Bobcats blowout UT Arlington on senior day

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Women's Basketball

Texas State needed no extra motivation Saturday.

Sure, it was senior day at Strahan Coliseum, but the Bobcats wanted to avenge their 61-59 overtime-loss to UT Arlington on Feb. 10.

Texas State (21-8, 14-4 Sun Belt) dismantled the Mavericks (18-11, 12-6) en route to a 75-58 win to clinch the Sun Belt tournament No. 2 seed.

“We wanted them after we lost (to them earlier this season),” senior guard Taeler Deer said. “We had a bad taste in our mouth. We knew we had to get this win for us as a senior group. Go out with a bang. And it gives us momentum going into the conference tournament.”

Texas State led 37-30 at halftime but it used a strong defensive performance and a stellar offensive output to pull away from UTA in the third quarter.

The Bobcats outscored the Mavericks, 19-9, in the third period. Texas State’s defense forced 20 turnovers Saturday, which led to 25 points.

“It was the defensive stops that we were allowed those offensive opportunities,” head coach Zenarae Antoine said. “I told our team, ‘If we see that press that’s a good thing that means they’re really going to work hard to slow us down’ and that’s what we saw.”

The Bobcats finished the day by giving their seniors — Deer, Ericka May, Ti’Aira Pitts, Zelor Massaquoi and Zandra Emanuel — the victory over the Mavericks that they wanted.

Deer put together a shining performance on senior day with a game-high 28 points, and five assists and four rebounds. Junior guard Toshua Leavitt knocked down six 3-pointers and tallied 20 points — Leavitt leads the nation in 3-pointers made this season with 125. May was the final Bobcat in double-figures with 11 points.

“There’s just a lot of layers to this game that I’m really excited about,” Antoine said. “I think we executed the gameplan well. I think the other piece of it was that it allowed our seniors to have some fun and be able to have an opportunity to show that they can finish and win this game solid here at home. I thought our fans got to see that this team is a true contender.”

Texas State receives a bye in the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Bobcats will take on winner of No. 7 Coastal Carolina (16-13, 10-8) and No. 10 Georgia State (8-20, 4-13) on Thursday at 5 p.m. inside Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.

After a dominating win to end the regular season, the Bobcats believe they can make a run toward a Sun Belt championship.

“I feel confident,” May said. “I feel like if we follow the gameplan, the rest is history. We got it. We just have to follow the gameplan and take it play by play. Stay focused and calm and we got this.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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