Despite facing the best team in the Sun Belt Conference, a late 7-0 run leads the ‘Cats to an emotional win for the Breast Cancer Awareness game.
Texas State upset the conference-leading Little Rock Trojans in massive 50-48 thriller victory. The Bobcats have now won two consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 5 and 10.
Sun Belt Conference win aside, it became obvious in the final minutes of the game that the players were playing for more than themselves, as the win was also part of a Play4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Game. The Bobcats would wear pink uniforms to help commemorate the game and help raise awareness about the disease. Head Coach Zenarae Antoine said she asked her players to honor someone when they played.
“We have a coach on our staff who is a graduate assistant (Jericka Jenkins) who had childhood cancer,” Antoine said. “I got to talk firsthand with someone who went through cancer as a child and now as a survivor, it was basketball that kept her going. It is really special that she is now coaching the game. We asked the players to channel or honor someone and we wanted to dedicate this win to her.”
Antoine said playing for someone else is a big part of his game and pivotal to her coaching experience.
“I lost my aunt to cancer just yesterday,” Antoine said. “That was really hard going into the game like that and I also lost a father-in-law two years ago…for me playing (for) something greater than yourself was really important and added a lot of layers to this game.”
The first quarter was a defensive slugfest between both teams as the first points were scored coming in a little over six minutes. Despite the Bobcats taking a 5-2 lead, the Trojans would go on a 7-0 run to retake the lead and end the first quarter.
Texas State would continue to battle Little Rock in the second quarter as both offenses would find their stride. The two teams would combine for 35 points in the second quarter which more than doubled the first quarter’s output.
Toward the end of the second, the Bobcats went through a four-minute field goal drought but stayed in the game as Texas State shot from 83 percent from the free-throw line. The ‘Cats would end the first half by going on a 5-0 run to take a 25-24 lead at halftime.
The third quarter turned into a back and forth contest as neither team would have more than a two-point lead. The Bobcats defensive front would stop the Trojan offensive by holding them to only one field goal over the last five minutes of the third quarter. Texas State would finish the quarter on a 7-3 run to take a 38-34 lead.
Junior guard Brooke Holle said the team’s scouting plan was instrumental in the close win.
“We had a really good scouting plan,” Holle said. “We changed up our 2-3 zone a little bit and we practiced for a long time in yesterday… we all had energy and we were working together.”
The Bobcats head back on the road to face the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks and The University of Lousiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Feb. 21 and 23.