Beyond the game: Meghan Braeuer, senior guard

Sports Reporter

Meghan Braeuer, senior guard, faced with her first test of adversity four games into conference play.

The Bobcats were coming off a 20-point loss to Arkansas-Little Rock when Coach Zenarae Antoine asked Braeuer, the team’s second-leading scorer, to trust the game plan.

“I sat down with Meghan before the game and just asked her to trust me, and I’m very appreciative that she did,” Antoine said. “Because now what we’ve found is that she’s opened up her game and committed to defense and is a leader for us out on the floor.”

Braeuer had been pressing and not letting the game come to her in the three previous contests heading into the match against Louisiana-Monroe, which the Bobcats ended up winning 70-64.

Braeuer did not let the shooting slump continue to affect her game. Instead, she focused on other aspects of her game: defense and leadership.

The senior guard wanted her leadership ability to parallel her offensive skills. Offensively, she was distinguishing herself as one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in women’s basketball.

Braeuer averages 2.6 3-pointers per game, placing her first in the Sun Belt Conference and 47th in the country.

Her efficiency has not dipped even though she is a high-volume shooter with 115 3-point attempts in 19 games. Braeuer’s field goal percentage is the 22nd-highest mark in Division I.

“Coming into it, I was more focused on leadership—filling the shoes of Kaylan Martin and Coach Z talking to me about having to step up leadership-wise,” Braeuer said. “I feel changed—my mentality all over.”

Braeuer bounced back with 19 points and five 3-pointers in the team’s 63-42 victory over South Alabama.

Braeuer averaged 5.2 points, 1.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds in her first season at Texas State. Kaylan Martin’s graduation opened up a guard slot for Braeuer. She is averaging 11.2 points in her second year, which is more than double her previous scoring output.

“She could always shoot the three, but now she’s just honed in on it,” Antoine said. “She leaves everything on the court, and I’m really proud of her and how she’s playing this season.”

Ayriel Anderson, junior guard, and Braeuer typically manage the bulk of the ball-handling responsibility. During the off-season, the backcourt was fixated on improving field goal percentage and turning the offense into a routine.

Braeuer’s outside shot became an asset to a team that is first in the Sun Belt in 3-pointers.

“The respect that she gets from defenses has affected the offense a lot,” Anderson said. “When she gets out and runs in transition, it just opens up the offense. Defenses have to choose to guard inside or outside, and they usually choose inside, giving Meghan the open look. Her percentages have just went through the roof.”

Antoine said Braeuer’s contributions to the team are not always measurable.

“The recruitment of Meghan wasn’t necessarily about X’s and O’s,” Antoine said. “It was more about the intangibles that she brought. She’s just a fighter. She’s a tough kid. What we’re seeing now is the evolving of her game.”

Follow Donavan Jackson on Twitter @djack_02.