By Reily Chestnut
Assistant Sports Director
Oh, how sweet it is! Texas State starts their two-game trip in Arkansas with a 67-55 dub over Sun Belt conference lightweight Arkansas State. But from the way this game started, who would have thought the switch would turn so easily for the Bobcats?
The game got off to the slowest start the Bobcats and their shooters have had all season with a season-low six points in the first quarter while coughing up the rock six times (cue shocked face emoji). In fact, the turnovers would pile up pretty quickly for the Bobcats as they gave up the possession to the Red Wolves 11 times in the first 15 minutes of action. That’s when the girls finally started to turn the corner. Down 20-12 without starting guard Brooke Holle while she fought sickness back home, star guards Taeler Deer and Toshua Leavitt finally popped the lid off the basket by scoring the final 11 points on a 13-3 run to carry the ‘Cats into halftime up 25-23.
Now this is where the script starts to sound pretty familiar. It almost read like a story. The exposition shows the Bobcats struggled to start off after the first quarter. Then the rising action dictates a climb up the hill since the Red Wolves only scored 12 points in that first period. But then Deer and Leavitt (our prototypical heroes) swoop in to save the Bobcats’ skin and get them back ahead to stay. This leads us to the falling action: the second half that saw the Bobcats outscore the Wolfpack 42-32 on 48 percent shooting after intermission.
To add a little frosting on top of this sweet victory, we can include a redeeming performance for Deer. The senior guard led the Bobcats with 24 points and five steals, meaning she has 12 swipes in the last two Sun Belt conference battles (To compare, Aladdin could only steal one loaf of bread on a good day with a harmonious music number from some really cocky guards, making Deer a much better thief.) Considering Deer made only 12 of her previous 45 attempts over the team’s previous three wins, this was a little extra sugar in the sweet tea. But Deer wasn’t without help in this win.
Toshua Leavitt earned her marks with a quality 16 points on 6-16 shooting while knocking down four triples. This means that Leavitt now has 190 three pointers in her Bobcat career. Just seven more will make her the all-time three point queen for the maroon & gold squad.
For this Justice League fan, heroes are only better when working together, and this game was no different. Senior forward Ericka May put up her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds, proving once again that no good team is without a player who handles the blue-collar requirements.
After this win, the ‘Cats are 11-5 with a 4-1 mark in conference play looking to tie for the top spot this Saturday in Little Rock when they take on the 5-0 Trojans at 3:00 p.m. Catch that game right here on KTSW 89.9 and see if Head Coach Zenarae Antoine can become the fourth program head in school history to earn 100 wins against cream of the crop competition.
Featured image by Spencer Hall.