Bobcats dominate Appalachian State

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Women's Basketball

Texas State (16-7, 9-3) added another dominating win to its Sun Belt record Saturday when Appalachian State (6-17, 4-8) visited Strahan Coliseum.

The Bobcats came out in pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness and took an early lead that they never gave up. Four players ended the afternoon in double-digit scoring en route to the 92-50 win over the Mountaineers.

“I am most proud of this team on the defensive end,” head coach Zenarae Antoine said. “We held them to just four points in the second quarter and that was huge for us. After that, we continued to add the pressure defensively, even with some substitutions.”

Appalachian State felt the effects of Texas State’s pressure all game, only shooting 17-of-61 (27.9 percent) and 1-of-16 from beyond the arc (6.3 percent). Senior post Ericka May attributed the successful afternoon on the defensive side to the team’s ability to protect the paint and not allow opposing guards to penetrate. The Bobcats also forced the Mountaineers into 18 turnovers that led to some offensive production.

Junior guard Toshua Leavitt struggled to find a rhythm early but got hot in the second half. She finished the game with a game-high 19 points and added three assists. Seniors Taeler Deer and Ti’Aria Pitts recorded 16 and 15 points, respectively. May rounded out the double-digit scoring with a double-double, 12 points and 11 rebounds. 

“I just think everyone is confident and we’re making the right pass,” Pitts said. “Everyone is seeing everybody and everybody knows where they need to be so I think that’s really helping us.”

Amid this four-game winning streak, Pitts has become an offensive threat from beyond the arc. She is averaging 14.3 points on the winning streak and got the Bobcats rolling early with nine points in the first quarter. Antoine said a big part of Pitts’ success is due to teams having to focus on other perimeter shooters such as Leavitt, Deer and sophomore guard Brooke Holle.

Another encouraging moment from the game came in the second half when the large lead gave Antoine the flexibility to go to her bench. What she commented on was how there was no huge drop off for the younger players. Texas State’s momentum didn’t stall the entire second half.

The Bobcats now sit at third place in the Sun Belt with six games remaining until the conference tournament. The upcoming road trip includes contest with UT-Arlington, Louisiana and ULM. The first match is against the 7-5 Mustangs in Arlington with tip off scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

“(Texas State and UTA) have come through the ranks together,” Antoine said. “We were both in the Southland, both in the WAC and now the Sun Belt. And it has obviously turned into a rivalry very similar to UTSA. I think we have to understand that for our newcomers and we’re going to rely heavily on our upperclassmen. The emotions are going to be high so it’s important that we stay even keeled.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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