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Women’s basketball: clean slate for 16-17 season

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Kaitlin Walla, junior guard, shoots for a basket against Texas Southern University on Nov. 20. Walla averages 10.3 points per game.
Photo by: Jamie Dorsey | Staff Photographer

This season is a clean slate for women’s basketball and another chance to earn Texas State a championship title.

The women’s basketball team finished seventh in the Sun Belt Conference last season with a 12-19 overall record.

However, the team has made a lot of changes and it’s time to forget the past and focus on the ultimate goal of this season.

The Bobcats’ roster this year includes an older group of players; a total of seven juniors and a single senior. On the younger side, four sophomores and two freshman round out the team.

“It’s a veteran team, but at the same time it’s still a very new team,” head coach Zenarae Antione said. “It’s a new look for us, there’s a lot of kids right now that have the ability to be in rotation.”

Fresh faces to the team include Zandra Emanuel, junior forward, and Brooke and Bailey Holle, freshman guards.

Emanuel is a college transfer, coming from Coastal Bend College. At Coastal Bend, Emanuel made a name for herself by leading the NJCAA Division I with 428 total rebounds, 311 of which were defensive. Emanuel averaged 14.8 rebounds per game at Coastal Bend.

Brooke and Bailey Holle both come from Westlake High School in Austin. Both helped lead their senior team to a District 14-6A championship.

Bailey Holle was named District Defensive MVP her junior and senior season, and is a two-time all-district first team recipient.

Brooke Holle was the 2015-16 Austin-American Statesman Female Athlete of the Year after being named District Offensive MVP and averaging 17 points per game her senior season. Brooke Holle also grabbed a total of 222 rebounds as a senior and led her high school team in rebounds her junior and senior season.

Both Bailey and Brooke Holle were McDonald’s All-American nominees as seniors.

After playing in two games this season, Bailey Holle has seen 23 minutes of court time, while Brooke has seen seven.

Emanuel has seen 11 minutes of court time in the first two games, and has grabbed three total rebounds and scored six points.

The Bobcats also have a few players who were on the team last season, but were unable to compete due to injury or redshirt.

Amber Jones, redshirt junior forward, transferred from Florida State College at Jacksonville. Jones played in two games for Texas State last season before suffering an injury that ended her season. As a sophomore at Jacksonville, Jones averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

This season, after playing in two games, Jones is already averaging four points and three boards a game.

McKinley Bostad, redshirt sophomore guard, transferred from the University of Arkansas and could not compete last season with the Bobcats due to NCAA Division I transfer rules.

Bostad earned SEC Freshman of the Week while at Arkansas. Bostad has started in every game this season so far. After only three games, Bostad is averaging seven points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Erin Peoples, redshirt senior forward, is anticipating on getting back out on the hardwood after suffering an ACL injury in preseason last year. Peoples sat out last season, and has yet to step foot on the court this season. Peoples enters this season with 1,012 points and 166 steals. The sooner Peoples can get back out and play, the sooner she can make a big impact as the lone senior and most veteran player on the court.

Sophomores Toshua Leavitt, Kiani Lurry and De’Jionae Calloway along with juniors Ericka May, Ti’Aira Pitts, Taeler Deer, Whitney Apari and Kaitlin Walla are all returners who are healthy and competing this season.

After playing three games, May leads the Bobcats with 31 total rebounds, averaging 10.3 per game.

Leavitt is leading the team in points per game, averaging 11.3 and four assists per game.

The Bobcats opened their season on the road against Southern Methodist University, but lost 56-64.

Texas State has hosted two home games against Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Bobcats beat Incarnate Word 67-50 and beat TAMUCC 57-50, setting Texas State’s record at 2-1.

The Bobcats are on a two-game winning streak and seek to keep the tempo going against Texas Southern on Nov. 20 and Houston on Nov. 23.