The Sun Belt Conference tournament represents a clean slate for the Texas State women’s basketball team.
The Bobcats closed their regular season with a 90-84 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe Saturday and a 61-55 defeat by Appalachian State Thursday.
“We had the opportunity to put them away,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “Every chance we had to put them away, we either took an ill-advised shot—which was failed opportunities in transition—or we missed our free throws, or we ended up fouling.”
Louisiana-Monroe went to the free throw line 43 times, while Texas State tallied 21 attempts. The Warhawks shot 74.4 percent from the free throw line. Texas State shot 52.4 percent.
Sharnice Brooks, Warhawks senior center, accounted for 15 free throw attempts. Brooks finished the game with 33 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
“Sharnice Brooks had a phenomenal game,” Antoine said. “The shots she took were very difficult shots. She did a good job of being aggressive, and we fouled her because of that. She found a way to put the team on her back.”
The Bobcats raced out to a 27-9 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. Louisiana-Monroe closed the deficit to 10 points at halftime.
The Warhawks made 12 of 26 shots in the second half, eliminating the deficit and sending the game into overtime.
Louisiana-Monroe attempted 16 free throws in the overtime period while shooting 60 percent. Texas State missed all four of its free throws with a 58.3 shooting percentage.
Antoine said someone told her the Warhawks had nothing to play for since they were eliminated from postseason contention prior to the game.
She disagreed. Antoine said the matchup was the Warhawks’ last home game of the season and their senior-day game. They had plenty to play for.
“They (the Warhawks) are not going to lay down and die,” Antoine said. “They are going to continue to fight.”
Ayriel Anderson, junior guard, finished the game with a team high of 21 points. Erin Peoples, junior guard, posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Taeler Deer, freshman guard, had the team’s other double-double with 18 points and 10 assists.
The loss puts Texas State on a two-game losing streak entering the conference tournament, which begins Wednesday.
The fourth-seeded Bobcats will play the fifth-seeded UT-Arlington Mavericks Wednesday at 2:00 p.m in the first round of the tournament.
The Bobcats swept the regular-season series against the Mavericks, including a 65-58 overtime win at home.
Antoine feels confident in her team now the regular season is over.
“I told the team before we broke our last huddle, ‘It’s 0-0 now,’” Antoine said. “UT-Arlington is a team we are very familiar with. We have played them every year I have been at Texas State.”
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