Texas State women’s basketball (8-10 overall, 5-8 Sun Belt) fell to the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (11-6 overall, 9-4 Sun Belt) in a 51-43 loss in the second game of its doubleheader on Feb. 13.
The Mavericks started the game off strong defensively against the Bobcats, forcing their first points to come well over two minutes into the first period. Sophomore forward Lauryn Thompson was the first to score for the ‘Cats off a well-defended jumper against the stellar Maverick defense, making the score 5-2 at the 7:44 mark in the first.
Texas State did not have an answer for anything the opposition threw at it in the first period, as it saw itself down by five, with the score at 15-10, at the end of the first quarter.
UTA started the second quarter with a second-chance jumper made by senior guard Barbara Benson which electrified the Mavs' bench into a frenzy. The Bobcats had an answer of their own with a three-pointer by graduate guard/forward Gabby Standifer at the 7:22, which took the score to 17-13 to stall the opposition's buzz.
To claw its way back into the game, Texas State tried to lean on a usually reliable scorer in junior forward Da’Nasia Hood, but she started the game 0-9 from the floor. Despite the shooting woes for the Bobcats, they were able to keep the score close at 23-22 at the end of the first half.
The ‘Cats relied defensively on their effective shift from man to zone coverage, which hindered the Mavs and allowed Texas State to have more fast-break opportunities offensively. The Bobcats were able to move the ball around which led to better scoring, yet the game remained neck-and-neck.
To start the second half, the two teams saw themselves exchanging shots throughout the third period. Each team showed grit in their time of possession, but neither were able to capitalize on any mistakes by the other. Despite the neck-and-neck battle, UTA firmly held the lead as it finished the third quarter ahead 38-35.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Bobcats were down by a mere three points and had hopes of finishing their comeback, but the team's shooting did not live up to that expectation. They shot 20% (2-10) from the floor and 0-4 from beyond the arc for the entirety of the period.
The Mavericks' defense was able to disturb the ‘Cats passing lanes nearing the end of the game. The Bobcats suffered a major blow in the fourth when Hood went down with an apparent ankle sprain, but by the time it happened UTA took advantage and was able to squash the comeback attempt to win 51-43.
The leading scorers for UTA were senior forward Bre Wickware with 12 points (3-10 FGS, 6-6 FT) and junior guard Katie Ferrell with 10 points (4-8 FGS, 2-4 3FG). Wickware and junior forward Shyia Smith led the Mavs with eight rebounds each while Ferrell with five assists.
Taylor led the Bobcats with 10 points (3-6 FGS, 1-4 3FG, 3-4 FT) with three rebounds and three assists. Hood, senior guard Avionne Alexander, junior guard Ja'Kayla Bowie and freshman guard Sierra Dickson scored six points apiece. Thompson led the game with nine rebounds.
Texas State will head back home to go up against Arkansas State at 4 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Strahan Arena. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.