The UT Arlington women’s basketball team came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half but couldn’t complete the rally, falling to Texas State 52-46 in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament Friday at Lakefront Arena.
Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Rebekah Van Dijk had nine points and 11 rebounds, falling one point shy of her 16th double-double of the season, while fellow freshman Cierra Johnson scored a game-high 16 in the loss. It was UTA’s fifth consecutive loss to Texas State.
UTA, which ends its season 17-13, went cold offensively in the first half, connecting on just 5 of 28 shots from the floor (17.9 percent) including 0 for 5 from 3-point range. The Bobcats (17-13) only shot 29.6 percent in the half but were able to take a 22-17 lead into intermission.
In the second half, UTA’s offense found its rhythm and shot 46.2 percent from the floor (12 of 26) but untimely turnovers and shooting 1 of 11 from 3-point range allowed Texas State to pull away.
Despite the loss, UTA’s future looks bright as the Lady Mavericks will return 11 players next season from a team that saw a 13-win increase from the 2013-14 season.
The victory sends Texas State into Friday’s semifinal meeting with top-seeded Arkansas Little Rock (26-4, 18-2), which defeated Texas State twice this season by a combined 47 points.