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Texas State junior guard Kennedy Taylor (3) dribbles around Warhawk sophomore guard Gara Beth Self (2) during the first quarter of the game, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 64-50.

After leading for the majority of the game, Texas State women’s basketball (6-6 overall, 3-4 Sun Belt) lost 66-64 to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (6-5 overall, 5-1 Sun Belt) after a second-half surge by the Ragin’ Cajuns on Jan. 29.

To start the game, Louisiana jumped out to an early four-point lead before a layup and a three-pointer by junior guard Ja’Kayla Bowie took the lead 5-4 for the Bobcats. Senior guard Avionne Alexander then made back-to-back layups to extend Texas State’s lead to 9-4 just over halfway through the first.

The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter as the opening period came to a close with the Bobcats leading 13-8.

Scoring came early and often for both squads to start the second quarter, but the Bobcats held a slight edge as consecutive layups by junior forward Da’Nasia Hood took the team ahead 23-14 with 6:27 until halftime.

The Ragin’ Cajuns then went on a 9-0 scoring run, including four free throws by senior guard/forward Jomyra Mathis, to tie the game at the 3:35 mark in the quarter. Texas State was able to regroup and ended the half on a 10-5 run to take the game into halftime leading 33-28.

Through two quarters, the Bobcats shot the ball a blistering 56.5% (13-23) overall from the field but only shot 25% (1-4) from beyond the arc. 

Points were evenly distributed for Texas State in the first half with six players scoring four or more points. Leading the way for the Bobcats was Hood with eight points on 50% shooting (4-8), four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Bowie had seven points (3-5 FGS, 1-1 3FGS). Alexander was a perfect 3-3 from the field for six first-half points. Junior guard Kennedy Taylor had four assists and four steals in the first half to go with four points, all of which came at the free-throw line.

On the other end, Louisiana shot only 37.5% (9-24) from the field and 22.2% (2-9) from three. The Ragin’ Cajuns were able to pick up some easy points at the foul line going 8-11.

Sophomore guard Makayia Hallmon had seven points (2-3 FGS, 1-1 3FGS, 2-2 FTS) for Louisiana, followed by Mathis with six (1-3 FGS, 4-5 FTS) and senior guard/forward Skyler Goodwin (1-2 FGS, 2-2 FTS) and senior forward Ty’Reona Doucet (2-3 FGS) with four apiece. Goodwin also led the team with four rebounds at the break.

In the third quarter, Texas State was able to build its lead to eight almost four minutes into the half following an offensive rebound and a three-pointer by Hood. Louisiana quickly began to chip away at the Bobcats’ lead and eventually tied the game with a 14-6 run, taking the game into the fourth at 46-46.

The Ragin’ Cajuns seemed to be pulling away early in the final period as they led 55-50 with 7:24 left in the game, but a 7-2 run by Texas State tied the game with under four minutes to go.

The teams matched each other basket-for-basket as the teams were once again tied at 64-64 with 2:43 on the clock. After a turnover by Louisiana, the Bobcats missed a crucial opportunity to take the lead after failing to score after missing three shots and securing two offensive rebounds on a single possession.

Goodwin sealed the 64-66 win for the Ragin’ Cajuns with a 2-2 trip to the line with 0:02 left in the game, ending Texas State’s two-game win streak.

Four players scored in double-figures for the Bobcats. Hood led the way with a game-high 17 points (7-15 FGS, 1-3 3FGS, 2-2 FTS) along with eight rebounds. Bowie finished with 13 points (6-11 FGS, 1-3 3FGS) while Taylor (3-9 FGS, 2-4 3FGS, 4-6 FTS) and junior forward Lauryn Thompson (2-7 FGS, 8-8 FTS) each had 12. Taylor had eight assists but also had seven turnovers.

For Louisiana, Doucet had 14 points (7-9 FGS), nine rebounds (four offensive) and five steals. Goodwin had 13 points (4-7 FGS, 1-1 3FGS, 4-4 FTS), six rebounds and three assists.

Next up, the Bobcats and Ragin’ Cajuns will face off again at 4 p.m. on Jan. 30 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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