• January 21, 2020

COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Falcons regroup, prepare for next conference tests - Odessa American: Sports

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COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Falcons regroup, prepare for next conference tests

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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 8:29 pm

UTPB women’s basketball coach Rae Boothe made it a numbers game for the Falcons after an “embarrassing” loss against West Texas A&M Thursday at the Falcon Dome.

She went to the stat sheet when the team met for practice Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Lone Star Conference matchup against Eastern New Mexico.

“They (West Texas A&M) scored 22 of second chances, that was a key area for us, and we asked them (the players) if we could cut that in half,” Boothe said. “And they said yes.

“They scored 20 points in transition and that’s a key area and we asked if they could cut that in half and they said yes. That’s 20 points right there and we lost by 29 and we shot 55 percent from the free throw.”

The Falcons backed up their promise to Boothe against the Greyhounds.

Holding Eastern New Mexico to just two points in transition, the Falcons used the play of their freshmen to earn a 71-63 victory at the Falcon Dome, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Holly Hemmeline scored a career-high 28 points, with Rory Carter finishing with 15, Jordan Rogers had 13 and Alexus Quaadman had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the victory.

“All but five of our points came from the freshman class,” Boothe said. “We wanted to respond to the West Texas loss as a well as we could with effort and energy, as well as pride, and I think out team did a great job doing that.

“I think that’s a testament to how tough these players are and how they want to play for each other.”

>> TEACHING TOOL: With time running out in the UTPB men’s basketball game against Eastern New Mexico, the Falcons’ Donoven Carlisle elevated and connected on a 3-pointer that momentarily tied the game. The officials, though, after going to video replay, ruled that the shot was just a 2-pointer, keeping the visiting Greyhounds in front, 98-97, with two seconds remaining in the game.

The Falcons were forced to foul and Eastern New Mexico made the free throws for the 100-97 final, keeping UTPB winless in the new calendar year.

Turns out, it was the wrong call.

“I got a call from the (Lone Star Conference) commissioner and the shot they waived and made it a two actually was a three,” UTPB men’s coach Josh Newman said. “Told my team that’s how life works and the only things we really truly care about is people accepting accountability.

“The crew accepted accountability, the commissioner accepted accountability, so even though we lost that game and that was not the reason why, I thought it was a teachable moment for our team, to really understand that we all make mistakes and if you are responsible, mature and address it, that life goes on.”

>> DOESN’T GET EASIER: The men’s team, mired in a four-game losing streak, hasn’t been facing some of the top teams in the conference and the nation, since returning from the Christmas break and it will be more of the same this week.

The Falcons travel to face Tarleton State on Thursday in Stephenville before continuing on to challenge No. 13 Dallas Baptist at 2 p.m. Saturday in Dallas.

In order to keep the streak from growing, Newman knows the team has to do a better job on the defensive end of the court.

“Coming back after New Year’s we went on the road against two tough teams and came up short against both of them (Angelo State, Lubbock Christian) and then coming home, played a very good, obviously, West Texas Team and with three minutes to go it was a three-point game,” Newman said. “Against Earner New Mexico, it was a very close game in the first half; we got beat in the first five minutes of the second half.

“We just didn’t come up with the right stop at the right time to finish the game. As a team, we have to figure out how to get more rebounds; defensively we are getting the shots we wanted, but we are not completing the stop.”

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide

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