The Texas State women’s basketball team held on to a 67-63 victory at home Wednesday after a solid rebounding effort and a late surge by Southeastern Louisiana to separate the conference standings.
Coming into the matchup, Texas State was seventh in the standings and Southeastern Louisiana was eighth. The Bobcats moved past .500 in conference, increasing their record to 7-6 with three games left to play.
“It feels good. I think the team knew,” Coachsaid regarding the conference standing. “Someone asked me before (the game), do the players feel pressure? I don’t think they necessarily felt pressure. I think they feel pressure to get to Katy, but not particularly this game.”
Despite the Lions’ 30 offensive rebounds, the Bobcats used a strong first half defensive performance to propel a lead as large as 17 with ten minutes left in the first half. Though Southeastern Louisiana was able to creep back into the game, the Lions never took the lead.
“This team has shown since the beginning they can fight,” Antoine said. “They can fight on the road, they can fight against adversity. So I wasn’t as fearful about (pressure) and I turned to the team to challenge them, and I saw they wanted to finish the game.”
Interior defense has continued to be an issue for Texas State, a fact demonstrated Wednesday. The Bobcats lost the rebounding battle, allowing 36 points in the paint and 20 second chance points.
Antoine stressed the importance of fixing the issue moving forward.
“Anytime you give up 30 offensive rebounds, it’s a gut check,” Antoine said. “If we were to be on the opposite end and didn’t win the game, I’d be pretty upset.”
The Bobcats started the game scoring in bunches, and quickly earned a double-digit lead using 3-pointers from guards Diamond Ford, junior, and Kelsey Krupa, senior. Texas State limited Southeastern Louisiana to 11 points the first 12 minutes of the contest.
Southeastern Lousiana used offensive rebounds and turnovers to get momentum and went into the locker room trailing 37-31. The Lions continued to drive and score down low, cutting the deficit to three points with a minute left to play in the game.
“I did find it a little frustrating,” Kaylan Martin, sophomore guard, said. “We did work hard to get that big lead and when you see it go away so quickly you get a little disappointed. But we did a good job of not getting down and stepping up to the challenge and getting the lead back.”
Ford led all scorers with 23 points, Krupa was the third double-digit scorer with 11 and Verinus Kalu, senior guard, led all rebounders with 10.
The final home game of the season will be Saturday against rival Texas-San Antonio. The seniors will be honored in their last game at Strahan, and a win would guarantee a winning record in conference play.