By Chuy Perez
KTSW Sports Reporter
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Texas State women’s basketball team opened up the new year with an 80-71, down-to-the-wire win over Georgia State on Saturday. The Bobcats had to withstand a furious run by the Panthers after blowing a 33 point lead late in the third quarter.
How It Happened:
Texas State started out hot from three-point range, making five baskets from downtown in the first quarter. Senior guard, Raven Burns, scored all nine of her first quarter points from beyond the arc.
Georgia State could not get anything going offensively during the first half, shooting just 34 percent from the field and turning the ball over 12 times. The Panthers then began their usual strong defensive attack; they began to run full court pressure against the Bobcats, forcing Texas State into some critical turnovers. The Bobcats then took a 14 point, first quarter lead and turned it into a 29 point cushion as the teams headed to the locker room for halftime.
During the third quarter, things change dramatically for the Bobcats on the offensive side of the ball. After shooting a red hot 60 percent from the field in the first half, the Panthers full court pressure caused confusion and sloppy play for the Bobcats, who would find themselves in a shooting slump.
Georgia State found a way to make it interesting, as they clawed their way back by starting a furious rally with 1:33 left in the third quarter. At the time Texas State had their largest lead of the game at 33. The Panthers continued suffocating the Bobcats defensively and aside from their poor free throw shooting, they were able to outscore the Bobcats 33-12 for the remainder of the game.
The Panthers went on a big run while the Bobcats suffered a severe scoring drought. Ultimately, the first half lead proved to be too much, but the Bobcats held on with some crucial free throws made by Ariel Anderson. Texas State finished with an 80-71 victory over the Georgia State Panthers.
The Bobcats finished tied for a season high with 80 points and hit 10-for-24 from downtown. Georgia State shot just 12-for-26 at the charity stripe while Texas State went 16-for-25 at the line.
Who Stood Out:
Ericka May recorded her first double-double of the season with a new career high of 19 points and also contributed on the glass with 12 boards. Kaitlin Walla continues to show her ability to contribute in the scoring column and recorded her sixth-straight game in double figures with 15 points. Whitney Apari led the game in total rebounds with a new career-high of 15 and contributed a season-high 8 points as well. Raven Burns recorded 13 points. Taeler Deer broke her season high for assists in consecutive games this time with 8.
What It Means:
Texas State, with its first win of the 2016 calendar year, now improves to 7-5 on the year and a 2-0 record in Sun Belt Conference play. The Bobcats improve to 6-0 at home this season.
Texas State will be on the road for their next set of games as they face off against Appalachian State Jan. 9. Tip-off against the Mountaineers is scheduled for 12 p.m. in Boone, N.C.