From record-setting performances to last minute heartache, the 2017-18 season saw the women’s basketball team experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Texas State was 23-10 on the season, the team’s best record since the 2007-08 season where it went 21-11 on the year. The Bobcats held a 14-4 Sun Belt Conference record, earning the No. 2 spot in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament.
Behind its high-powered offense, Texas State reached the Sun Belt Conference Championship final where they lost to the No. 1 seeded Little Rock Trojans in a 54-53 battle. The Bobcats followed with an opening round loss to Rice in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, March 15.
Despite coming up short in postseason play, Texas State’s 2017-18 season was anything but a failure.
The Bobcats came out of the gates strong, going 7-4 in their first 11 games before Sun Belt Conference play.
Texas State opened conference play with a 69-54 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Four games later the Bobcats would get their first taste of their future conference championship opponent in a loss to the Little Rock Trojans. In their regular season win, the Trojans held the Bobcats to a season-low 48 points. Over the last two seasons Texas State is 0-3 against the Trojans.
By the end of the regular season, the word blowout became synonymous with the Bobcats. Texas State beat its opponents by 20 or more points 10 times in the season, almost half of the games played. More impressively, six of the Bobcat’s 10 blowouts were by 30 or more points.f
The Bobcats scored 90 plus points twice during the season, the first coming in a 91-38 rout of school rivals the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners. The second 90-point showing came in Texas State’s second matchup against the Mountaineers, a 92-50 win during the Play4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness game, Feb. 3.
Texas State closed the season on a five-game win streak that extended to seven in the post season until their loss in the conference final.
For as much team success during the season, there was perhaps an equal amount of individual success. 2018 saw several players cement their legacies as Texas State Bobcats.
Of the players on this year’s roster, it is safe to say that Taeler Deer, senior point guard, was the driving force of the team. The veteran player put together her finest season in her final year as a Bobcat. Deer earned Sun Belt Conference player of the year honors.
Deer set the tone of her season from game one, with a season-high of 44 points against Texas Tech. The senior point guard averaged 17.3 points and scored 572-points on the season.
In an 83-63 blowout against Georgia State, Deer racked up 14 assists, topping the previous school record of 13 in one game, a record that stood for 30 years.
“I didn’t even know that was happening to me,” Deer said. “I got out of the game and seen tweets about it and was like ‘Oh my God’. It was an honor, I work hard, and my hard work paid off.”
Deer is one of several seniors set to leave the team after the semester and for her it is a difficult thing to do after a season with such promise.
“It’s bittersweet,” Deer said. “I mean I feel like we had a great season this year.”
Lighting up the court for the Bobcats was Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference accolades, Toshua Leavitt, junior guard, who cemented her name in women’s collegiate basketball history. Leavitt drained 137 threes on the season, becoming the single season leader for most three-pointers made in at Texas State. The junior earned the same honors in the Sun Belt Conference and stormed past the previous NCAA record of 129 set by Brianna Butler of Syracuse in 2016.
With the exit of Deer and several other senior players, it is up to players like Leavitt and Brooke Holle, sophomore guard, to continue the success the team has seen so recently
With her days as a Bobcat numbered, Ti’Aria Pitts, senior forward, shared just a few words for the players taking the reigns of the program.
“Just be like a sponge,” Pitts said. “Everything the coaches are telling you don’t take it as them trying to get on to you or being negative just listen to what they’re saying because they’re obviously your coach, they know what’s best and they know what’s going to make you a better player.”