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SAC Win Added for Lady Aggies at TWU

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 02/02/2018 Freshman point gaurd Naomi Rodriguez up double-digits off the bench, scoring 12 points in the Aggies SAC victory over Texas Wesleyan Thursday night. - Sarah Brady photo Freshman point gaurd Naomi Rodriguez up double-digits off the bench, scoring 12 points in the Aggies SAC victory over Texas Wesleyan Thursday night. - Sarah Brady photo

Fort Worth, Texas—The Panhandle State women’s basketball team notched a much-needed win on the road Thursday evening, taking down Texas Wesleyan University by a score of 71-63. The Aggies split the series, as the men’s team took a 112-71 loss to the No. 24-ranked Rams.

Madison Dearmin made off with her sixth double-double of the season, matching 16 points and 16 rebounds for the game-high in both categories. Aggie starters accounted for 56 total points with junior Monti Regier scoring all 15 of her points at three-point range. Addison Munsch and Hannah Faulks each brought in ten points for Panhandle followed by Morgan Latta with five. Leading off the bench, Naomi Rodriguez came through with 12 points and tied with Faulks as the teams’ second-leading rebounders with seven boards apiece. Faulks also led the team in assists with five and had two steals on the night.

Up 32-26 at halftime, the Aggie women hit the mark on 46.4 percent of their first-half shots from the field. The team improved to 54.5 percent shooting after the break, landing 5-8 shots beyond the arc and 10-14 at the line in the final 20 minutes of play. While turnovers continue to cause problems for the Aggies, who lost 23 points on 22 lost balls, their attention at the glass helped tip the scales in their favor. Panhandle State outshined the Rams 37-22 in defensive boards, led by Dearmin who came away with 14 rebounds on the defensive side.

With a 12-8 record on the season and sitting 4-8 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, the Aggie women’s team is setting their sights on post-season play, while maintaining focus on one game at a time. Head Coach Victor Esparza celebrates the victory, but knows there is another tough matchup just around the corner. “It was a great team effort and I was really proud of the way we played. Our defense really stepped up when we needed it. It’s tough to get a win on the road, and this was a big win for us; but it’s back to work to get ready for our game on Saturday.”

The men’s team went into Thursday night’s contest down three starters and four quality bench performers, but put up commendable effort against the third-ranked team in the conference. Freshman DK Sumo and senior Tyler Pate emerged as leaders for Panhandle, scoring team-highs of 23 points each to combine for more than half of the teams’ total points. Sumo continues to step up in all aspects of the game, taking a team-high of seven rebounds and offering three assists in his 32 minutes of play. Sumo also got away with three of the Aggies’ eight steals on the night. Pate dished out a team-high of five assists and had four rebounds and one steal. The pair combined for nine successful shots from three-point range. Entering the starting lineup against the Rams, freshman Dillan Landers finished with nine points on two three-point shots and three points from the line. Freshmen Brett Williams and Thomas Ellis rounded out the starting five for Panhandle State.

Head coach Jerry Olson kept his comments short but was proud of the outstanding efforts he received from Sumo and Pate, “Our guys competed as hard as they could; we just ran out of gas. We had seven guys sitting out for us and we needed more guys to step up.” Panhandle State men’s basketball now owns an 11-9 overall record with a 4-8 record in the SAC.

Both teams continue their travels in Texas with another SAC double-header on Saturday, Feb. 3 against Southwestern Assemblies of God in Waxahachie. The Aggie women face a 7-12 Lions team at 3 p.m., while the men will take on a top-five conference opponent sitting at 14-7 on the season at 5 p.m.