Lady Buffs pull away from Western Washington to sweep Vikings Holiday Classic

West Texas A&M made a the longest road trip of the year a successful one after downing host school Western Washington 78-62 late Tuesday night as part of the Vikings Holiday Hoops Classic in Bellingham, Wash.


The No. 3-ranked Lady Buffs went unbeaten in the two-day tournament with a 2-0 mark, moving to a perfect 11-0 on the season.

Amarillo High graduate and sophomore guard Lexy Hightower had another sensational game scoring a game-high 21 points for a second straight game in the win.

Hightower, who added four steals defensively, was lights out from the floor shooting 7-of-13 for the game and 5-of-6 from 3-point range.

In the two games, the sharp shooting Hightower combined for 42 points, shooting 58.2 percent (10-of-17) from downtown earning her tournament MVP.

“In the first game we saw a lot of 2-3 zone,” WT coach Kristen Mattio. “Lexy was able to really stretch the zone. I thought her teammates did a great job getting her looks. We got the ball in her hands in the spots where she needed it. She has stuck with it and knocked down the shots.”

Following Hightower’s performance was Canyon graduate and senior Madison Parker. Parker put up 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds. Parker was also 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Post player and teammate Tiana Parker had her second straight game in double figures with 11 points while grabbing six rebounds.

As a team, the Lady Buffs were red hot all night from the field shooting 60.8 percent.

“This was two big wins that we wanted really bad,” Mattio said. “They may not be region wins but they’ll help us get in the NCAA Division II tournament. They are really good program’s and we were able to beat someone on their home floor. We did a good job of standing our ground.”

WT will go on a 10-day break before wrapping up its nonconference schedule hosting University of the Southwest on Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m.

WT 78, Western Washington 62

West Texas A&M (11-0): Deleyah Harris 4-7 1-2 9, Megan Gamble 2-2 3-4 7, Lexy Hightower 8-14 5-6 21, Sydney Walton 2-4 0-1 5, Tiana Parker 5-10 1-2 11, Reagan Haynes 0-1 0-0 0, CeCe Wooten 0-1 0-0 0, Tyesha Taylor 4-4 0-0 8, Madison Parker 6-8 5-8 17. Totals 31-51 11-18 78.

Western Washington (5-5): Hannah Stipanovich 4-10 2-5 10, Anna Schwecke 6-7 0-0 12, Lexie Bland 1-4 4-8 7, Dani Iwami 3-9 0-0 9, Gracie Castaneda 3-9 2-2 9, Emma Duff 4-8 0-0 10, Kelsey Rogers 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 23-51 9-17 62.

West Texas A&M 22 16 14 26 — 78

Western Washington 16 16 13 17 — 62

3-point goals: WT: 5-9 (Hightower 5-6). WW: 7-20 (Iwami 3-8), Castaneda 1-4, Duff 2-5). Rebounds: WT: 30 (Parker 8). WW: 23 (Schwecke 8). Steals: WT 9 (Hightower 4). WW: 7 (Stipanovich 4). Blocked shots: WT 5 (T. Parker 3). WW 0. Turnovers: WT 15 (Walton 5). WW: 18 (Castaneda 6). Total Fouls: WT 17. WW 21. Fouled out: Iwami. Technicals: None. Officials: Jacob Petz, Lezley Smith, DJ Desjardin. Attendance: 426.