WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: West Texas A&M works inside to defeat UTPB

With fans in the stands for the first time at home this season, the UTPB women’s basketball team gave them plenty to cheer for during the early going against West Texas A&M.

Jumping out to a six-point lead against the 22nd-ranked Lady Buffs, the Falcons were moving the ball well and hitting from the outside as well as getting to basket on drives.

There was one issue cropping up on the defensive end for UTPB as West Texas A&M was finding a way to get to the basket time and again, with five of its first seven field goals coming front inside the paint.

In the end, that proved to be the difference for the Lady Buffs.

Lexy Hightower scored a game-high 21 points and Abby Spurgin added 17 more as West Texas A&M ran away for a 75-56 victory in Lone Star Conference play Thursday at the Falcon Dome.

The Lady Buffs (5-1 overall, 4-1 in conference) scored 48 points in the paint, 20 more than the Falcons (2-5, 1-5).

Jada Berry scored 12 points for UTPB, with Morgan Helgesen adding nine in the loss.

“They played like a Top 25 team,” UTPB coach Rae Boothe said of the visitors. “They don’t miss much, they don’t make many mistakes.

“Obviously we don’t want to lose by 19 points to anybody, but I do believe in the course of the game we got a lot better. If we make some of the backdoor cuts or open looks, it’s a single-digit game in the fourth quarter.”

After the Falcons moved in front by six in the open quarter, Hightower went to work with a 3-pointer from the right wing, followed by a drive to the basket.

UTPB’s Avalon Munoz answered with a 3-pointer, with Hightower countering at the other end and then stealing the ball on the ensuing possession for another layup and a 16-15 lead for West Texas A&M.

Chaunta Thomas’ field goal put the Falcons back in front, but the Lady Buffs took the lead for good when Braylyn Dollar connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing, followed by a basket in the paint by Spurgin.

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