In the second game of a back-to-back, Texas State women’s basketball (4-3 overall, 1-1 Sun Belt) lost 67-41 to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2-5 overall, 1-1 Sun Belt) at home on Jan. 2.
Just 24 hours after defeating the Ragin’ Cajuns and recording a season-high 48.1% from the field, the Bobcats shot a season-low 26.7% (12-45, 3-15 three-pointers) and gave up 27 points off of turnovers en route to the blowout loss. Louisiana on the other hand, shot 53.2% (25-47, 5-17 three-pointers) for the game.
Because of the quick turnaround from the last game, Texas State Head Coach Zenarae Antoine thinks her players were physically tired but so was Louisiana. It was instead the mental fatigue that hurt the Bobcats and she says the team must improve in that category going forward.
“There is no excuses from that standpoint,” Antoine said. “So taking care of the basketball, understanding that every single possession we’re gonna have to take advantage of that. We fatigued, the physical can manifest in the mental and so you have to overcome that.”
Antoine says that, unlike the previous game, her team failed to move the ball and took bad shots as a result.
“They kept the ball on [one] side [of the court],” Antoine said. “The offense never moved whatsoever. If we’re not going to move the basketball and we’re taking quick shots on one side of the floor… then you’re not going to have any of those looks in the high-low action which where we were able to score.”
Just 10 seconds into the first quarter, senior guard/forward Jomyra Mathis drove left just after the tip and converted an and-one layup to give Louisiana a 3-0 lead.
Texas State went 0-5 from the field in the first four minutes of action as they trailed 7-1. Junior guard Kennedy Taylor would find sophomore forward Lauryn Thompson in the post for the Bobcats first field goal to make the score 7-3 with 5:58 left in the first.
After sophomore guard Keslyn King picked up her second foul leading to a media timeout, Antoine subbed three players in an effort to change the course of the game. Texas State found a bit of offense out of the timeout but Louisiana matched the Bobcats basket-for-basket and held a 12-8 lead after a three-pointer from junior guard Brandi Williams.
Texas State committed two turnovers and failed to attempt a shot from the field past the 2:00 mark. On the other end, the Cajuns went on a 7-0 in the final minute of the first half, capped off by a 3-3 trip to the line by Williams, to take a 21-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
Led by Williams (seven points, 1-1 three-pointers, 4-5 free throws) and senior forward Kimberly Burton (five points, 2-2, 1-1 three-pointers), Louisiana’s offense was clicking to start the game. The Cajuns shot 58.3% (7-12, 2-3 three-pointers) on field goals and 83.3% (5-6) on free throws in the first.
Both teams went cold in the second quarter, scoring a combined 11 points. Louisiana went on an 8-0 run in the first 5:22 of the quarter as Texas State missed its first six shots and committed five turnovers.
Coming out of a timeout by the Bobcats, senior guard Avionne Alexander scored the first and only points for Texas State in the second quarter as the Cajuns led 29-13 with 4:25 until halftime.
Louisiana only put one more point up on the board in the second and the game went into halftime with the Bobcats down 30-13.
In the first half, Texas State shot 26.3% (5-19, 1-4 three-pointers) and only went to the line twice, going 2-4. The Bobcats committed 13 turnovers leading to 14 points by the Cajuns.
Hood was the only Texas State player to score more than once in the first half, finishing with five points (2-4, 1-3 three-pointers) and four rebounds. Taylor, the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer on the season, had no points and four turnovers.
Louisiana shot an efficient 45.5% (10-22, 2-6 three-pointers) through 20 minutes. At the line the Cajuns only shot 66.7% but got to the line more often than Texas State, going 8-12. They also held a slight 16-12 advantage on the boards and only committed eight turnovers.
Williams (1-2 three-pointers, 4-5 free throws), Mathis (3-5) and junior guard Destiny McAfee (3-5) each had seven first-half points. Senior guard/forward Skyler Goodwin led all players with six rebounds and Mathis had four.
Louisiana struck first once again in the second half, first with a layup by sophomore forward Bre-Yelle Porter then with a three by Williams to take the Cajuns up 35-13 two minutes into the third quarter.
The Bobcats cut the lead to 19 points with 6:03 left in the third but Louisiana went on a 13-5 run to close out the quarter and lead 53-24 heading into the fourth.
The Cajuns scored 21 points in the third quarter, shooting 80% (8-10, 3-4 three-pointers). Williams personally went 3-3 from behind the arc and 2-3 from the line for 11 points in the quarter.
At this point of the game, both teams went deep into their bench as the Cajuns cruised to a 67-41 win over Texas State.
The Achilles’ heel for the Bobcats was turnovers, committing 22.
In addition to not taking care of the ball, Antoine also says that her team failed to adapt to what was being thrown at them.
"We can't turn the basketball over the way we did tonight — number one — and expect to win anything no matter where it's being played," Antoine said. "The second piece is it's really important to be able to make an adjustment to slow a team down and we really struggled being able to do that tonight.”
The Bobcats played both man and zone defense throughout the game but either way could not stop the onslaught of scoring from the Cajuns.
The only bright spot for Texas State was its continued efficiency at the line, hitting on 82.4% (14-17).
Taylor was the leading scorer for the Bobcats, finishing with 10 points (3-8, 1-4 three-pointers, 3-4 free throws) along with four assists and a steal. Hood finished just shy of another double-double with nine points (3-8, 1-4 three-pointers) and a game-high nine rebounds.
For the Cajuns, Williams had a game-high 18 points (4-6 three-pointers, 6-8 free throws), three rebounds and a steal. She was followed by McAfee with 15 points (7-10) and Goodwin with 10 points (3-7, 4-6 free throws). Goodwin was also Louisiana’s leading rebounder with eight.
“The good thing about this team is they are really going to take this to heart,” Antoine said. “When they did huddle you could see the passion, the want to from a variety of players. They’re not going to just lay down and say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna take this.’ It’s like, ‘Hey, we can do better.’”
Texas State will look to turn things around next week against Arkansas State University (4-1) on Jan. 8-9 in Jonesboro, Arkansas.