By Joshua Orozco
Heart and hustle was the definition of the Bobcats during their regular season finale inside Strahan Arena on Saturday.
Texas State put themselves in a position to upset the number one seed UT Arlington Mavericks, but in the end they couldn’t finish it out as the Bobcats dropped the last game of the regular season in a low scoring affair, 44-41.
The shortest forward on UTA’s roster was listed at 6″ 5′, however, that did not discourage the ‘Cats from defending the rim and grabbing rebounds. The Bobcats outrebounded the Mavericks 35 to 30, making this just the second time this season Texas State led the rebounding battle yet finished on the wrong end of the outcome.
Including missed second chance point opportunities off 11 offensive rebounds, the downfall for the ‘Cats was the third quarter. As a team, the Bobcats shot just 1-for-18, tallying only three points in the entire quarter. Although there were a few times the Bobcats had an opportunity to regroup and steal a win, the number one seeded Mavericks answered right back.
Senior guard, Toshua Leavitt, finished her regular season career as the SBC record holder in career three-pointers made with 356 triples. In typical Leavitt fashion, she added three more triples to her impressive resume against UTA. Leavitt led the Bobcats in scoring with 16 points to go along with five steals.
Along with Leavitt, Zandra Emanuel and Dabrasia Baty played their final game at Strahan Arena on Saturday. Emanuel left her heart on the court in a tough matchup against the 6-foot tall UTA forward, Katie Ferrell. Emanuel finished with seven rebounds and three points before being sidelined with an injury late in the game. Baty also played vital minutes to kick start the Bobcats to an impressive 12-0 second quarter run.
Saturday was senior day, but the freshmen Bobcats also wanted to make their presence felt. Guard Kennedy Taylor continues to progress and become one of the brightest assets in the entire Sun Belt Conference. Taylor was all over the court collecting rebounds, forcing turnovers and creating high percentage shots for the rest of her team. Freshman forward, Da’Nasia Hood, matched a career high in rebounds with nine and a pair of three pointers.
Impressive defense was contagious against the Mavericks as sharpshooting guard, Brooke Holle, also tied a season high three steals and grabbed eight hardfought rebounds.
Since her reinsertion into the starting lineup, senior forward Jazza Johns has averaged 10.6 points and six rebounds, providing tough defense and intensity for the Bobcat opening minutes.
Texas State finishes the season with a 14-16 overall record and conclude their home schedule at 7-7. Although it wasn’t the outcome Bobcat nation wanted, this game was just an appetizer of what is to come in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The Bobcats will kick off the SBC tournament in New Orleans, Louisiana as the six seed. Texas State will play the winner of the South Alabama Jaguars and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Wednesday, March 13 at 2 p.m. Cheer on the Bobcats during their tournament run on KTSW 89.9.
Featured image courtesy of Texas State Athletics.