STEPHENVILLE, Texas (November 16, 2013) – Tarleton State University used a 58.9% shooting percentage and a 29-point, 10-rebound double-double performance from Brianna Bledsoe to defeat Lubbock Christian University 95-83 Saturday evening at Wisdom Gym. It marked the most offense an LCU opponent has generated since Oklahoma Christian posted 98 points against the Lady Chaparrals on Feb. 19, 2005.
The Lady Chaps and head coach Steve Gomez may want to veer away from making future trips Tarleton. LCU has made four trips to Tarleton under Gomez, including Saturday, and each trip has resulted in a foul count which has stood as a season high for the Lady Chaps. They were whistled for 24 in 2008, 31 in 2010, 28 in 2011 and Saturday they were whistled for 27 fouls. Starters Haley Burton and Kaycie Boyles fouled out. The 27 fouls led to 29 free-throw attempts and TSU converted on 22 of them, with Bledsoe going 10-for-10 from the line. LCU is now 1-11 all-time in Stephenville.
Tarleton did not need any additional help from all the whistles, as they were solid from the field. The TexAnns shot 64.3% (18/28) from the field in the first half, including a 5-of-9 (55.6%) mark from three-point range. They finished the game shooting 58.9% (33/56) from the field and they are the first Lady Chaps opponent to shoot better than 50% since Southern Nazarene did on Mar. 2, 2011.
LCU actually led in the game early. They forced the TexAnns into four turnovers in the opening four minutes and led 12-4. TSU responded with a 10-2 run and tied the game 14-14 with 13:55 remaining in the half. The lead changed hands five times before the TexAnns went on a 21-6 run spanning 6:09 for a 48-34 TSU lead with 1:32 left in the half. The TexAnns were 8-of-10 during the span from the field, while forcing LCU into four turnovers and holding them to a 2-of-10 shooting performance. During the run, LCU's Haley Burton was called for a charge and a rare technical foul. TSU led 49-38 at the half.
A 6-0 run to open the second half led to TSU's largest lead at 55-38 less than two minutes into the half. The Lady Chaps would eventually climb back into the game and they used a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 65-58 with 10:25 remaining. TSU kept their distance and LCU would be unable to get the deficit under seven points the rest of the way.
The two teams combined for 23 free-throw attempts (13 by LCU) over the final10:25 of the game. The teams combined for 50 personal fouls, with 27 whistled against LCU in the contest. The fouls led to 57 free-throw attempts combined between the two teams.
Bledsoe was 8-of-13 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range for her 29 points. The TexAnns also received double figure production offensively from Kiara Wright (16 points), Morgan Ashmore (10 points) and Meagan O'Dell (10 points).
LCU was 42.9% (27/63) from the field, but struggled from long range going 7-of-24 (29.2%) from beyond the arc. Burton finished the game with a team high 23 points. She was 3-of-5 from long range, while the rest of the team combined to go 4-of-19 (21%). Nicole Hampton had a rounded effort with 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. Kelsey Hoppel contributed 18 points and also matched a career high with five steals. Boyles added 11 points in the losing cause. Burton and Hoppel were named to the TexAnns Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament team for the performances throughout the weekend tournament.
The Lady Chaps fell to 2-1 with the loss, while TSU improved to 3-0. LCU returns to the hardwood Thursday and it will be a 5:30 p.m. tip at Rip Griffin Center, as LCU hosts Oklahoma Panhandle State for their first Heartland Conference contest of the season.