Arguably, Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s women got a louder and more dramatic response than the men after winning their first Red River Athletic Conference basketball game Saturday afternoon.
First-year coach Kevin Dobbs and his girls have kept doctors busy this season with an assortment of injuries. The result has been frustrating, but all was forgotten temporarily at the Patterson Student Center after the Eagles beat Texas College, 79-70.
The Eagles were in command most of the game. But when three Texarkana players fouled out with more than five minutes left, the outcome was in jeopardy.
“Because of foul trouble, we just spread the ball and ran the clock to shorten the game,” said Dobbs. “I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before. We hadn’t worked on it a lot, but we handled it pretty well.
“The one thing we’ve missed all season is the player who could step up at the end. Several players made big plays at the end tonight. Now we know we can play with these teams in the conference. We’ve just got to believe in ourselves, and maybe we will now.”
Freshmen spark dramatic victory
Nobody came up bigger for the Eagles than freshmen guards Taylor Howell, Mi’lan Francis-Miller and Ashley Dykes.
Despite playing with an injured shoulder, Howell scored a game-high 24 points, including five 3-pointers. Francis-Miller added 19 points, six assists and six rebounds. Dykes had 17 points, and three treys. She also contributed eight rebounds and four assists.
TAMU-T (4-26, 1-17) also shot the ball well for the second straight game. The Eagles shot 49 percent from the field (25 of 51), and 46 percent outside the arc (10 for 22).
Texas College’s leading scorer was former Liberty-Eylau standout Taylor Crabtree with 20 points. She also had a team-high nine rebounds, and a huge cheering section that included her former coach and L-E players.