Brooke Holle pushes around a Georgia Southern defender in order to bring the ball to the basket. Photo by Kate Connors

Texas State women’s basketball fell to Georgia Southern Eagles by a final score of 65-55 Saturday afternoon in Strahan Arena. This is Texas State’s (9-11, 4-4 Sun Belt) second consecutive loss.

Head coach Zenarae Antoine said that the team and coaching staff will make some adjustments after the pair of losses.

“These back-to-back losses are really hard, especially when you are able to play in front of your alumni base,” Antoine said. “We need to re-evaluate as a coaching staff what we can do to help this team. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds.”

Freshman forward Denasia Hood led the Bobcats with 21 points and eight rebounds, both career highs in Sun Belt conference play. This was Hood’s first career start along with freshman guard Kennedy Taylor. Taylor added a career-best 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Coach Antoine adjusted the starting lineup before the opening tip and placed Taylor at the point and Hood as the stretch-four.

Antoine said the adjustment of rotating freshmen players comes with pros and cons as they are able to alleviate the existing offense and create opportunities, but also have to adjust to game time challenges.

“The thing about freshmen is that they don’t know what they don’t know, so they’ll come out and play hard. Sometimes that means making mistakes but, they’ll try to make up for those mistakes.

Hood and Taylor made up 40 of the Bobcats’ 55 total points. They combined to shoot 16-of-27 from the floor and 7-10 from the 3-point line. The rest of the Texas State team failed to make a 3-pointer and shot 4-of-25 from the floor.

Despite only shooting 30 percent from the floor (24-65), Georgia Southern was able to score a couple times off second-chance baskets. The Eagles received another 30-point performance from junior guard Alexis Brown. She recorded a game-high 31 points on 12-21 shooting. Brown tallied a career-high 34 points on Jan. 17 against Troy. Junior forward Hailey Dias-Allen also contributed with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles.

The Bobcats gained an early lead after Taylor and Hood scored 11 of TXST’s first 15 points in the game, but trailed by a pair after 10 minutes. Georgia Southern went into the half with a four-point lead behind 18 points from Brown.

Georgia Southern opened up the second half with a basket from Dias-Allen. Texas State scored the next six points of the game to tie it up at 32 with 6:37 to play in the third quarter. However, the Eagles opened up the game by scoring 14 of the final 19 points in the quarter, including a banked buzzer-beating 3-pointer from freshman center Alisha Owens. The Eagles had the lead 46-37 going into the final frame.

Texas State was able to cut the lead down to five (55-50) but that was quickly erased after Brown took over in the fourth. Texas State decided to adjust to man defense for the last quarter but wasn’t able to get stops late in the game. Brown scored the final 12 points for the Eagles. She hit two big shots on back-to-back possessions as Texas State was desperately making an effort to come back.

Texas State will travel north to Arlington to take on in-state rival UTA for their next game. The game will tip at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2 inside College Park Center. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+. The Bobcats will return to Strahan arena on Feb. 14 to take on Arkansas State.

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