Texas State women's basketball team huddles together before they begin their game against the University of Texas at Arlington, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 66-45

Texas State women's basketball (0-1) lost its season opener 77-70 to the No. 7 Baylor Bears (2-0) on Nov. 9.

The Bobcats were clear underdogs, and it showed in the first quarter as they were outscored 22-7. Senior center Jaeda Reed came off the bench to score four points (2-2 FGs) with two rebounds in the period

Texas State committed six turnovers in the first quarter, leading to nine Baylor points. The Maroon and Gold shot 3-12 from the field and were 0-7 from three.

"I think the first quarter had quite a bit of nerves, for sure," Head Coach Zenarae Antoine said. "The nerves, though, weren't necessarily because of who they were playing and where they were playing. It was more of a result of it being our first game; it was our first live-game scenario."

Texas State settled in defensively as it forced Baylor to commit four turnovers in the second quarter, yet its offense did not capitalize on those opportunities. The Bobcats outscored the Bears 17-16 in the period, 11 of which came from the bench, yet their poor shooting percentage (6-20 FGs, 3-11 3PTs) barely cut into the Bears' lead 38-24 at halftime.

Last season's star duo, senior guard Kennedy Taylor and senior forward Da'Nasia Hood had disappointing halves. Hood had zero points (0-3 FGs, 0-2 3PTs) and two turnovers. Taylor only had three points (1-7 FGs, 1-4 3PTs) with three turnovers.

While the Bobcats' offense was dormant in the first half, the third quarter was a shootout. The Bears outscored the Bobcats 24-23 during the period, leading 62-47, but Texas State increased its shooting percentage, going 10-18 from the field and 3-5 from deep. The Bobcats also were able to assert themselves inside as they scored 10 points in the paint.

Hood finally got into a rhythm on both ends of the floor, finishing the quarter with eight points (3-9 FGs, 2-4 3PTs), three rebounds, two assists and three steals. 

Texas State carried that momentum into the fourth, as the team opened on a 6-2 run, bringing the score to 64-53 at the 7:36 mark. The Bears responded by extending their lead to 72-57.

Down 15 with under four minutes to play, the Bobcats went on a 10-1 run, capped off by a pair of threes from Hood, making it a two-score game 73-67 with 2:17 left in the ball game.

Despite Texas State's late-game efforts, a layup and a pair of free throws from the Bears put them up 77-67 with only 1:09 left. A three-pointer from graduate guard Jo'Nah Johnson made it a single-digit game, but the Bobcats failed to upset Baylor 77-70.

Although the Bears led the entire game, Texas State outscored them 23-15 in the fourth. Antoine said the Bobcats' ability to get over their first-quarter nerves, helped them make that late-game run.

"Once [the team] settled in, they started to trust their training, trust their scout and saw opportunities or saw where we were struggled," Antoine said. "They, then, understood that this was something that could potentially be done, and they got really excited and made those adjustments."

Hood led the team with 20 points (8-21 FGs, 4-10 3PTs) along with six rebounds and four steals. Johnson (11 PTs, 4-13 FGs, 3-10 3PTs) and Reed (10 PTs, 5-7 FGs) were the other two double-digit scorers on the squad.

Taylor had a poor shooting night with seven points (2-12 FGs, 1-7 3PTs, 2-2 FTs) and five turnovers, but she finished with a game-high nine assists. Bowie led the team eight rebounds.

Texas State will head back to San Marcos to play its home opener against the Huston-Tillotson Rams at 2 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Strahan Arena. The game will air on ESPN+.

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