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The Angelo State University Rambelle basketball team clinched its first LSC tournament title since 2016 after defeating the University of Texas-Tyler Patriots and the Texas Woman's University Pioneers at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. 

ASU 62-53 UTT (Semifinal Game) 

On Saturday, March 4, the Belles would find themselves in the semifinal round of tournament action against the Patriots. 

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Tayjanna McGhee-Pleasant contributed to the ASU offensive effort early, scoring 5 early points to put the Belles up 5-2 in the first quarter. Madeline Stephens made a layup late in the quarter to stop the Patriots' 10-3 run, but the Belles would still trail 12-10 heading into the second quarter of play. 

The UTT lead would continue to grow, but the ASU offense would find its spark late in the second quarter as they scored 9 straight points to regain the 21-16 lead with four minutes left to play in the half. ASU would play solid defense to hold UTT scoreless over the final 3:33 as they would put another 9 points on the board, 5 of which would come from Sawyer Lloyd as the Belles went up 28-19 at the half. 

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At the start of the second half, Landry Morrow started the scoring quickly with a 3-pointer, allowing the momentum to continue for Stephens to score 4 more points as the Belles extended their lead to 10 points, 35-35, with five minutes left to play in the third quarter. 

With 2:20 left to play in the quarter, McGhee-Pleasant and Lloyd would each sink a 3-pointer to make the score 48-28. The Patriots would continue to battle back, scoring 9 points of their own, but would quickly lose their momentum after Lloyd hit a jumper to end the quarter and keep the Belles up 45-37. 

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McGhee-Pleasant would hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead back to double figures with 5:53 left to play in regulation. UTT would try and cut the lead for ASU, but late free throws down the stretch would secure the 62-53 victory for the Belles.

McGhee-Pleasant led the scoring effort for the Belles with 16 points and eight rebounds. Lloyd picked up another double-double during her 40 full minutes of play, earning 14 points and 10 rebounds. Stephens picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and the same number of boards to counter it. Morrow also had an impressive semifinal performance with 12 points and seven boards. 

ASU 63-62 TWU (LSC Title Game) 

On the final day of the LSC tournament on March 5, the Rambelles would find themselves back in the title game against the Texas Woman’s University Pioneers. 

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With just under six minutes to play in the first, shots from behind the arch would fall for the Belles as Morrow drained the second 3-ball of the game, giving ASU the early 8-2 lead. In the next four minutes of play in the opening quarter, TWU would go on their own 9-2 run to put themselves ahead with 2:20 left to play in the quarter. As both teams continued to battle, the Pioneers would find themselves up 15-14 heading into the second. 

As ASU would trail 30-22 with 2:01 left to play in the half, both Alexandra Bednarczyk and Madisen Honea would contribute buckets to the scoring effort. Lloyd would contribute another bucket herself before the halftime buzzer as the Belles would find themselves down by 10 heading into the break, 34-24. 

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The start of the third quarter would be slow for ASU as they trailed by 15 points with just over seven minutes left to play in the quarter. The Belles would not go without a fight, cutting the Pioneer lead to 9 points with buckets made by Stephens, Lloyd and McGhee-Pleasant late in the quarter with 5:20 left to play. Stephens would contribute 4 more points as ASU found themselves down by 7 heading into the final quarter. 

In the final quarter, the Rambelles found their momentum again as Lloyd and Stephens scored 4 points each with 8:07 left to play in the quarter. Stephens would hit a late triple to give the Belles their first lead since the opening frame, 53-50, with 6:30 left to play. TWU would go ahead by 5 after scoring 8 straight to subside the ASU drive from moments earlier. The game's final points came from Lloyd, Morrow and Stephens, and the victory was secured 63-62. 

Stephens would be the lead scorer for ASU finishing with 24 points as she was named the LSC Tournament MVP following the victory. Lloyd also finished in double digits with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. With her performance in the assist category, she became the all-time Angelo State leader in assists and was named to the LSC-All Tournament.  Morrow was also named to the All-Tournament team. 

After the selection show Sunday night, the Belles hold the No. 1 seed in the South Central Region and will host the first round of the NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Tournament, where they will take on the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs on Friday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. 

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