Thursday night was like a bad dream for Kevin Dobbs and his girls. Texas A&M-Texarkana’s 83-70 loss to the Huston-Tillotson Rams Saturday left Dobbs in a much better frame of mind.
“There wasn’t much we could do about that loss to Our Lady of the Lake,” said Dobbs. “We’ve got to get the girls’ motors tuned up, and today they were.
“Right now we’re dealing with certain facts and variables. The facts are size and experience, and we can’t change that. The variables (effort, rebounding, decision making) we can change, but it’s up to the girls. We controlled those fairly well today.”
Rams captured lead in first quarter
The Eagles led midway into the first quarter, but after four lead changes TAMU-T was chasing the Rams.
Huston-Tillotson’s lead climbed to 20 in the second quarter. The Rams’ lead was 42-27 at intermission, and the Eagles cut that margin to 10 in the fourth quarter on the outside shooting of freshman Brooke Cephus of Houston. All nine of Cephus’ points came on treys.
Despite shooting a dismal 19 percent in the first half, Texarkana continued to battle. The Eagles improved to 36 percent in the final two quarters and outscored the Rams, 43-41.
Four local girls scored in double digits. Freshman Naomi Tekleab overcame a slow start to score 14 points. Mi’lan Francis-Miller and Haley Stilson scored 13 ponts each, while combining for 13 rebounds. Francis-Miller also had six assists. Genoa Central graduate Victoria Hill added 12 points.
Eagles took 29 more shots than H-T
One of the game’s more incredible stats showed TAMU-T taking 98 shots from the field, compared to 69 by Huston-Tillotson. The taller Rams edged Texarkana on the glass, 60-57.
“I challenged the girls to battle after what happened Thursday,” said Dobbs. “I was proud of them. We played hard, there’s no question. We were much better, and that is all I can ask from the girls. The speed and tempo of the game wore us down. Huston-Tillotson is a good team, but we’re going to get better when we start making plays down the stretch.”
The Rams also had four players scoring in double figures. Six-footer Traeli Calhoun led the way with 21 points, while senior guard Kryshona Carter scored 20. Six-foot-2 Kayla Barber and Llana Sanford added 12 each.
Texarkana will be back in action Thursday at Jarvis Christian. The Eagles trek to Tyler College next Saturday.