The McMurry University women's basketball picked up a much-needed victory on Saturday afternoon by knocking off Angelo State University, 61-60, at the Pak-A-Sak Classic. The win was not only the first of the season for the War Hawks (1-5), but also the first of the NCAA Division II era and the 100th career coaching victory for McM head coach Dr. Veronica Snow.
McMurry's solid defensive performance keyed the victory and helped the War Hawks build a 36-31 halftime cushion.
Senior guard Rikeita Thomas led the team with 17 points on a 5-of-11 shooting day from the field. Thomas was also sharp from the free throw stripe, hitting 6-of-7.
Junior transfer Ashton Jones had a break-out game for Snow's squad, tallying 10 points on a perfect 3-for-3 effort from the field and 4-of-6 from the charity line. Jones also pulled down four rebounds.
Freshman Ana Dominguezhit four of her eight field goal attempts en route to a nine point game. Dominguez snared a game-leading 13 rebounds, made two steals and blocked one shot.
Jamie Wilson and Keshia Collins had identical totals of six points and four boards in McM's balanced effort. Tory Salazar added five points and four rebounds to the team's coffers. Sierra Maykus and Katlyn Tarbet each scored three points - and Claire Bruffey two points - to round out the War Hawks' scoring in the game.
The two teams see-sawed with the lead the majority of the first half until Maykus trey with 4:09 left until the half broke the third tie of the game and gave McMurry a 28-25 lead. The War Hawks would hold the upper hand the rest of the first half and the bulk of the second stanza, leading by as much as 11 points – 45-34 – after a jumper by Dominguez with 14:32 remaining.
But ASU battled back. With 2:41 left to play, the Belles' Cassi Stegall got a long defensive rebound and took it in for a fastbreak layup, as Angelo State re-took the lead, 58-57.
It was at that point that Thomas put the War Hawks on her back, scoring her team's final four points to put the game in the “W” column for the War Hawks.
“Anytime you reach a milestone you remember all the kids who helped you get there,” said Snow. “McMurry's been my entire college coaching stint and I've coached some great young women, and today's (team) is no exception.
“They really fought today for this win. It was neat to see them all come together.”
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.