With a 60-40 road loss to the A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on March 7, the women’s basketball team’s season came to an end.
The team managed to go 9-9 in the Southland conference, good for eighth out of 13 teams, compared to just 8-6 last season. Their 17-12 overall record ties them for second-best in the conference with Lamar, whom the team lost to in both their match-ups this season, and six games behind the conference’s best, the 23-6 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
Seven of the team’s 17 wins this season came in the fall, before they even started conference play. The team looked like a force to be reckoned with, grabbing an impressive win over an established Div. I Eastern Washington University team on the road and coming home proud after winning the UMKC Plaza Lights Classic tournament.
“I was really, really proud of our non-conference schedule and just how our team performed during the fall semester,” said Julie Goodenough, head coach. “We really won some games, some really tough games that I don’t think anyone thought that we would be successful in.”
But at the turn of the new year, it simply wasn’t the same story. The team, which had been averaging 77.4 points a game, wasn’t bringing the same intensity to their Southland rivals as they had been against earlier opponents. Going just 1-5 in their first six Southland conference match-ups, the season wasn’t getting off to the start everyone was expecting.
“I was very disappointed in January,” Goodenough said. “I thought in January we came back after Christmas and something had happened. We just didn’t really have that moxie about us that we had before. We didn’t come back with the same fire, the same competitiveness, so I’m disappointed with the way we started conference play but very impressed with how we put things together.”
And pulled it together they did.
The team finished the rest of their season in impressive fashion, going 8-4 with strong victories over conference foes, including Incarnate Word, Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana, and showed that they’re a team on the rise that looks to be a force in the Southland conference next season and for many years to come.
“I thought our team grew tremendously this season,” Goodenough said. “It is just super hard to win in the Southland. Our closest game is going to be Incarnate Word, over four hours away, and we have several trips that are eight and 10 hours away. To put a game plan together and to have that plan carried over into the game, playing at a high level and being able to win games on the road, is hard in the Southland, so I was really pleased with the way we played this season.”