The Texas State women’s basketball team began its final home stand of the 2016-17 regular season with a 55-39 win over the South Alabama Jaguars Thursday at Strahan Coliseum.
Thursday marked the ninth meeting between Texas State and South Alabama with the Bobcats now leading the series 8-1.
The Bobcats were first on the board to start the game, however South Alabama answered with six straight points thanks in large part to four offensive rebounds. Texas State responded with a run of their own with back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Toshua Leavitt and red-shirt junior Amber Jones.
The Bobcats increased their defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding the Jaguars to 14.3 percent shooting from the field.
Texas State came into tonight’s game boasting the Sun Belt’s top defense in league games. Since the start of conference play the Bobcats lead the league in scoring defense at 55.0 points per game and field goal percentage defense at 35.2 percent.
Texas State women’s head basketball coach Zenarae Antoine said that the biggest piece tonight was the Bobcats getting back to who they are as a team with a strong defensive identity. “We defend our title,” Antoine said. “The fact we went from last place on defense to first place in defense is huge, they take pride in that, and when we do a good job getting stops it gives them opportunities on offense, and this team does love some offense as well.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Leavitt hit two more threes helping extend the Bobcat lead to eight at the half.
South Alabama came out in the third quarter with high energy, scoring back to back buckets to cut the lead to four. Nevertheless, the Bobcats responded with another string of back-to-back three pointers from Leavitt and junior guard Kaitlin Walla.
The Jaguars continued to pound the ball inside, outscoring the Bobcats 8-0 in points in the paint in the third to keep the game within 10.
The fourth quarter was all Bobcats as they once again held the Jaguars to a sub-20 shooting percentage, as they coasted to a 14-point victory.
After five threes and 17 points on the night, Leavitt became tied for fourth all-time in program history for three-pointers made in a single season.
Leavitt has now made five or more triples seven times this season, and has shot better than 40 percent from long-range in 12 contests, with a season-high of 83.3 percent tonight.
The Bobcats host the Troy Trojans at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Prior to the contest, the Bobcat’s lone senior Erin Peoples will be honored for her commitment and contributions to Bobcat women’s basketball.