Fresh off its first win of the season, Texas State (2-1) defeated the UTSA Roadrunners (0-3) 76-62 with the help of senior forward Da’Nasia Hood, who became the 20th member of the 1000-point club in Texas State women’s basketball history Thursday night.
The Bobcats held the lead for nearly the entirety of the game. Senior guard Kennedy Taylor (15 PTS, 5-8 FGS, 3-6 3PTS, 2-2 FT, 8 AST) led the team on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Taylor had 15 points, along with eight assists. On the defensive end, Taylor matched her career-high with six steals.
Neither team would pull away at the beginning of the game, it was back in forth with both teams trading buckets.
Taylor put the Bobcats up 11-9 with a wide-open three-pointer. But a UTSA short jump shot by junior guard Queen Ulabo tied it up at 11-11 with 5:31 left in the first quarter.
Junior guard Charlene Mass fought for a rebound that sent her to the line with a chance to take the lead. Mass hit both and had seven early first-quarter points.
A steal by Taylor in the top of Texas State’s 2-3 zone defense led to a put back layup by junior forward Lauryn Thompson. A three by sophomore guard Sierra Dickson forced UTSA to call a timeout as the Bobcats went on a 5-0 run, 19-15 Bobcats with 2:39 left in the first quarter.
Dickson hit another three with five seconds left in the first quarter making it 23-18 Bobcats after the first quarter.
Mass, who led all of UTSA's scorers in the first quarter, was issued her second foul early in the second quarter. UTSA was forced to sub Mass out less than 30 seconds into the second quarter.
To start the second quarter, the Roadrunners responded by going on a 5-0 run sparked by a three by junior guard Emilie Baek and a layup by graduate student guard Lapraisjah Johnson, which tied the game at 23-23.
Taylor would then split a pair of Roadrunner defenders and pass it to the corner which collapsed the UTSA defense. After a kick out back to Taylor on the left wing, she hit a wide-open three-pointer, putting the Bobcats up 27-23.
A no-look pass from Hood to Taylor led to a Taylor 3-pointer, giving the Bobcats a 33-23 lead with 6:28 left in the 2nd quarter.
Texas State’s 2-3 zone defense caused the Roadrunners' problems getting a shot and led to four straight turnovers during a 12-0 run for the Bobcats that created the largest lead of the first half of 12.
Hood and the Bobcats frontcourt got to the paint with ease which forced the Roadrunners to foul and get into foul trouble.
Free throws by Mass ended UTSA's scoring drought with 5:40 left in the second quarter. Cheers from the UTSA crowd and band tried to encourage the Roadrunners to build a run of their own.
However, the crowd's chant of "defense" was quieted by Dickson after a layup put the Bobcats up 43-31 with 2:37 left in the second quarter.
The Roadrunners cut the deficit to eight with 1:28 left in the second quarter after a spinning layup by junior forward Ndeye Ciss. This would also be their halftime deficit as the score ended up 45-37 Bobcats after two quarters.
The Bobcats won the turnover battle forcing 16 first-half turnovers and scoring 22 points off those turnovers. Both teams shot 48% from the field in the first half. Texas State hit seven three-pointers on 14 attempts in the first half. While the Roadrunners went 2-6 from the three-point line. UTSA had 21 first-half rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points. Both teams shot a combined 32 free throws in the first half, Texas State went 12-18 and UTSA went 13-14.
Taylor and Hood both reached double figures in the first half for the Bobcats, with Taylor dishing out three first-half assists and Hood grabbing three first-half rebounds. Ciss added eight points for the Roadrunners on 2-2 FGS and 4-4 FTS in the first half.
On a transition after a missed shot by Texas State, a jump shot by Johnson in the lane started the second half scoring and made it 45-39 Bobcats.
Although UTSA was unable to capitalize off a few missed shots from Texas State, the Roadrunners cut the Bobcats lead to just four with a layup by redshirt freshman forward Elyssa Coleman with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
On a cross-court pass in the half-court by Johnson, Mass made a pull-up jumper that cut the Bobcats lead down to just three. Taylor responded with a back door cut and a layup assisted by Thompson. Bobcats forced a shot clock violation on the other end that would ignite a 12-0 scoring run.
Taylor found senior guard Ja’Kayla Bowie behind the three-point arc for a three that made it 57-43.
The Roadrunners ended the Bobcats' run after a Ulabo pump fake from the left side of the free throw line and drive that led to a layup through a foul call.
But later on, at the defensive end for Texas State, Taylor drew a charging foul late in the shot clock, giving Texas State the last possession of the ball of the third quarter. After three quarters, the Bobcats led the scoreboard 60-48
UTSA scored the first two points of the fourth quarter with a putback in transition by Ulabo. On the right block Taylor made a behind the back pass to senior center Jaeda Reed for a layup that made it 64-50 Bobcats.
With the Bobcats once again on a scoring run, UTSA switched to a 2-3 zone defense and Taylor drove into it immediately for a running floater in the teeth of the UTSA frontcourt.
Taylor then made a three-quarter court one handed pass to Bowie, extending Texas State's lead to the largest it would be all game, 70-51, with 5:43 left in the fourth quarter.
UTSA was forced to press down 72-57 with under four minutes to play.
Taylor’s passing helped settle the Bobcats' offense in on enough offensive possessions to slow any UTSA momentum.
In the fourth quarter alone, Texas State shot 7-10 from the field, while holding UTSA to 10-28 from the field in the second half and 2-8 from the three-point line. Texas State shot 13-20 from the free throw line in the second half while UTSA shot 3-5. In the game the Bobcats forced 30 turnovers leading to 37 points.
The Bobcats would finish with four scorers in double figures. Taylor had a game high of 15, Hood scored her 1000th point with 3:43 left in the game on a wide-open layup on the left block (14 PTS, 4-13 FGS, 6-8 FT, 4 REB) and Thompson led the Bobcats with seven rebounds (12 PTS, 4-11 FGS, 4-8 FT).
Johnson led all UTSA players in scoring (13 PTS, 5-13 FGS, 1-4 3PTS, 2-2 FT, 4 AST). Two other Roadrunners would reach double figures, Coleman (12 PTS, 5-8 FGS, 1-2 3PTS, 1-2 FT,7 REB) and Mass (11 PTS, 2-10 FGS, 1-5 3PTS, 6-6 FT).
After the game Hood reflected on her reaching 1000 career points in front of her hometown fans.
"It meant a lot (to reach that milestone tonight), especially being from San Antonio and being able to play in front of a lot of my family. It meant a lot. It wasn't my best game, but I'm still glad we were able to get the win,” Hood said.
Next up, the Bobcats face the Texas Tech Raiders at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas. The game will stream on Big 12 Now and ESPN+.