Deer’s 36-point night leads Bobcats to fifth Sun Belt win

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Women's Basketball

Simply put, Texas State couldn’t miss from beyond the arc on Thursday night against Louisiana-Monroe.

Senior guard Taeler Deer had a game-high 36 points, hitting 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. The Sun Belt leader in 3-pointers, junior guard Toshua Leavitt, continued to convert with five 3s and 19 points of her own. As a whole, the Bobcats hit 14 3s to ULM's five to earn a convincing 78-48 win.

“I can honestly tell you this game was pretty stressful,” head coach Zenarae Antoine said. “Mostly because of watching film from when we lost in the buzzer beater at their place. That’s kind of hung with me for a lot of different reasons and it’s motivated me as well. I know for sure for our returning players, that this game meant a lot.”

Texas State got some early momentum when Leavitt opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers but the Warhawks answered with an 8-0 run. The Bobcats were down by one when Deer scored 12 straight points and gave her group some confidence to close out the opening quarter.

ULM answered with 21 points in the second quarter but it was unable to keep pace with the shooting performance put on by the Bobcats. Heading into the half, Texas State led 43-22 behind Deer’s 25 first-half points.

“All I have to do is hit one then after that I just keep shooting,” Deer said. “ I mean I’ve been in the gym so it just pays off.”

Deer also mentioned how the loss to Little Rock last week was tough but the team felt like they needed to bounce back together as a whole and focus on getting this win. Thanks to dominating performance put on, Antoine was also able to go to her bench early and get some young players some minutes in fourth quarter.

The second quarter aside, Texas State displayed a suffocating defense. ULM scored 21 points in the second quarter. The Bobcats held the Warhawks to 27 points in the other three. The man-defense Antoine had her team in forced 17 turnovers and 10 steals on the night.

“Honestly I felt like it was pretty good we did a better job with our effort and our communication and that’s really what we talked about,” Antoine said. “(The team) does a great job of responding, putting in the effort and seeing a positive result. You have to be excited as a coach.”

The win was not only the fifth win in Sun Belt play for Texas State (12-6, 5-2 Sun Belt) but also marked Antoine’s 100th win as a head coach for the Bobcats. The seven-year coach named a few games that have stood out to her but gave praise to all the players and mentors who have blessed her along the way.

“I think the thought process is just hard work and I was just givin' so much opportunity and that’s just god’s blessings to be honest with you.” Antoine said. “First and foremost, I think it’s always important to recognize our players as a former student-athelete. All of us wouldn’t be able to make this happen if it wasn’t for our student-athletes and how hard they work and the vision they’ve bought into.”

Texas State will be back on the court on Saturday when they host Lousiana-Lafayette with an opportunity to fight for a top spot in the conference. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. inside Strahan Coliseum.

 

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