This weekend the Texas State women’s basketball team will look to avenge 3-point losses to the University of Denver and New Mexico State University suffered at the beginning of conference season.
This season the ball club has been outscored by their opponents by an average of 4.2 points per contest. The team has lost four games by 7 points or less this season, three of those games coming in WAC play.
“When you fall short against a team, I think that just builds your intensity and your intent to win the next time,” said junior guard Kaylan Martin. ”You don’t want to lose again especially when you got so close to getting that win.”
It took Denver overtime to beat the Bobcats at Strahan Coliseum on Jan. 3. With 20 seconds left in the game, the Pioneers hit two free throws to send the game into extra time and won in OT 73-70.
Texas State hit 10 3-point shots in the defeat. Senior guard Diamond Ford had a chance to tie the game with 2.8 seconds left in overtime with a last-second 3-point shot attempt but missed it. Ford had a game high 26 points and went 5-7 from the free throw line in the contest.
Two days later on Jan. 5, a similar situation occurred when the Bobcats played New Mexico State. Down by three, Texas State had the ball with 7.8 seconds left and Ford had the opportunity to tie the game up. Ford missed the potential 3-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime. The Aggies won the game 61-58.
“We have to come out from the start and be more intense,” Ford said. “We need to finish the games out strong. We know we didn’t finish these games well, but I know that if we put it all together we will be able to come out with these wins.”
Denver will be led by sophomore guard Morgan Van Riper-Rose, who averages a team-high 14.1 points per game and shoots 88 percent from the free throw line.
New Mexico State will have 2007 McDonald’s High School All-American Stefanie Gilbreath lead them in their second match-up against the Bobcats. The redshirt senior guard leads the team in points, scoring 15.9 per game.
Gilbreath is a transfer student from the University of Southern California. The former Trojan suffered three ACL tears in her collegiate career before transferring to New Mexico State.
In the last contest between the Aggies and Texas State, Gilbreath had 21 points in 39 minutes of play.
“We probably will put our best defender on (Gilbreath),” Martin said. “We need to limit her touches, contest every shot and block out.”
The Bobcats will be starting the second half of WAC play this weekend. The team went 1-8 in the first half. Texas State is currently tied for ninth in the WAC, but Coachbelieves they are still in the mix.
“We’re not at the point of desperation,” Antoine said. “We just need to stay focused and get better. There are still quite a few games left, and we still have the conference tournament. I’m definitely not counting us out.”