By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
Ahead by two points with 13 seconds left and inbounding the ball, the last thing the Wildcats wanted was a turnover.
But that’s what happened. On the inbound, sophomore point guard Alex Guiton caught the ball on the run and while trying to stop, dragged her plant foot and was called for traveling.
“I thought she was bumped, but you’re not going to get that call,” head coach Shawna Levender said. “All we had to do was get the ball in.”
Midwestern State’s Katie Robertson hit a jumper to tie the game at 65 and send it into overtime.
“The game shouldn’t have come to one shot or possession,” sophomore forward Ashlee Barr said. “They shouldn’t have had that chance.”
In overtime Guiton put the Wildcats up with an early 3-pointer. With a minute left in the extra period, the Wildcats led 72-71, but Midwestern State took the lead with the 3-point shot, and pulled away to take the 77-72 win Saturday night.
Guiton led the Wildcats with 17 points, senior center Jamie Boles-Lord had 12, and seniors Ashley King and Kierstan Barbee had 10. Freshman Audrey Maxwell proved a productive backup to Lord by scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds off the bench.
The loss sets the Wildcats back in their attempt to make the LSC postseason tournament to a 3-5 record, but Lavender and her team know they are not out of contention yet.
“We have to beat teams we’re supposed to beat right now, and it would help if we picked up a win over Tarleton or West Texas,” Lavender said. “With some of the games that we’ve given away, it’s good that we’re still in for postseason play.”
The Wildcats will begin cycling through division opponents when they travel to Tarleton State on Thursday at 6 p.m. In the last meeting, the Wildcats played the division-leading TexAnn’s close, but came up short in a 70-64 loss. After Tarleton State, the Wildcats play five more games until the LSC’s Post-Season Tournament: Midwestern State, West Texas A&M, Eastern New Mexico, Texsa A&M-Kingsville and Texas Woman’s. The Wildcats went 3-3 against these teams in the first half of conference play, and are fighting two teams-Texas Woman’s and Midwestern State – for the fourth and final spot in the postseason tournament.
In the Wildcats three conference losses since Christmas break, the teams’ largest margin of defeat was the 6-point loss to Tarleton State.
“We’ve played them once and haven’t really been blown out by anybody,” Lavender said. “The games that are scary are games that you won the first time. You want to make sure you don’t become complacent.”