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Women's basketball: TWU moves to 2-0

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TWU sports information

STEPHENVILLE -- Desiree Phipps again scored a career high for TWU, as the Pioneers overcame a slow first three quarters to outscore Western State of Colorado by 13 in the fourth en route to a 55-50 win at the TexAnn Tip-Off Classic.

Phipps was 5-for-5 from the field, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers all in the final quarter, for 15 points to break a career high she established Friday. Bri'anna Gray produced a career best in points with 13.

TWU (2-0) was 16-for-18 at the line, compared with 16-of-30 by the Mountaineers (0-2).

The Pioneers were a bleak 10-of-41 from the field through the first three quarters and 0-for-8 beyond the arc. In the fourth, TWU scored 27 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

With 7:24 to play, a layup by Alexis Nezianya gave the Pioneers a 38-37 edge. Phipps drained a pair of 3s to hand TWU a 46-42 lead with just under five minutes to go.

A conventional three-point play by Western closed the deficit to 48-47 at the 3:09 mark before Gray converted a bucket in the paint to extend the lead to three. Free throws by Whitney Apari and Kara Mitchell put the Pioneers up 53-48 with just under two minutes on the clock.

"After starting slow, I liked the way we responded in the fourth," TWU coach Beth Jillson said. "Des came off the bench and hit some big shots when we needed them the most. It's a great feeling anytime you can get two wins away from your home court, but we can't wait to get back to Kitty Magee Arena."

The Pioneers open their home campaign with the Best Western Premier Pioneer Classic. TWU will face Regis at 4 p.m. Saturday and Central Oklahoma at 4 p.m. next Sunday.