TexAnns hold off Zias’ comeback

CNJ correspondent: Joshua Lucero ENMU senior guard Kiara Tate goes for a lay-up over Tarleton State’s Shanae Lowrance during Wednesday night’s Lone Star Conference women’s game at Greyhound Arena. Tate tied a school record with 40 points, but the Zias lost to the TexAnns 78-70.

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Tarleton State went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 46 seconds, including four from sophomore guard Brianna Bledsoe, and the TexAnns held on for a 78-70 Lone Star Conference women’s basketball victory over Eastern New Mexico University on Wednesday night at Greyhound Arena.

Senior guard Kiara Tate, who scored a career-best 23 points on Monday in ENMU’s win at Oklahoma Panhandle State, carried that one step farther in this one with 40 points on 14-of-18 shooting from the field and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. She matched the school record set on Dec. 1 at Texas A&M-Kingsville by senior forward Precious Herrin.

It wasn’t enough, however, and the TexAnns (8-5, 5-0 LSC) escaped with their sixth consecutive win behind a balanced attack led by senior guard Shelby Adamson with 22 points. Adamson also had team highs of eight rebounds and five assists.

Senior forward Morgan Stehling added 18 points for Tarleton, while sophomore post Kiara Wright had 11 and senior guard Lisa Parker chipped in 10 on 4-for-4 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Senior guard Hannah Altheide finished with 12 points for ENMU (3-9, 1-5), but Tarleton limited Herrin, the LSC’s leading scorer, to two field goals and 10 points, nearly 10 under her season’s average.

The TexAnns led all the way except for a 2-2 tie. TSU built a 37-19 lead late in the half, but the Zias closed to 41-28 at the intermission with five points from Altheide, including a 3-pointer, and four from Tate.

The margin stayed between 10 and 15 for most of the first 10 minutes of the second half, but a 3-pointer by Tate made it 58-50 with 9:10 left and got the Zias going.

Tate’s layup capped a 9-2 run and pulled the Zias to 63-60 with 4 1/2 minutes to go. A 3-point play by junior guard Tara Johnson made it 66-64 with 3:40 left, but the Zias were unable to get any closer.

Tarleton shot 50 percent from the floor on 24-of-48, and outrebounded ENMU 35-23. The Zias finished at 46 percent on 22-of-48.