The UTPB Falcons stayed with Tarleton State for three quarters Saturday, but the TexAnns pulled away in the fourth to take a 58-45 victory in Lone Star Conference women’s basketball action at the Falcon Dome.

The Falcons scored the game’s first seven points, overcame a 10-point deficit in the second quarter and led as late as the middle of the third before Tarleton State took control.

“I think we were the pursuer,” UTPB coach Rae Boothe said. “We were the aggressor out of the gate, and that went away. We didn’t score for long periods of time.

“There were two or three stretches of four to seven minutes where we couldn’t get anything going and they were making shots easily in transition. Those are the points we can’t allow, layup after layup. Probably 10 points worth in the game.”

UTPB dropped to 5-13 overall and 3-7 in conference play with its fourth consecutive loss. Khali Pippins-Tryon led the Falcons with 17 points, while Sierra LaGrande came off the bench to score nine. Kayla Bretherton added seven points and six rebounds.

Tarleton State (12-6, 6-4) won its third in a row to wrap up a four-game road swing. The TexAnns were coming off a 66-64 victory at West Texas A&M on Thursday.

“It’s tough and we tried to make our girls aware of that,” TexAnns coach Misty Wilson said. “After the really big game Thursday, then turn around and play another big game Saturday on the road, we just knew it was going to be a grind. We just tried to be gutsy and grind it out.”

McKinley Bostad scored 17 points to lead Tarleton State with Katie Webster and Mackenzie Hailey each scoring 14. Webster also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds with Hailey getting eight.

“They were our three priority players, and you wouldn’t know it based on our performance,” Boothe said. “They’re really good players, a really good team, but we didn’t execute anything, really, that we knew they were going to do.”

After UTPB jumped out early, Tarleton State responded with a 19-2 run to take a 10-point lead early in the second quarter. The Falcons outscored to TexAnns 13-4 the rest of the half, getting within 23-22 at the break when Pippins-Tryon hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds left.

The third quarter began with six lead changes with UTPB going in front for the last time on LaGrande’s 3-pointer with 5:44 left in the period. Tarleton State retook the lead for good on Hailey’s jumper 22 seconds later and outscored the Falcons 28-16 the rest of the way.

We lack the maturity and experience factor toward the end of games, and Tarleton has that,” Boothe said. “I don’t think we were locked in. I don’t think we valued possessions that well toward the last six minutes of the game and it slipped away. We dug a hole we couldn’t get ourselves out of.”

Wilson said the TexAnns were finally able to control the pace of the game over the last 15 minutes.

Their defense can really make you get in a hurry and make bad decisions,” she said. “Once we slowed down and ran our offense, we executed a lot better and were able to score in the paint.”

Tarleton State 58, UTPB 45

TARLETON STATE (12-6 overall, 6-4 Lone Star)

Kylie Collins 2-8 2-2 7, McKinley Bostad 5-11 5-6 17, Tiara Tatum 0-5 0-2 0, Katie Webster 6-8 2-3 14, Mackenzie Hailey 5-8 4-4 14, Trejour Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Nina Alvarez 1-4 0-0 2, Makaila Tyer 0-1 0-0 0, Baylee Peck 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 21-51 13-17 58.

UTPB (5-13, 3-7)

Jackie Perez 1-3 0-0 3, Victoria Lopez 0-9 0-0 0, Kayla Bretherton 2-8 3-4 7, Heather Crittenden 1-2 1-2 3, Khali Pippins-Tryon 5-15 7-8 17, Nakedra Burke 2-2 0-0 4, Sierra LaGrande 3-14 0-0 9, Alaxandria Dockery 0-1 2-2 2, Chynna Rivera 0-0 0-0 0, Monica Driscoll 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-54 13-16 45.

Tarleton State……… 12.. 11   14   21   —    58

UTPB……………………. 9.. 13   12   11   —    45

3-Point goals — TSU 3-17 (Collins 1-4, Bostad 2-4, Tatum 0-3, Hailey 0-1, Alvarex 0-1, Tyer 0-1, Peck 0-3), UTPB 4-23 (Perez 1-3, Lopez 0-4, Bretherton 0-1, Pippins-Tryon 0-4, LaGrande 3-11). Total fouls — TSU 15, UTPB 23. Fouled out — Hailey, Bretherton. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — TSU 35 (Webster 9), UTPB 36 (Perez 6, Bretherton 6). Assists — TSU 17 (Bostad 3, Tatum 3, Alvarez 3, Peck 3), UTPB 12 (Lopez 4).