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Defense is vital for Bobcats’ success

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The Bobcats are looking forward to hosting North Texas this Saturday after their home opener win against St. Edwards.

North Texas is a tough team. The Mean Green defeated No. 17 Oklahoma this past Monday on the road. Texas State will be coming into this game ready to compete with defense in mind.

“For us, it’s going to be really important that we do a better job defensively—this is a different team,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “North Texas is coming off a tough loss at home to a very good San Francisco team and then an amazing win on the road at Oklahoma, so we need to do a better job defending with our guard play.”

Last home game Texas State’s junior forward Amber Jones, a transfer from Florida State College at Jacksonville, took a fall and is not expected to play this weekend. Fortunately the Bobcats don’t have a rotation set in stone just yet. Antoine is utilizing the first few games to figure out the best possible rotation for the team.

“I don’t have a set rotation yet, and obviously with Amber not being in the game this weekend, it’s going to change as well,” Antoine said. “That’s what the first couple games for us are—just really trying to figure out which group is going to be able to best help our team get the win. They’re all aware of that.”

Jones injured her leg early on in the game, which her statistics reflected. Jones put up three points and two boards in the first game of the season against A&M. Lacking Jones’ defensive presence on the court will require other players to step up in her place.

North Texas is ranked 328th on the NCAA Women’s Basketball RPI, but the team will still be a challenge.

“They do what they do well,” Antoine said. “They’re really good off the bounce. They’re really aggressive. They come out kind of in-your-face right away defensively. They really try to be disruptive. They force you to take quick shots.”

The Bobcats will lean on their defense and persistence Saturday to overcome the Mean Green.

“I think one of the things we need to continue to work on is our ability to be able to follow the game plan defensively and our ability to be able to stick with that regardless of who’s in the game,” Antoine said. “One thing we do well is—it’s a team that their identity over the past has always been that they continue to fight and they don’t give up and they keep going. I think that’s been exciting to see.”

Texas State will face off against North Texas this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Strahan Coliseum.