West Texas A&M’s Nathalie Linden goes up for a layin over a Arkansas-Fort Smith defender in the first half of a Lone Star Conference game Saturday at the First United Bank Center. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs tied a bow on their final Lone Star Conference game before the Christmas break by downing Arkansas-Fort Smith 76-48 on Saturday afternoon at the First United Bank Center.
After an 0-2 start to the year, and playing with out preseason LSC Player of the Year Lexy Hightower, who is out with a foot injury, the No. Lady Buffs enter the the break at 11-3 overall with a 4-1 conference mark.
“We’ve been focusing hard on our inconsistencies,” WT coach Kristen Mattio said. “I don’t always know which team will show up. We have a lot of young players that are learning how to win. We’re focusing on how to win games, and that starts in practice. But we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
WT will come back from the time off when they travel to rival Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 4.
The Lady Buffs defense continues to be the strong suit. For the fifth time this season, WT held its opponent under 20 points at halftime.
During Saturday’s win, the Lady Buffs owned a commanding 42-19 lead.
The Lions (4-7 overall, 1-4 LSC) shot 38.8 percent for the game, and only 5 of 14 from the free throw line.
WT forced 13 turnovers, turning those miscues into 23 points, and out rebounded UAFS, 38-21.
“Our defense has ignited us,” Mattio said. “It really helped us flow into this game. Our team is playing tough right now, and making it tough for the opponent to score the basketball.”
That stellar defense led to a big offensive afternoon from the Lady Buffs.
WT shot 57.4 percent (27 of 47) from the field with five different players scoring in double-digits, led by guard Sienna Lenz. The sophomore finished 6 of 9 from the field for 13 points, adding eight boards.
Junior post Abby Spurgin had 12 points, while Tiana Parker, Megan Gamble and Nathalie Linden all had 10.
W. Texas A&M 76, Ark. Fort Smith 48
UAFS 8 19 32 48
WT 20 42 61 76
Points: Dachelle Terry 13
Rebounds: Tamera Gulley 10.
Assists: Alexis Brown 2.
Steals: Paige Elston 2.
Blocks: Laurissa Campbell 3.
Turnovers: Brown 2.
Points: Sienna Lenz 13.
Rebounds: Lenz 8.
Assists: Daria Crossgrove 2, Nathalie Linden 2, Tiana Parker 2.
Steals: Braylyn Dollar 2.
Blocks: Parker 3.
Turnovers: Lenz 3.
Field goals 19-49 27-47
Field goal % 38.8 57.4
3-Pointers 5-11 4-10
3-Point % 45.5 40.0
Free Throws 5-14 18-26
Free Throw % 37.5 72.0
Rebounds 21 38
Offensive 5 8
Defensive 16 30
Assists 13 11
Steals 5 5
Blocks 7 7
Turnovers 13 13