Tag Archives: WAC

College Athletics: Ready for the next level?

How did Texas State’s only season in the Western Athletic Conference turn out?

While the Bobcat baseball team still has the WAC Tournament this week, each program — including Ty Harrington’s bunch — wrapped up its regular season.

Here is a look at how Texas State did in its final season against a schedule full of Southland Conference opponents versus those in the WAC.

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College Track: How sweep it is!

Prior to last Saturday’s final day of the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Texas State only had one team title in its new conference. Back in February, the women’s track and field team took first place at the conference meet.

Well, you might as well add two more to that tally after the women added an outdoor crown to their haul and the men followed suit.

“Once the women got a taste of it, I knew the men wanted it too,” Boone said. “It’s just that competitive nature that I love so much about this team.”

Texas State’s women held a comfortable lead from early on in the meet, while the men rallied on the last day.

“It was a total team effort from each team,” said Boone, a second-year head coach. “We couldn’t have been in that position if it weren’t for our throwers, our jumpers, our sprinters, our middle-distance runners or the long-distance guys.”

Once the Bobcats clinched both titles, all that was left to do was douse Boone in Gatorade. Boone never saw it coming.

“They really did get me on that one,” Boone said. “You see it on TV all the time and you think you’d need it coming, but I didn’t.”

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College Baseball: Texas State snaps five-game losing streak

Texas State sent two pitchers to the mound Friday night who had something to prove.

Sophomore starter Taylor Black wanted to bounce back from an ugly start seven days earlier against Sacramento State. Junior reliever Hunter Lemke had to show he still had a solid grasp on his role as closer.

Black and Lemke were the only two pitchers to throw against Louisiana Tech — and for good reason. They combined to shut out the Bulldogs and senior catcher Andrew Stumph knocked in the lone run of a 1-0 win at Bobcat Ballpark.

Texas State snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 6-4 in the Western Athletic Conference.

“This feels good,” Bobcat head coach Ty Harrington said. “No doubt about it.”

Black, who battled through some control problems (five walks), set the early tone for Texas State. Whenever the Bobcats needed Black to locate a big pitch, he did. Black escaped a jam in the second when he struck out Austin Hedges with a man on third and then induced a grounder by Ryan Gebhardt in the seventh that third baseman Colby Targun snared and fired to first for the third out of the inning.

“There was a stretch from the fourth to the sixth where Black was really good,” Harrington said. “That’s why he stuck with him.”

Lemke relieved Black with two outs in the eighth and after a walk, ended the inning with a strikeout. Then Lemke allowed a lead-off single in the ninth, but recorded three quick outs to pick up his fifth save.

“He really showed how gritty he could be,” Harrington said of Lemke.

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College Basketball: Halftime Thoughts (Men 36, Seattle 28)

It’s halftime at The Orleans Arena, with the Texas State men leading Seattle University by a score of 36-28.

  • Wondered if Doug Davalos would start junior forward Joel Wright. He did — and it’s paying off. Wright has a game-high 16 points at halftime on 5-of-9 shooting and is getting to the free-throw line (6-of-6). If Wright stays out of foul trouble, the Bobcats will be in good shape.
  • Senior forward Matt Staff is also playing well. Staff has nine points to go along with one rebound, one assist and one block.
  • Each of the Redhawks’ 10 turnovers have been “forced” by Texas State, according to the stats. To wit, the Bobcats are playing aggressive defense with busy hands.
  • Texas State is also forcing Seattle to take some tough shots. At halftime, the Redhawks are 9-of-25 from the field (36 percent) and only have 10 points in the paint.

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College Basketball: Viva Las Vegas

The Orleans Hotel and Casino is hosting the 2013 WAC Tournament.

The Orleans Hotel and Casino is hosting the 2013 WAC Tournament.

Boko, we’re not in Katy any more.

Starting Tuesday afternoon, Texas State joins nine other teams from the Western Athletic Conference at The Orleans Arena to begin a quest for one of two automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament. It’s possible for the WAC to have two bids for the men, but the Bobcats need to win each tournament to gain access to the Big Dance.

