In its fifth straight road game, Texas State women's basketball (2-2) beat the University of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (2-6) 56-46 on Dec. 16.
The Bobcats went into the game looking to rebound from their 52-40 loss against the University of Oklahoma Dec. 13.
In this contest, TAMU-CC was able to keep a slim lead at halftime, but the Bobcats managed to assert their dominance in the second half and did not let up.
The Islanders were first to get on the scoreboard 3-0 with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Olivia Dowden. The Bobcats started the game cold as they missed their first three shots. Sophomore forward Lauryn Thompson ended the drought by getting the first bucket for Texas State off an inside pass by junior guard Kennedy Taylor to bring the score to 3-2.
The first quarter was a sluggish back and forth affair between both teams, but the Islanders were leading 11-8. With 0:11 left in the quarter, the Bobcats' junior forward Da'Nasia Hood grabbed a rebound off a missed layup by TAMU-CC, dribbled down the court through the defense and missed an uncontested floater to end the quarter.
At the start of the second, Texas State grabbed the lead 13-11 after graduate guard/forward Gabby Standifer scored five unanswered points, including the first three-pointer of her Bobcat career. TAMU-CC freshman guard Paige Allen responded with a 7-0 run of her own, giving the Islanders the lead at 18-13.
Texas State managed to go ahead 21-20 following a 7-2 scoring run after Standifer was fouled as she made a mid-range jumper and made the free-throw.
The lead did not last long as TAMU-CC junior center Alexandria Pollard hit a shot to allow the Islanders to get in front 22-21 at the end of the half.
Texas State shot 29.6% (8-27) and 18.2% (2-11) from the three-point line. TAMU-CC shot 35.7% (10-28) from the field and 40% (2-5) from deep.
For the Bobcats, Standifer led the scoring effort with eight points (3-6, 1-4 three-pointers). Taylor had five points (2-5, 1-1 three-pointers), three assists and two steals. Thompson scored four points (2-4), grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals.
Despite averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game, Hood shockingly was non-existent on offense in the first half, as she went 0-6 from the field and 0-3 from deep. Her two points came from two free throws in the first quarter.
As for the Islanders, Allen scored nine points (4-6, 1-1 three-pointers) accompanied by three steals.
Senior forward Giana Wright, sophomore forward/center Alecia Westbrook and Dowden led the Islanders with three rebounds each.
The Islanders went on a 6-2 swing at the start of the second half extending their lead to 29-23. The Bobcats answered with an 11-0 run capped off by a floater from Thompson on a fast-break which put the Bobcats ahead 34-29. The Maroon and Gold held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.
After going scoreless for 4:16, TAMU-CC finally managed to get a layup from Pollard to make it a one-score game 34-31. However, that was quickly erased by two straight three-pointers from Hood to end the quarter with the Bobcats up 40-31.
The Bobcats went 17-2 in the last 5:43 of the third quarter. The team shot an imposing 70% (7-10, 3-3 three-pointers). Despite being cold in the first half, Hood got into her rhythm, scoring 10 points (3-4, 3-3 three-pointers) in the quarter.
For the 'Cats, the fourth quarter was a continuation of the third as they started with an 8-2 run featuring threes from Taylor and Standifer to bring the score to 48-33.
The Islanders managed to put together a 5-2 run reducing their deficit to 12 as they trailed 50-38. However, the Maroon and Gold went 6-2, highlighted by four made free throws from Taylor to give the Bobcats their biggest lead of the game 56-40.
With 1:47 left on the clock down 16, time was not an ally for the TAMU-CC, but the team still fought. On defense, the Islanders ran a full-court press on each of the final Texas State possessions and even forced three turnovers allowing them to score six unanswered points to cut the deficit to 56-46.
Yet the result was already etched in stone. The Bobcats would go on to win 56-46 to grab their second victory of the season.
For the game, Texas State shot 36% (18-50, 7-19 three-pointers). TAMU-CC shot 35.8% (19-53, 3-10 three-pointers).
The Bobcats won the rebound battle in two of their first three games and that trend continued. The Maroon and Gold dominated on the glass as they picked up 42 boards (13 offensive) compared to the Islanders' 32 (seven offensive).
The 'Cats did lose the turnover battle as they gave the ball up 26 times versus the Islanders' 20. However, Texas State capitalized on those turnovers better than TAMU-CC, as they scored 26 points on turnovers against the Islanders' 17.
The Bobcats were also able to consistently get to the free-throw line as they cashed in 72.2% (13-18) from the charity stripe. The Islanders shot a mere 55.6% (5-9) from the line.
On the Islanders' side, Allen led with a game-high 15 points (7-11, 1-1 three-pointers). Westbrook led the team with eight rebounds, followed by Pollard who had five. Paige and sophomore guard Hayle Campbell had four steals each.
For the Bobcats, Hood and Taylor led the scoring charge with a team-high 14 points apiece. The stat is also a season-high for Taylor.
Standifer had the most impactful game of her short Bobcat tenure, as she scored a career-high 13 points (5-10, 2-7 three-pointers) in 23 minutes of play.
Thompson also had the best game of her Bobcat career as she got her first double-double in a maroon and gold jersey with career-highs in points (12) and rebounds (12). This is coming on the heels of her then-career-high ten boards against Oklahoma Dec. 13. Hood also had a solid nine rebounds on the day.
Taylor continued to show her versatility on both ends as she had a game-high four steals and a season-high eight assists while playing 38 minutes.
Texas State will face Lamar University in its first home game of the season at 4 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Strahan Arena.