The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team fell apart down the stretch Saturday, failing to get stops or keep Texas State off the boards in a 72-63 loss at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Lady Toppers (14-6 overall, 6-3 Sun Belt Conference) were outrebounded 37-27 and allowed Texas State (8-11, 5-3) to grab 14 of the game’s last 19 boards. WKU started the second half 1 of 12 from the field, while Texas State shot 50 percent.
WKU returns to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Arkansas State. Here are postgame comments from WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard and Texas State coach Zenarae Antoine. Lady Topper players were not made available in postgame.
What happened down the stretch: “I’ll say it one more time, and again and again – defense. We’ve got to get better. Our rotations were off, and we didn’t rebound the way we needed to. We couldn’t get stops when it counted.”
More on game: “Again, we didn’t come out of the locker room, and I have to figure that out as a coach. This is conference play, and that’s how it goes. You have to continue to work and get better. We’re going to go back to work and learn from this.”
Getting beat on boards late: “That’s something you have to focus on the whole entire game. You can’t take a break. They kept going to the boards, and we’d have a lapse, not box out, and somebody would get the rebound. We’ve got to make sure we’re going to be mentally tough for the whole 40 minutes.”
17-3 run in first half: “We got the ball to Chastity and got to the basket. That’s what they were doing to us. Every game, you have to figure out how the game’s going to be called. … The offense can’t dictate our defense. It’s got to be the other way around.”
On road ahead: “We’re still growing. We’re going to continue to grow and keep working. We’ve got these nine games left in conference and the conference tournament. We’re going to keep working.”
Will this be a wake-up call before Arkansas road swing? “I hope so. It’s what I told them in the circle when we huddled up at the end. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and move on. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll have a game plan and figure out how to get the girls out of the locker room ready to go. Both of those teams will be ready for us on the road.”
ZENARAE ANTOINE, TEXAS STATE COACH
Dominating down the stretch: “I look to what our team was able to do in overcoming some adversity we’ve had. We have eight newcomers on this team, and anytime you had eight new faces, there are a lot of little things that you have to work out. Our ability to stay consistent is important, and that’s what you saw tonight.”
Containing Gooch in second half: “I think Chastity got really frustrated toward the end there. We did a pretty good job defensively limiting her ability. Ultimately, I just appreciate the poise of my team at the free-throw line.”
Getting road win: “It’s huge. You can look at our team and see we’ve struggled on the road, but I think most coaches will tell you this: Your ability to win on the road is going to allow you opportunities for the postseason.”