For their final game at Strahan Arena, senior twins Brooke and Bailey Holle led the team to one last win with a 67-62 victory over Georgia State on Saturday.
In addition to the Senior Night celebration, the Bobcats brought in their second weekend sweep and kept their Sun Belt Conference Tournament hopes alive.
Brooke helped the team to victory by scoring 17 points, including going 4-of-6 from behind the arc.
Bailey said the sisters focused on playing the game so they could secure the win for their teammates.
“Brooke and I just tried to pretend that it was just any other game because we didn’t want our emotions to get the best of us,” Bailey said. “The team did a really good job of being locked in because they wanted this win for us just as much as we wanted it.”
The Bobcats and Panthers spent the majority of the first half trading buckets until Texas State took a 28-26 lead into halftime. Neither side prevailed for the majority of the second half as the Bobcats went into the fourth quarter with another two-point lead, but Texas State pulled away after a four-point play by Holle to go up 57-50.
Sophomore guard Kennedy Taylor also came up big with a three-point play with 3:58 remaining to give the Bobcats a 61-53 advantage.
Georgia State fought back and was able to cut the lead back down to three with 15 seconds left. Sophomore guard Da’ Nasia Hood finished them off by knocking down two crucial free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining in the fourth to close out the game.
Hood led the team with 18 points, followed by Brooke, who added 17 with 4-of-6 from three. Sophomore forward Jayla Johnson continued her strong performances from the bench, also finishing in double figures with 10 points.
Both Brooke and Bailey were honored for their four-season careers at Texas State after the game.
Brooke, who has started in every game for three consecutive seasons for the ‘Cats, reached another career milestone in the game as she landed a three-pointer in the final quarter. The shot was her 133rd career three-pointer, putting Brooke at seventh on the school’s all-time list.
With a .351 season percentage, Bailey hits buckets behind the arc with the most accuracy on the team and ranks ninth in the Sun Belt. Bailey has seen time in every game for two consecutive seasons and appeared in 28-of-31 games her sophomore season.
Both Brooke and Bailey’s scrappy defense ranks them at sixth and seventh in the conference in steals, respectively, with Brooke racking up 49 and Bailey bringing in 46 steals this season.
Head Coach Zenarae Antoine said it was important for the Bobcats to close out the final weekend at Strahan with two wins.
“I’m just really excited that we had the opportunity to get two wins on this homestand to cap Bailey and Brooke’s senior year and that’s so important to me,” Antoine said. “They said pain is temporary, but victory is forever, and I really do believe that.”
Earlier in the week, Texas State defeated Georgia Southern (9-19, 6-11) 72-68 Thursday morning for the annual Kids’ Game at Strahan Arena.
Students from San Marcos Independent School District arrived for the game, putting the attendance at 3,386—the third highest attendance for women’s basketball at Strahan Arena in program history.
Bailey gave the ‘Cats momentum in the first quarter with back-to-back threes as the Bobcats and Eagles traded shots to start the game. Texas State pulled away at the end of the third to go up 57-49, but Georgia Southern quickly responded by going on a 12-3 run to take a 61-60 lead. The Bobcats were able to successfully close out the game by knocking down six of their final seven attempts from the charity stripe.
Hood had her third double-double of the season, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Brooke and Taylor each added 13 points, while Taylor put up eight assists.
Taylor said that trust was key when it came to their first win in the Georgia homestand.
“We’re able to trust in our teammates,” Taylor said. “Being able to trust that they’re going to be in the right spot and make the right play when it needs to be made.”
The Bobcats are currently 10th in the Sun Belt Conference and will travel to Louisiana to take on the University of Louisiana-Monroe at 6 p.m. Thursday to battle for the final spot in the Sun Belt Tournament. ULM won 58-55 despite a fourth-quarter Bobcat lead in the last meeting between the two teams.