STEPHENVILLE, Texas – A string of cold shooting spells cost Northwestern State on Wednesday in a 67-46 loss at Tarleton State.
The Lady Demons (4-5) had multiple instances of lengthy scoring droughts sprinkled throughout the game, that allowed Tarleton to build, and maintain, its lead throughout the night.
NSU took the lead on two different occasions in the first after Candice Parramore made a pair of free throws three minutes into the game, and Sharna Ayres hit a jumper near the midway point of a low-scoring first five minutes.
A three-minute drought allowed the Texans to score eight straight points and move ahead 14-7. Four of the eight points the scored came from the free throw line where the Lady Demons ran into early foul trouble that plagued them the entire night.
Ayres answered a late 3-pointer from the Texans to cut the lead down the five with 1:24 remaining but NSU missed all of its final three shots of the quarter and trailed 17-12.
The Lady Demons closed the first-quarter gap quickly in the early part of the second quarter thanks to some of their best run of play of the game.
Ayres once again answered a Tarleton 3-pointer with one of her own 14 seconds later to help spark the offense, that was a direct result of quality defense. Parramore picked the pocket Texan point guard Teresa Da Silva for an easy run the other way for a layup.
It was the first of six straight points for NSU scored by Parramore, with the final also coming directly after a steal and outlet pass from Jiselle Woodson. NSU had erased the five-point deficit and pulled within one shot of tying or taking the lead.
The final five minutes of the half however were the near complete opposite for the Lady Demons.
Turnovers plagued NSU, committing seven in the final 5:28 of the half that helped turn a two-point game into a 35-23 affair at the break. The Texans scored the final four points of their 10-0 run to end the half as a direct result of a Lady Demon turnover.
The Lady Demons had just one turnover during the run that pulled them within a basket.
An Ayres steal and resulting transition 3 and a Joelle Johnson layup on consecutive possessions midway through the third quarter got the Demons five quick points making the score 41-29 with just less than six minutes remaining in the quarter.
That was as close as the Lady Demons got the rest of the way. Tarleton secured the game late in the third quarter by making six straight field goals in the span of two and a half minutes as part of a 13-1 run that gave it a 56-30 lead with less than a minute remaining in the period.
Parramore led NSU with 15 points, getting seven from her 7-for-8 performance from the free throw line. Ayres finished with 12 points in her second straight double-digit scoring night. Bengisu Alper led the team with nine rebounds, a new career high.