By MICHAEL WRIGHT
ARLINGTON – The Texas State (20-9, 14-2) women’s basketball team could not overcome a big 1st half deficit and lost their regular season finale 88-71 to UT Arlington (18-9, 13-3) Saturday at Texas Hall. The ‘Cats are the regular season champions and will be the #1 seed in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament. The 14-2 mark in conference play was the best in program history. UTA moved up to the #2 seed in the SLC Tournament after UTSA lost to Stephen F. Austin 57-54 to fall to the #3 seed. UTA holds a slim 11-9 lead in games played at Texas Hall. The Mavs have now also won five of the last six meetings with the Bobcats. Texas State won the teams previous meeting 63-59 on February 9th.
The Bobcats did not shoot the ball very well in the 1st half and fell behind by 10 points (21-11) with 11:15 left until halftime. Texas State then went on a 7-0 run and only trailed by three (21-18) when Aimee Hilburn finished off a 3 point play a minute and a half later. The Mavericks doubled up the Bobcats 24-12 for the rest of the half though to lead by 15 (45-30). UTA made 20 of 35 shots (57.1%) for the half while the Bobcats made 12 of 34 (35.3%). The Mavs dominated in the paint and outscored the Bobcats 34-6.
The Bobcats scored the 1st 6 points of the 2nd half to bring the score to 45-36. UTA responded though and got the lead up to 20 points (70-50) with 8:55 remaining. The teams went back and forth for the rest of the game and UTA outscored Texas State 43-41 for the half to win the game 88-71. Senior Joyce Ekworomadu led the team in scoring with 18 points which is right at her season average. She is 2nd in the conference in scoring with 18.3. points per game. Marie Moser and Victoria Davis both chipped in 11 points each. Last weeks Southland Conference Player of the Week, Ashley Cole finished with 8 points.
The Bobcats will now travel to Katy for the Southland Conference Tournament. Their first game will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12.
Scoring: Joyce Ekworomadu (18), Marie Moser (11), Victoria Davis (11), Ashley Cole (8), Aimee Hilburn (7)
Rebounding: Joyce Ekworomadu (7), Aimee Hilburn (6), Brooke DeGrate (4), Victoria Davis (4)
Assist: Brooke DeGrate (2), Joyce Ekworomadu (2), Victoria Davis (2), Marie Moser (1)
Blocks: Aimee Hilburn (1), Brooke DeGrate (1)
Steals: Brooke DeGrate (2), Joyce Ekworomadu (1), Victoria Davis (1), Ryaan Bradford (1)
Scoring: Shalyn Martin (19), Tiffeny Riles (17), Tamara Simmons (16)
Rebounding: Shalyn Martin (10), Maryann Abanobi (8), Candice Champion (7)
Assist: Kiarra Shofner (5),
Blocks: Shalyn Martin (1), Maryann Abanobi (1)
Steals: Shalyn Martin (2), Tamara Simmons (2), Meghan Nelson (2)