By DeShaun Hartley
The Lady ‘Cats came out with tenacious intensity on the defensive end with four out of five starters tallying a steal in the first quarter. At Texas State, the tradition is to stand until the first basket is scored, but the standing didn’t last, as sophomore forward Jayla Johnson scored a mid-range jump shot allowing the crowd to take their seats. Although the Bobcats started off strong, the Panthers would go on a 6-0 run to end the quarter, including a deep three from Georgia State’s Janessa Murphy at the buzzer, leaving the score tied at 12-12.
Continuing with their momentum in the second quarter, the Panthers kept the pressure on star player Toshua Leavitt, limiting her to her lowest scoring output of the season. To add insult to injury, Johnson appeared to go down with 6:29 remaining in the half. Although the injury appeared to be very discouraging for Bobcat fans, she would later return to start the third quarter. The Panthers’ stifling defense lead to seven turnovers and 1-12 shooting slump that resulted in a 20-2 Panther run and held the ‘Cats to 0 percent shooting from the three point line the whole half.
Coming out of halftime Texas State head coach Zenarae Antoine described her team’s energy level as “low.” She challenged her team to have “Bobcat pride” as they tried to fight back from a 18 point deficit on their own home court. Even though both teams scored 11 points in the third period, the ‘Cats were just trying to play catch up, as they scored even with their opponent.
Junior guard Brooke Holle played with heart as she tallied a team high in points scoring six of her 10 points while her team was down. She went 4-16 from field while also grabbing five rebounds for her team. She also had a little help on the glass from the Sun Belt’s leading rebounder Zandra Emanuel, who grabbed a team high six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 57-34. With this loss the ‘Cats will drop to 4-3 in conference play and will hope to regain their confidence back when they play again this Saturday.
The Lady Bobcats will look to bounce back quickly as they face conference foe Georgia Southern this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Strahan Arena. Hear all the action on KTSW 89.9.