the field in the first half, allowing Tarleton to take a commanding 43-12 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Eddie Thompson, had a good night, scoring 24 points. Freshman Dosh Simms also had another solid game, scoring 7 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
“Eddie played a really good second half; we have to get that performance out of him early,” Copeland said. “Dosh Simms had a couple of untimely turnovers, but for a freshman he’s playing well.”
The women’s team also faced a tough Tarleton defense. The Texanns outscored ACU 46-30 in the paint en route to a 70-64 victory. The Wildcats and Texanns both shot more than 40 percent, but the Wildcats made only 46.2 percent of their free throws, while the Texanns were making 92.3 percent of their shots from the charity stripe. Overall, Head Coach Shawna Lavender thought her team put in a good effort against a tough TSU team.
“I felt like we played fairly well the whole game; the thing that hurt us was giving up too many offensive rebounds,” Lavender said. “When it came down to the little hustle plays, Tarleton beat us to them.”
Kelsey Darby-Holson led all Wildcat scorers in the game with 17 points. Jamie Meyer scored 16 points and collected nine rebounds. Jody Meyer also played well, scoring 8 points and collecting 10 boards.
“I felt that in the first half Kelsey kept us in the game,” Lavender said. “She had 11 points in eight minutes, and she did a good job of being aggressive.”
Both squads will be back in action this Saturday at Moody Coliseum with games against Midwestern State. The women’s game will tip off at 2 p.m., and the men’s game will begin at 4 p.m.