WTAMU Lady Buffs struggle in home losses to Angelo State and UT Permian Basin

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WTAMU guard Hollie Stalder drives to the basket during a Lone Star Conference game against Angelo State on Thursday at the First United Bank Center. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]
It wasn’t the homestand head coach Joshua Prock was hoping for to open 2024 as his West Texas A&M Lady Buffs suffered back-to-back home losses for the first time since the 2017 season.

The Lady Buffs dropped a Lone Star Conference clash to Angelo State 70-58 on Thursday night, then followed that with another tough defeat 66-53 at the hands of UT Permian Basin on Saturday afternoon.

Both games had the same theme. WTAMU got off to great starts leading after the first quarter only to see both the Rambelles and Falcons take over from the second quarter on.

“I really don’t know how to explain it,” Prock said. “We’re missing some shots and let both teams get to their spots. Obviously, we’re not playing good enough defense and we need to be better. We need to get back to the drawing board and figure some things out. But this team isn’t going to quit fighting. We still want it.”

WTAMU (9-7 overall, 4-4 LSC) led ASU 17-9 at the end of the first quarter on Thursday. However, the Rambelles got hot scoring 27 second quarter points to take a 36-30 lead at the break and took over the rest of the way.

WTAMU guard Karley Motschenbacher drives to the basket against Angelo State on Thursday. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]
The same thing happened Saturday. The Lady Buffs led UTPB 17-8 after the first quarter until the Falcons found a rhythm scoring 26 second quarter points to go up 34-32 at half and never looked back.

“I think we need to trust each other more,” Prock said. “We need to know where we’re going to be. We have players moving and cutting into the wrong spots. But we’ll get it figured out and play together as a team.”

The Lady Buff offense struggled from the field shooting 20-of-62 (32.3 percent) against ASU, and 18-of-58 (31 percent) in the loss to UTPB. Hollie Stalder led WTAMU against the Rambelles with 18 points. Against the Falcons, it was Canyon graduate Zoey McBroom putting in a team-high 12. LSC Preseason Player of the Year and ASU guard Sawyer Lloyd torched the Lady Buffs with 25 points to go with 11 rebounds for a double-double on Thursday. On Saturday, it was UTPB’s Kamryn Lemon dropping in a team-high 13 points.

Canadian graduate and Angelo State sophomore guard Briley Merket scored 11 points against WTAMU on Thursday. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

Merket has strong homecoming 

Angelo State sophomore guard and Canadian graduate Briley Merket made her presence felt in a big way during the Rambelles 70-58 win against West Texas A&M on Thursday.

Playing in front of several family and friends, Merket had quite the homecoming. Merket made the most of 25 minutes against the Lady Buffs pouring in a career-high 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting that included knocking down three, 3-pointers.

“It felt so good,” Merket said. “I’ve been waiting on this game all season. It is awesome to back up here in the Texas Panhandle. It was nice to have a lot of my family here and friends. I love the support. It brought me a lot of energy. I had been going through a shooting slump, but I’ve just kept putting up my shots trying to get through it.”

Tascosa graduate and ASU senior post Tayjanna McGhee-Pleasant was also strong in the win scoring six points with four rebounds.

Next up

The Lady Buffs continue LSC action on the road to take on Western New Mexico on Thursday followed by a matchup at rival Eastern New Mexico on Saturday.

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