The Georgia State Panthers outrebounded the Texas State women’s basketball team Monday in Atlanta by 17 in the 82-69 victory, ending the Bobcats’ five-game winning streak.
The streak was the longest Texas State has had since the 2007-08 season. The Bobcats are second in the Sun Belt with an 8-4 conference record.
“Rebounding is something we have talked about from the beginning,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “Stopping Georgia State comes down to rebounding and getting stops in transition because they like to shoot the ball quickly. This game came down to defense, and we didn’t do a good job protecting the glass.”
Kendra Long, Georgia State senior guard, and junior center Brittany Logan accounted for 43 points on 21 field goal attempts. The Panthers outscored the Bobcats by 11 points in the last 6:23 of the second half.
“Whenever you face a new team, you’re never quite sure what to expect,” Antoine said. “We did the best we could to help the team understand what this team does well. The best part is that we have the opportunity to have Georgia State be our senior game.”
Sophomore guard Ayriel Anderson tied her season-high with 19 points in 27 minutes. Anderson has scored 64 points in her last four games off the bench.
“Ayriel is very shifty, and she’s so quick,” Antoine said. “She brings a lot of energy, and it adds additional depth for us when we don’t have point guard production. She works extremely hard, and her hard work will help us long-term.”
Before facing Georgia State, Texas State advanced a five-game win streak after defeating the UT-Arlington Mavericks Saturday 54-49. The Bobcats swept the season series for the first time in 10 seasons.
“Rivalry games are fun,” Antoine said. “I’m really proud of the defensive effort, because there were a lot of areas we could’ve done a better job finishing. As a former student athlete, I’m excited for the seniors that they had the opportunity to sweep UTA in their senior year.”
The Mavericks held a 4-point lead at halftime, but they missed 18 of 27 shots in the second half.
“The team just found a way,” Antoine said. “It came down to defense ultimately. Defense is always hard work hustle and hustle, and they did a great job. We got some critical stops, and we nailed some free throws at the end to give us a cushion.”
Texas State finished the game on an 8-0 run in the final 2:10 of the second half. Senior guard Kaylan Martin scored 15 points in the second half, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining.
“I just knew we needed a spark,” Martin said. “I just had to step up and be that person to do it. Everybody was excited. It was nice to see the team and the bench react the way we did. We jumped up, and we were very engaged. We continued the energy and excitement throughout the game.”
Desherra Nwanguma, Mavericks senior center, scored 4 points on 2 of 10 shooting. Nwanguma earned the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week award after registering 34 points and 13 rebounds last week.
“It was a team effort,” Antoine said. “The primary defenders followed the game plan, and the guards did a great job being in great help and it deterred the team to pass the ball into (Nwanguma). It was frustrating for her.”
Martin averaged 12.8 points and 3.4 assists in her past eight games. Texas State has surpassed last year’s win total through 23 games this year.
“It’s a great feeling,” Martin said. “I haven’t had this experience since I’ve been here. This is the best overall team we’ve had. We’ve found a lot of ways to score. I think this is the best defensive team we’ve had as well. It means the world to me that I experienced it my senior year.”