SAN ANGELO — Texas Woman’s dominated Angelo State for three quarters but could not contain the Belles in the last period as the Pioneers lost 73-61 on Saturday.
“Costly turnovers that led to easy transition points on the other end is what happened today,” head coach Beth Jillson said. “We got a little stagnant on offense at the end but you’ve got to take care of the ball.”
The Pioneers started out very strong as Brielle Woods got hot early, scoring nine of TWU’s 18 points in the first quarter. They added three blocks and got 10 points in the paint to lead 18-12 after one.
TWU (3-4, 1-2 LSC) continued to drive to the basket and when they couldn’t find an opening in the paint, Woods took advantage on the perimeter. She hit a three-pointer that stretched TWU’s lead to 10 at 29-19. Double-teaming on defense helped keep the Belles out of any rhythm with TWU leading at the half 36-28.
“We did an incredible job pushing the ball in transition,” Jillson said. “We did a great job running the floor and sharing the basketball in the first half. We also had a great collective group effort defensively forcing turnovers.”
Jillson said that in the locker room they went over how ASU is a team that plays better in the second half.
“At halftime we talked about not letting up because we knew they would make a run,” Jillson said. “They are a great second-half team.”
TWU came out with the momentum and built on their lead. After an outlet pass from Woods, Macy Wilkerson pumped in a shot underneath the basket to put the Pioneers up by 12 at 43-31 early in the third. Carissa Moody then got a turnover and nailed a three-pointer to make it 46-31. Woods forced another ASU turnover, taking the steal down the court and getting fouled. She made one of her free throws to extend the lead to 16 points with 5:50 remaining in the third. Then the Belles changed to a zone defense for a few plays and started applying more pressure. TWU’s lead shrunk to seven at 51-44 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was all Angelo as they outscored TWU 29-10. The Belles went on a 12-0 run in less than three minutes to go ahead 62-55 and the Pioneers couldn’t recover. Ma’K’La Woods hit a pair of free throws while Moody added a free throw and a three pointer as TWU was inconsistent offensively, hitting only 20% on 3-for-15 shooting. ASU (5-2, 2-1 LSC) used five 3s in the final frame to come from behind to defeat TWU, 73-61.
“We got a little stagnant and didn’t respond and we missed a few easy shots,” Jillson said. “But 14 turnovers were a big part of the loss for us. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t finish. We’ve got to learn how to handle that pressure. Angelo State is a fast-paced team and with them any turnovers are costly on the other end.”
Brielle Woods registered her first career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Moody poured in 16 points and had nine rebounds while Wilkerson added 13 points.
“Incredible first half for Brielle who also did a great job distributing the ball with getting four assists,” Jillson said. “She’s definitely capable of putting two halves together. Macy came in and hit some big shots for us. Carissa gave us those second-chance points and we know we can rely on her to be on the boards.”
The loss is the third in a row for TWU which finishes up a five-game road stretch. The Pioneers are eager to return to home Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip against Texas A&M-Commerce.