STEPHENVILLE — Sophomore Danielle Westerfield and freshman Kenesha Saygo set career highs in scoring but TWU suffered an 88-66 loss to Lubbock Christian at the TexAnn Tip-Off Classic on Friday.
Westerfield scored a team-high 15 points and cleared seven rebounds while Saygo added 14 points and five rebounds. Junior Toree Mason also reached double digits in scoring with 11 points. Senior Kaitlyn Waller was the top rebounder for the Pioneers as she tied her career high with 10.
LCU opened the game on a 7-0 run and built a 22-point lead with 3:52 left in the first half. The Pioneers closed out the half on a 15-6 run and trailed 42-29 at the break.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, TWU struggled offensively and was outscored 29-9. Lubbock Christian shot 58.3 percent in the half, including 62.8 percent from 3-point range.
TWU outrebounded the Lady Chaps 40-30 and handed out 18 assists on 23 made field goals. The Pioneer bench scored 48 of TWU’s 66 points.
“Lubbock Christian is a very good shooting team, and they hit some high-percentage shots,” TWU coach Beth Jillson said. “We rebounded the ball well, and our bench really stepped up today. Danielle, Kenesha and Toree all came off the bench and played well.”
The will take on Fort Lewis at noon today in Classic action.
Florida Atlantic d. UNT
BOCA RATON, Fla. — In a match with Conference USA tournament ramifications for both teams, North Texas could not find the fifth-set magic needed to hold off a Florida Atlantic squad fighting for its season, and the Owls won 25-19, 15-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-11.
The Mean Green came out flat in the first set against the Owls, but it retaliated with dominant second-set defense. It handed out four blocks and forced three Owl attack errors.
Knowing they need to win out to keep their chances of a C-USA tournament berth alive, the Owls unleashed four aces and six blocks to win the third set.
UNT, led by sophomore Carnae Dillard’s 26 kills, struck back with a convincing fourth-set victory.
North Texas ran out of steam and dropped to 1-3 in five-set matches.
Dillard added 14 digs and tied a career high with six blocks. Her first six-block performance came against the Owls in 2012.
Courtney Windham had 11 kills and a team-high eight blocks for UNT. Analisse Shannon tied a career high with 16 digs. Amy Henard had 13 digs and senior captain Shelby Tamura had 16.
North Texas will close the regular season in Miami against Florida International at noon Sunday. The Mean Green would clinch a bye in the first round of the C-USA tournament with a win.
Calvary’s Jones among four who sign with TWU
Schyler Jones, a senior at Calvary, is one of four gymnasts who signed national letters of intent to join TWU in the fall of 2014, according to Pioneers coach Lisa Bowerman.
Joining Jones will be Mallory Moredock of McDonough, Ga., Madison Nettles of Summerville, S.C., and Abigail Versemann of St. Peters, Mo.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome these four young ladies to our Pioneer gymnastics family,” Bowerman said. “Each of them has a unique style and talent that will add a great deal to our lineups on all four events.”
Jones, the younger sister of TWU junior Spencer Jones, has been a Level 10 gymnast for the last three years at Achievers Gymnastics Center in Denton. She has been a regional qualifier for the last four years, winning a floor exercise championship in 2011 and a balance beam title in 2010. She competed at state in 2011 and 2012 and placed third in all-around and uneven bars in 2012.
“Schyler is an incredibly consistent athlete with competitive fire who will surely thrive in the collegiate atmosphere,” Bowerman said. “Her gymnastics is a great mix of beauty and power. She will undoubtedly find her place in several lineups in her first year as a Pioneer.”
Moredock competed at Georgia Gymnastics Academy in Lawrenceville, Ga. She captured a 2013 regional vault title and a 2011 floor title. She was a member of the National Honor Society at McDonough Union Grove.
“Mallory is a fun gymnast to watch,” Bowerman said. “She has great power and an incredible attitude. She too will waste no time working her way into our 2015 competitive lineups.”
Nettles was a two-time Level 10 gymnast and three-time Level 9 gymnast at Gymnastics Academy of Charleston, S.C. She qualified for regionals the last two seasons and was an alternate for the 2013 Level 10 NIT Championships. She was a member of the National Honor Society at Summerville Ashley Ridge.
“Maddie is a strong and confident athlete with a ton of talent,” Bowerman said. “She will certainly vie for a spot in [TWU’s] lineup on all four events during her freshman year.”
Versemann was a two-time Level 10 gymnast at GymQuarters Gymnastics Center in O’Fallon, Mo. She qualified for regionals the last two years and placed second on bars this year. Versemann took second on floor at the 2012 state meet. She was a member of the National Honor Society at St. Peters Lutheran.
“Abbie is a powerful gymnast who will continue to develop her talent during her college years,” Bowerman said. “She has the ability to break into [the] lineup on two to three events during her freshman season.”