Paul Livengood

Notebook: Texas State 83, Arkansas State 74

WHAT THE WIN MEANS

Beating Arkansas State means the Texas State women’s basketball team has defeated every Sun Belt Conference opponent at least once in the past two seasons. The victory gives the team a momentum boost as the Sun Belt Conference tournament approaches. The Bobcats were 0-4 against the Red Wolves before Saturday’s 83-74 win.

TURNING POINT: First half

Ayriel Anderson, junior guard, and Meghan Braeuer, senior guard, agreed the first half of Saturday’s game was the best the team has played all season.

The team shot 58.6 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range in the first half. The Bobcat defense held the Red Wolves to 28.6 percent shooting from the field and beyond the 3-point arc.

Bobcats defeat Red Wolves 83-74 on senior day

Prior to Saturday's matchup, the Texas State women's basketball team was 0-4 against Arkansas State, including a semifinal loss in last year’s conference tournament.

The Bobcats' 83-74 win put an end to the losing streak.

“They (seniors) get to win their season on a big win at home," Coach Zenarae Antoine said. "You beat Arkansas State, who’s been a monkey on our back. Come on now that is huge. I’m so happy for our seniors.”

Antoine said this week the players made a list of four things they wanted to do against Arkansas State. She told them if they accomplished those four things they would win. 

Atop that list was giving 100 percent effort.

Second half run pushes Trojans past Bobcats

In Coach Zenarae Antoine’s eyes, quick shots plagued the Texas State women’s basketball team Thursday night.

Texas State’s missed shots created transition opportunities for Troy.

The Trojans took advantage of that and scored 12 transition points as a result.

Taking quick shots early on in the shot clock is not the Bobcats’ strategy offensively nor a recipe for success when you play a team that leads the conference in scoring.

Coach Zenarae Antoine said the team needs to correct its shooting efficiency. Texas State shot 30 percent in the game and 25 percent in the second half.

Women's basketball enters Troy matchup with confidence boost

Coach Zenarae Antoine views the matchup against the Troy Trojans like any other.

A win over Troy, the top-scoring offense in the Sun Belt Conference, would move the Texas State women’s basketball team within one game of the third seed. 

“If I had a crystal ball to see what the seedings would be like, and where we are gonna be, I think that would put more pressure on us,” Antoine said. “But even if I wanted to, I couldn't tell you what's going to happen because there is still so much left. It's tough to say who that other team is going to be.”

Antoine said despite the 64-41 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette Feb. 19, the team’s morale is high.

Notebook: Louisiana-Lafayette 64, Texas State 41

WHAT THE LOSS MEANS

The Texas State women’s basketball team fell to fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference behind the Troy Trojans. The next game against Troy carries huge conference playoff seeding implications. 

TURNING POINT: 17-3 Louisiana-Lafayette run to start the game

For the first 13 minutes of the game, the Bobcats could not score. Ericka May, freshman guard, finally made a jumper with 7:17 to go in the first half to make the score 17-5.

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER: Taeler Deer, freshman guard

Women's basketball drops to fourth place in conference after loss

Coach Zenarae Antoine’s biggest takeaway from the Texas State women's basketball teams' 64-41 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette was the lack of scoring in the first half.

Texas State shot 13 percent in the first half and 27 percent in the second half. However, they did shoot well from the free throw line, shooting 20-25.

“When you’re on the road, you have to start well,” Antoine said. “The start is critical to play well. The intent was there, but we just struggled scoring.”

Texas State was led by Erin Peoples, junior guard, and Ayriel Anderson, junior guard, who combined for 17 points. Taeler Deer, freshman guard, added eight points off the bench. 

Beyond the game: Taeler Deer, freshman guard

Taeler Deer is a legend in Channelview, Texas, a small, tight-knit suburb of Houston.

Deer’s number, 23, was retired in the high school gym. Her relationship with her coach, Kim Lockett, is about more than basketball.

In Lockett’s eyes, Deer is the daughter she never had.  

Their relationship grew over four years. Lockett was always available to her players but expected more from Deer.

Deer remembers an instance when Channelview was inbounding the ball. She was open in the corner, but Lockett told the other point guard to set the play up. Deer was upset, and Lockett benched her for the remaining two minutes of the game.

The team lost their seven-point lead and went into overtime.

Texas State to face Ragin' Cajun defense at home

Coach Zenarae Antoine’s philosophy this year focuses on the defensive end, where the Texas State women’s basketball team ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.

The ranking notwithstanding, Antoine’s defense has not reached her expectations.

“I feel like we are getting better, but we are still not where we need to be,” Antoine said.

The Bobcats’ next opponent, Louisiana-Lafayette, is one of the three teams ahead of them in defense. The Ragin’ Cajuns allow 57.7 points per game and force a conference-high 21.4 turnovers on average each matchup.

Antoine said Louisiana-Lafayette excels on creating turnovers by being physical and active in passing. The team’s aggression compensates for its height disadvantage.

Women's basketball 'survived' in win over Georgia Southern

In her own words, Coach Zenarae Antoine was "tired of seeing the same thing over and over."

She was referring to the defensive end, where the Texas State women's basketball team allowed Georgia Southern to make 39 percent of their shots. 

"One time I didn’t even yell, scream, I just told them look, I’m tired of saying ‘play defense,'" Antoine said. "I’m tired of saying stop trading baskets. They hear it all the time. We aren’t in the business of trading baskets."

Women's basketball begins three-game home stretch

Coach Zenarae Antoine does not know how Texas State’s game against Georgia Southern will play out despite the Bobcats’ 48.2 percent shooting in their last matchup.

“I honestly couldn’t answer that right now,” Antoine said. “My hope is that we just do a great job defensively at home and the rest will take care of itself. If we do a great job defensively at home and rebounding that basketball, we will be happy offensively.”

In the Bobcats’ 79-65 victory, the team shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range, and four Bobcats achieved double digits in points.

However, the team allowed sophomore forward Patrice Butler and sophomore guard Angel McGowan to combine for 42 points on 22 field goal attempts. Butler completed a season-high 11 free throw attempts in the win.

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