It was time for the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs to have some fun Friday night, and make some homecourt history as well.
What looked like a mismatch on paper turned out to be every bit the same on the court, as unbeaten and No. 2 WT crushed University of the Southwest 118-56 at First United Bank Center, setting a record for most points scored in the building. Perhaps more importantly, the Lady Buffs had a successful tune-up in their final game before resuming Lone Star Conference play next week.
Considering that Southwest from Hobbs, N.M. took a 1-11 record back home after the severe beating, the Lady Buffs had to find whatever motivation they could against the Mustangs. Whatever it was, they found it and ended 2017 with a perfect record so far.
“We haven’t really talked ablut trying to go undefeated,” WT coach Kristen Mattio said. “We knew we had a size and speed advantage. We talked about gauging ourselves against our own standards, and except for a few defensive lapses, we were successful at that.”
The first half went pretty much as expected considering the teams’ respective records, as WT never trailed in rolling to a 59-29 halftime lead.
WT was on target offensively from the start, shooting 23-of-34 from the field (67.6 percent) as senior Madison Parker provided the inside muscle with 14 points, going 6-of-7 from the floor. It was a precursor to a big night where Parker finished with a double-double, with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds in only 19 minutes to lead the Lady Buffs.
“We had a height advantage and that was something we executed early,” said Parker, who at 5-foot-10 is only the sixth tallest player for the Lady Buffs, but is tied for the tallest player on the Lady Mustangs. “I was getting great passes from the guards and high posts. We got a lot of offensive looks we haven;t got in the last couple of games.”
All 14 WT players got in the game, and while nobody played more than 21 minutes, all but two players played double-digit minutes. Most of the starters saw token time at best in the fourth quarter, when the Lady Buffs built their lead as high as 65 points.
Five WT players scored in double digits. The Lady Buffs dominated inside from start to finish, as 6-5 junior Tyesha Taylor had 16 points off the bench and 6-2 freshman post Abby Spurgin added 15.
“I thought it was great,” said Taylor of WT’s inside game. “Even our (wing players) had a chance to get there in the middle and show what they could do. A lot of young players who had sat on the bench got a lot of playing time and that helps us a lot.”
Taylor had a perfect shooting night, making all seven of her shots from the floor along with a pair of free throws. That distinction was also shared by Lexy Hightower, who hit all four of her shots, including three 3-pointers, en route to 11 points.
Deleyah Harris also had 11 points for WT.
All in all, the Lady Buffs couldn’t have ended 2017 on a more fun note. It seemed that everybody got to share the wealth.
“We have a lot of young players who were ready to play and they just wanted to show what they could do,” Mattio said. “We had 34 assists and that’s why we got soe many players in double figures tonight.”
Desiree Garza led Southwest with 14 while Teanikia Rodgers added 134 and Mykal Thomas had 10. Randall graduate Jasmine Stansell had six for the Lady Mustangs.
West Texas A&M 118, University of the Southwest 56
Southwest (1-11): Catarina Garcia 0-4 0-0 0, Aaliyah Austin 4-14 0-0 9, Naomi Solsberry 0-2 0-0 0, Desiree Garza 6-13 2-3 14, Mykal Thomas 4-7 2-2 10, Teanikia Rodgers 4-11 5-5 13, Eliza Maciel 1-3 0-0 2, Mikaela Ochoa 1-2 0-0 2, Jasmine Stancell 3-4 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 23-60 9-10 56.
West Texas A&M (12-0): Deleyah Harris 5-10 0-0 11, Megan Gamble 0-1 0-0 0, Lexy Hightower 4-4 0-0 11, Tiana Parker 3-8 0-0 6, Madison Parker 9-11 5-8 23, Payton Whitmore 1-2 0-0 2, Sydney Walton 0-0 0-0 0, Baylee Quisenberry 3-4 0-0 7, Zada Swoopes 2-5 3-6 7, Daria Cosgrove 3-7 0-0 8, Reagan Haynes 1-4 1-2 3, CeCeWooten 3-3 3-5 9, Abby Spurgin 5-6 5-5 15, Tyesha Taylor 7-7 2-2 16. Totals: 46-72 19-28 118.
WT A&M;30;29;34;25; —;118
3-point goals: Southwest 1-13 (Garcia 0-1, Austin 1-4, Solsberry 0-1, Garza 0-2, Rodgers 0-4, Maciel 0-1), WT 7-18 (Harris 1-3, Hightower 3-3, M. Parker 0-1, Whitmore 0-1, Quisenberry 1-1, Swoopes 0-2, Cosgrove 2-5, Haynes 0-2). Rebounds: Southwest 19 (Garza 4), WT 48 (M. Parker 10). Steals: Southwest 8, WT 11. Blocked shots: Southwest 1, WT 5. Turnovers: Southwest 21, WT 13. Assists: Southwest 10 (Austin 3), WT 34 (Harris 6). Total fouls: Southwest 24, WT 14. Fouled out: Ochoa, Stansell. Technicals: None. Attendance: 568.