Playing minus its leading scorer and rebounder, McMurry University’s young women’s basketball team stayed close to NCAA II Tarleton State University for the bulk of the contest before falling by a 64-37 score.
It was truly a case of the final score not showing a full picture of the game. McMurry trailed by just five at the half, 27-22, and was down by just two points – 33-31 – with 11:33 left to play after back-to-back buckets by Adijatu Disu.
However, after battling strong for 37 ½ minutes without Taylor Russell’s 10.1 points and 7.6 rebound per game average in the lineup due to a case of the flu, the War Hawks were unable to keep pace with the Texanns down the stretch. TSU outscore the War Hawks the final 11:30 minutes of the game, 31-6.
Haley Welch hit a layup and a three-ball, followed by a disu jumper, as McMurry led 7-2 to open matters. Tarleton got on a roll and took an 20-11 lead with 7:51 left until intermission. McMurry’s defense forced a brief scoring drought by the Texanns and a Katlyn Tarbet trey eventually knotted the game at 20-20 at the 4:47 mark of the opening period, before TSU built the five-point lead at the break.
For McMurry to be close at the half after being out-rebounded by a 26-11 margin at the midway point – and 11-0 on the offensive glass – was a credit to the gutsy War Hawks’ effort. The host Texanns would finish with a 54-29 cushion on the glass for the evening.
In the second half, Disu scored all nine of her team’s points in the first 8 ½ minutes as McMurry got to within a single possession, 31-33, but would get no closer. TSU’s big run to close the game created the separation in the final score, 64-37.
Disu hit 6-of-17 from the field on her way to a game-leading 14 points. Disu also had a game-high six steals and three blocked shots.
Welch booked 10 points and pulled down four rebounds. Mishae roper was the only other McMurry player with more than one field goal, tallying four points. Roper also had a team-leading seven rebounds, also adding two blocks and giving off four assists.
A robust Texann roster resulted in Tarleton holding a 31-6 advantage in bench scoring. TSU subbed 10 players, while McMurry coach William Milton had just four reserves at his disposal.
The disparity on the offensive glass accounted for Tarleton’s 21-0 mark in second-chance points, as well.
The loss dropped McMurry’s record to 2-18 overall, while TSU improved to 11-5.
McMurry will next play at Wayland Baptist University on Monday (Feb. 2) at 6 p.m.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Athletics.