SAN MARCOS – San Marcos will be the spotlight of Southland Conference women’s basketball on Saturday when the Bobcats face off against Texas-Arlington at 2 p.m. Saturday with first place in the conference standings going to the winner.Texas State (13-8, 7-1 SLC) and Texas-Arlington (12-7, 7-1 SLC) currently sit tied for the top spot in the SLC going into the first of two meetings between the teams. The winner will gain a game lead over the loser while staying in front of UTSA and Lamar, who are also jockeying for the league’s best record.
Maryann Abanobi leads the Mavs into the weekend with 12.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Preseason All-SLC First Team selection is the leader of a Texas-Arlington team that has allowed the fewest points per game against SLC opponents and ranks second in the conference for all games in field goal percentage, rebounding and opponents’ field goal percentage.
While Abanobi’s scoring numbers have dipped in league play, Candice Champion and Tiffeny Riles have picked up the slack for the Maverick offense. Champion has averaged 12.4 points and Riles 11.0 points per game in SLC player, and the duo also ranks first and second in field goal percentage for SLC games. Riles is also Texas-Arlington’s top rebounder with 8.1 per SLC game and a 6.9 rebounding average over the entire season.
Strahan Coliseum has proved a difficult place to play for opponents this season, as Texas State has posted a 9-1 home record. The Bobcats lead the SLC in scoring average at 76.3 points per game, and that number is upped to 81.0 points in league play. Texas State also leads the conference in rebounds and both offensive and defensive field goal percentage.
Joyce Ekworomadu ranks third in the league in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per SLC game. Ekworomadu’s 81.6 percent mark from the free throw line on the season leads all SLC players, and she also ranks second in three-point percentage on the season at 42.7 percent.Aimee Hilburn and Brooke DeGrate also play important roles, with Hilburn topping the team in rebounds at 5.6 per game while leading the SLC in free throw percentage in league play, having missed only once in 17 attempts. DeGrate ranks first in SLC play in three-point percentage at 52.9 percent and assist to turnover ratio with a 2.18 mark.
Texas State will also look to snap a losing streak against the Mavs, having lost four straight and six of the last seven meetings with Texas-Arlington. The Bobcats do hold the lead in the all-time series at 29-20 with Saturday marking the 50th meeting between the two teams.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on 89.9 FM KTSW and online via Stretch Internet at txstatebobcats.com.
Texas State University