At noon, the 10th-seeded Texas State women get tournament action underway when it takes on No. 7 Denver. Whether or not the Bobcats advance depends on if they can surround senior guard Diamond Ford with a team. When Texas State had success in WAC play, Ford wasn’t the only scorer. In games where Ford had to do the heavy lifting, the Bobcats struggled. To wit, Ford only needs 17 points to break Carlotta Fisbeck’s single-season scoring record.

Six hours later, the seventh-seeded Texas State men tangle with No. 10 Seattle University. The Bobcats swept the Redhawks during the regular season, but only by five combined points. Seattle only lost in San Marcos a few weeks ago when a buzzer-beating 3-pointer fell short. Should Texas State put forth the kind of effort it did last Saturday night in a 90-67 win over San Jose State, a meeting with No. 2 Denver should be within its grasp.

Check back regularly, as we’ll have updates from Las Vegas throughout the day.

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College Basketball: WAC Tournament Bound

Given how both Texas State teams finished the regular season, the future might be bright for the Bobcats.

In San Marcos, Diamond Ford and the Texas State women (10-19, 4-14 Western Athletic Conference) closed out with a 100-67 thumping of San Jose State. Ford racked up a huge game (25 points, seven steals, six assists and four rebounds), while three other players chipped in more than 10 points. Junior forward Ashley Ezeh (23 points and six rebounds) survived a scare late in the second half when she crumpled to the floor in agony, clutching the same knee she injured earlier in the season, but walked off under her own power.

In San Jose, Joel Wright returned to form and the Bobcats men (10-21, 5-13 WAC) railroaded the Spartans, 90-67. Wright finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Texas State wrap up seventh place in conference play. Junior guard Deonte’ Jones and senior forward Matt Staff combined for 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting (3-of-7 from behind the arc).

By virtue of those victories and other results, both teams learned their fate in the WAC Tournament (which begins Tuesday afternoon at The Orleans in Las Vegas).

In the women’s tournament, the tenth-seeded Bobcats take on the seventh-seeded Denver Pioneers on Tuesday at 2 p.m. CST. Denver swept Texas State this season — earlier in San Marcos when Ford missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into double overtime and then in the Rocky Mountains when the Bobcats lost by 13.

On the men’s side, the Bobcats earned the seventh seed and meet Seattle University on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CST. Texas State swept the regular-season series by a combined five points.

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College Basketball: Too little, too late

Diamond Ford’s first assault on Texas State’s single-season scoring record fell flat.

Ford, who entered Thursday night’s game 57 points shy of breaking Carlotta Fisbeck’s record, had a forgettable night as the Bobcats dropped a 73-56 decision to Utah State. Despite scoring a team-high 15 points, Ford shot 5-of-24 from the field and 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

Texas State, as a team, didn’t give its star much help. Outside of a big night by junior guard Jasmine Baugus — who posted her third double-double of the season — the Bobcats shot 9-of-34 from the field, including a 25.5-percent clip in the first half.

“No one else was really stepping up and scoring,” Texas State head coach Zenarae Antoine said. “She (Ford) felt that pressure. That’s always been tough for Diamond. When she has to be the sole bread-winner, if have you, it does put a lot of pressure on her. She’s a reluctant leader that way. It makes it easier on her when we have other players step up.”

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College Baseball: Bobcat blank UTSA

Is Texas State finally back to its old ways? It’s certainly possible to draw that conclusion after the Bobcats’ last three games, all of which were wins.

Texas State put a stamp on its current three-game winning streak Tuesday night when it blanked UTSA, 6-0, in a rare non-conference game against a conference opponent. Even though the Roadrunners came in as the Western Athletic Conference’s top team, the Bobcats used solid pitching and timely hitting to knock them off.

Over the last three games, Texas State scored 30 combined runs and drilled eight extra-base hits. It was a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by sophomore first baseman Ben McElroy that broke the Bobcats’ game with UTSA wide open, giving the hosts a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning.

