By Jared Fields, Sports Writer
Head coach Shawna Lavender has said all season that her team needs to play a full 40 minutes. Now at the end of the season when they need it the most, the Wildcats put together a full game Saturday in a 85-76 win against Eastern New Mexico to keep their postseason chances alive.
“I think the girls understand how crucial the games are now,” Lavender said. “I’ve seen a big change in their focus and urgency in the last week.”
The Wildcats began the game on a hot streak from behind the arc. Of the Wildcats first 24 points, 21 came from 3-pointers.
Senior guard Ashley King hit six 3-pointers on her way to 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 40 minutes of play for the Wildcats.
Sophomore point guard Alex Guiton provided another 40 solid minutes of play, scoring 15 points and making seven assists.
Senior center Jamie Boles-Lord provided the inside attack for the Wildcats. Lord was second on the team in points and rebounds with 16 and seven, respectively.
Freshman center Audrey Maxwell added 10 points in the post, and senior Lacey Blau chipped in 11 points off the bench.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 45 percent against Eastern New Mexico. However, the Wildcats went into halftime down by two points.
“In the first half we had a hard time guarding their penetration,” Lavender said. “In the second half we switched to zone, and that helped; it limited their easy baskets.”
The Zias went from shooting 60 percent from 3-point range in the first half to 21 percent in the second.
The Wildcats, however, shot almost 45 percent from the field in both halves, playing a consistent game throughout.
The Wildcats are tied with Texas Woman’s and Midwestern State for fourth and final place in the LSC South Division with a 5-7 divisional record. To make the LSC Postseason Tournament, the Wildcats need to win their final two games of the season.
The Wildcats play in Moody Coliseum this week against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Thursday and Texas Woman’s on Saturday. Both teams lost to the Wildcats earlier in the season.
“We need to win our last two games, and we’ll be in the tournament,” Lavender said. “It’s nice to finish at home though, that’s a big advantage.”