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Texas State falls to James Madison in tough battle

Sunday, February 19, 2023

It was a hard fought battle but Texas State couldn’t overcome a cold night shooting in the fourth quarter as the Bobcats fell to the James Madison Dukes, 58-54.

It was not an easy pill to swallow for head coach Zenarae Antoine as the Bobcats held JMU down defensively but was unable to overcome their low points on offense.

“This is a tough loss,” Antoine said. “I really felt our team was trending in the right direction – which I still feel our team is trending in the right direction. At the end of the day, we met our defensive markers. It was really important that we scored the ball and we had plenty of opportunities, but when you’re shooting in the 20s in the third and fourth quarter, you’re putting yourself in a tough situation, even if your defense is holding strong.”

Texas State shot only 23.81% from the field during the third quarter and only 25% percent from the field in the fourth quarter.

“That’s really what happened,” Antoine said. “The end of the game is the end of the game either way. As far as us being able to make shots and knock down shots, that’s what we needed to do in those two quarters and the second half. And we struggled doing that.”

One of the keys the Dukes focused on was changing up their defensive schemes when the Bobcats had the ball as well as keeping Texas State off the board.

“I thought they (JMU) did a good job of mixing up their defense,” Antoine said. “Our team is pretty comfortable whether they are playing man or zone. There were a few times I thought we took some quick shots when we really needed to get those offensive rebounds which they (JMU) did a good job of keeping us off the glass.”

Though the defeat was disappointing, it was another day in what has become a stout women’s basketball league in the Sun Belt Conference.

As of this writing, there is a three-way tie for first place in Troy, James Madison, Old Dominion.

In second place, there is also another three-way tie as Texas State, Louisiana, and Southern Miss remain deadlocked.

Sitting on the outside looking in is Georgia Southern who sits in seventh place but is two games behind first place and only one game behind second place.

As its been in the Sun Belt, the tight race for the conference regular season title and a high seed come the conference tournament is highly competitive.

“On any given night, anyone can take an L [loss],” Antoine said. “It doesn’t matter what the record as we see that plays out. You really need to be prepared for the Sun Belt and late February you really need to do a good job of understanding your game plan and what it is so you can execute it down the stretch. You need to find those road wins which we have been able to do and you have to be solid at home to stay at the top.”

Texas State returns the play this Saturday against South Alabama for senior day.

Tip-off is before press release. Twitter: @ColtonBMc

San Marcos Record

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