“To be able to come in and make that kind of impact, after sitting on the bench a while and having to watch, feels good,” said McElroy, who missed the first eight games of the season with a quadriceps injury.

Another player looking to continue a rehab of sorts was that of junior closer Hunter Lemke. While Lemke wasn’t injured, his first few appearances of the season didn’t prove he belonged in that role. Lemke allowed three runs in 3.2 innings pitched and walked three batters.

Well, Lemke turned it around in two of his last three appearances. Lemke tossed a scoreless inning last Friday against Northern Kentucky and four days later, sat the Roadrunners down in order.

“I’m just filling the strike zone up more and letting them get themselves out,” Lemke said. “I’m playing with my defense behind me with no worries.”

Momentum is key for Texas State as it heads to Corvallis, Ore. for a three-game weekend set with No. 4 Oregon State.

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College Basketball: Big win for Texas State’s men

For one night, the stars aligned for the Texas State men’s basketball team.

In order for the Bobcats to continue their climb out of the Western Athletic Conference’s cellar, they had to complete a season sweep of Seattle University and hope both Idaho and San Jose State lost. Given the recent struggles of the Spartans and Vandals, the second part wasn’t too far out of the question; but Texas State faced an uphill battle Thursday night when it took the court with just eight players (sophomore guard Wesley Davis and junior forward Corey Stern served one-game suspensions for violating team rules).

Despite a short bench and gorilla on their shoulders the size of a seven-game home losing streak, the Bobcats pulled together to hand the Redhawks a 67-65 loss. It was Texas State’s first win at home since Dec. 8, 2012 and four players scored 12 or more points.

“We weren’t going to be able to do it with one or two people,” said Bobcat forward Reid Koenen, who buried a late 3-pointer to put them up for good. “We talked about staying together as a small group to make it a strong group.”

By virtue of its win over Seattle and losses by Idaho and San Jose State, Texas State took over sole possession of seventh place. If the Bobcats beat the Vandals tomorrow afternoon, Doug Davalos’ team would find itself in sixth with two games left in the regular season.

“Every game is big this time of the year,” Davalos said. “I just want us to play well.”

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College Basketball: Important stretch for Texas State

For the second time this season, Texas State has the reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on its roster. Who could it be other than junior forward Joel Wright.

Texas State junior forward Joel Wright took home his second WAC Player of the Week honor.

Texas State junior forward Joel Wright took home his second WAC Player of the Week honor.

Last Saturday, Wright led the Bobcats to a 74-61 win over Lamar in the ESPN BracketBusters series. Wright scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds, handed out six assists and blocked four shots.

“We have to win games for me to get that award,” Wright said. “In all honesty, that award goes to the team. I’m happy that they noticed me for my good performance, but I’m just trying to win games and need to stay humble.”

Wright added that he hopes the team uses the win — and the award — as momentum going forward. That’s exactly what Texas State needs as it embarks on an important four-game stretch.

Beginning Thursday, the Bobcats take on three teams in the bottom half of the WAC standings (Seattle University, Idaho and San Jose State). If Texas State is to improve its seed as it heads into the WAC Tournament (March 12-16), Doug Davalos’ team must win a few of those games.

When the Bobcats take the floor Thursday night against the Redhawks, they’re also looking to snap a long home losing streak. Texas State, one year removed from winning 16 consecutive home games, has lost seven in a row.

“We can’t have teams coming in and thinking, ‘This is going to be an easy win,'” Bobcat junior guard Deonte’ Jones said. “We definitely can’t have that. We have to get tougher, guard better and knock down some shots.”

Here are the current standings in the WAC:

  1. Louisiana Tech (14-0)
  2. Denver (13-2)
  3. New Mexico State (12-3)
  4. Utah State (9-5)
  5. UT-Arlington (9-5)
  6. Idaho (5-10)
  7. San Jose State (3-11)
  8. Texas State (3-11)
  9. UTSA (2-12)
  10. Seattle (2-13)

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