By Joshua Orozco
After a tough loss on Thursday to Georgia State, the Texas State Bobcats came out eagerly searching to redeem themselves following their lowest scoring performance against a conference opponent in Texas State school history.
However, the Georgia Southern Eagles had other plans in mind as they came into Strahan Arena determined to steal their first victory in conference play all season. The Bobcats scratched and clawed all game, but unfortunately, the second highest scorer in the Sun Belt conference, Alexis Brown, who finished with 31 points, lead Georgia Southern past the Bobcats as the Eagles took home the victory 65-55.
The freshman duo of Da’Nasia Hood and Kennedy Taylor both made their debuts in the Bobcat starting lineup on Saturday with much praise from head coach Zenarae Antoine. Coach Antoine noted her decision to roll out two freshman in the starting lineup on Saturday.
“Once they’ve figured out when it clicks, to me it’s time to go give them more time, more opportunity,” Antoine said.
Defensively, the ‘Cats did a tremendous job forcing the Eagles to shoot from the outside which lead to a 9-of-30 shooting performance from beyond the arch. One of the many reasons behind Georgia Southern shying away from the paint is credited to freshman Da’Nasia Hood for her incredible job in the rebounding department. Hood finished the game with a career-high of eight rebounds as well as falling just one point shy from matching her career-high with 21 points.
Kennedy Taylor wrapped up her impressive first start with five assists to go along with a career high 19 points on 3-of-4 shooting from three-point land. Her insertion into the starting lineup was an observation of Taylor having “an innate sense of the floor,” Antoine said.
Take this game as just a sample size of what both Da’Nasia Hood and Kennedy Taylor are capable of because we will see a lot more from these two promising freshmen in the future.
Sharpshooter senior guard Toshua Leavitt began the game struggling to find a shooting rhythm going 0-for-4 from the floor in the first quarter. Her shooting struggles continued in this matchup as Leavitt finished the game with just three points which brought her total to just five points in her previous two outings.
Every historic shooter has slumps at some point in their career, and for Leavitt, her 3-point shooting ability is one of the best Texas State has ever seen in school history. With a tough three-game conference road trip ahead for the Bobcats, Toshua Leavitt will look to once again be the top scorer in the Sun Belt conference and lead the ‘Cats down the stretch.
Texas State now begins a three-game conference road trip as the Bobcats return to action against the UT Arlington Mavericks at the College Park Center in Arlington. Tune into the Bobcats next matchup on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. on KTSW 89.9.
Featured image by Texas State Athletics.