STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Sophomore center JoAnne Jones scored a career-high 19 points Thursday night, leading four Tarleton State players in double figures as the TexAnns pulled away late for a 79-64 Lone Star Conference South Division women’s victory over Eastern New Mexico University.
Juniors D’Anna Dingler (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Krystal Cole (11 points, 11 rebounds) posted double-doubles for the TexAnns (17-9, 8-5 South), who maintained a one-game lead over Texas Woman’s in the battle for the division’s fourth and final berth in the LSC postseason tournament with one game left. The Pioneers (12-14, 7-6) scored a 64-51 win at Midwestern State.
Junior forward Jamie Ansley added 10 points off the bench as Tarleton used 30-for-38 free throw shooting to keep the Zias (4-21, 1-12) at bay.
ENMU got a season-best 16 points from freshman forward Til-Lois Fifer, 12 points and six rebounds from freshman guard Patricia Malouff and 10 points, five rebounds and six assists from freshman guard Tori Northcutt.
The Zias put together an 8-0 run after a game-opening 3-pointer by Dingler. Trailing 11-7, the TexAnns scored eight consecutive points, but the Zias came back to take a pair of leads, the latter at 23-21 on two free throws by Fifer with 7:03 left in the half.
Tarleton held the Zias to one field goal the rest of the half and led 32-27 at the break. ENMU then cut an eight-point deficit to 45-43 with 12:41 left on two free throws by Blythe McPherson.
On Tarleton’s next position, guard Shardae O’Neal was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three foul shots. That started a 28-7 run for the TexAnns over the next eight minutes for a 73-50 lead with less than four minutes to go.
The Zias were 17-of-23 from the free throw line and outrebounded the TexAnns 44-41, but they struggled from the field. ENMU shot 39 percent overall and converted only 3-of-16 from 3-point range.