The women’s basketball team limited the Georgia State Panthers Saturday on Senior Day to a season-low point total in its 54-47 victory.
Texas State clinched a playoff berth in the Sun Belt tournament, improving to 13-14 overall and 10-6 in the conference. The Bobcats are two games behind first place Arkansas State with two matches remaining.
"I'm really excited,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “As a former student athlete, there is nothing more special than this time, especially when I know they have an opportunity to potentially have postseason play. Every game for us at this point truly matters in order for us to get above .500, but they found a way to come together.”
Georgia State, the conference’s fifth-ranked offense, averaged 77.8 points in their previous six games. The Panthers shot 29.6 percent from the field against the Bobcats and committed 19 turnovers. The Bobcats made 37.1 percent of their attempts.
“Back to-back losses were really tough,” Antoine said. “They stepped up in this game which was really important and they were able to do defensively and ultimately, that’s what matters as we get deeper into March. I feel like my last (home) game every year, something magical happens.”
The Bobcats lost their previous two games against Arkansas State and Western Kentucky by an average margin of 24.5 points. The two-game losing streak was the team’s longest since Dec. 18.
“You have to forget about that last game and go in to the game with an open mind,” said Ashley Ezeh, senior forward. “It starts today, and you start with no regrets. It’s good to learn from your mistakes, and every champion loses at one point in time.”
Ezeh scored a season-high 22 points in 34 minutes, along with nine rebounds. Ezeh is currently ninth all-time in scoring, seventh in rebounding and seventh in blocks at Texas State.
“(It was) exactly what I hoped for,” Ezeh said. “I didn’t want to cry, and I’m glad I didn’t because I did my crying during the pregame meal. It’s a great day to be a Bobcat, and a great day to be a senior. I stuck with Texas State for four years—not a lot of student athletes do that.”
Jasmine Baugus, senior forward, scored a season-high 12 points, finishing in double-figures for the third time this season. Baugus’ last double-digit game was Dec. 22.
“I always knew Jasmine had it,” Antoine said. “Jasmine has started for me since I’ve been here. She has clearly understood her role, and she played her role well. We need her to continue doing that if this senior class wants to move forward in March.”
Baugus has appeared in 24 of 25 games on the bench this year after starting 30 games last season. Baugus’ minutes per game has declined to 14 this season, down from 33 last year.
“I was nervous at the beginning,” Baugus said. “I had a mindset that if I don’t score any points or play any minutes, I’m not going to be mad. I’m going to give it everything I got even if it’s off the bench. This is my last home game. I’m never getting that back. I got on the court and I wanted to give it my all. No regrets.”