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Bobcats fall in gritty loss to Oklahoma State

Texas State Women's Basketball
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Oklahoma State should have been Texas State’s toughest opponent this season.

The Cowgirls finished third in the Big 12 last season and were a No. 9-seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. They had assembled a 5-0 record heading into Friday night, beating opponents by 13.7 points on average. It’s the only Power 5 school the Bobcats have faced this year.

But while Texas State wasn’t able to pull out the victory, the team did prove it could compete. The Bobcats fell at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 66-55.

Texas State got off to a solid start in the first quarter. A layup from freshman forward Ja’Kayla Bowie off an assist from junior guard Bailey Holle gave the team a 5-4 lead five minutes in. Senior guard Toshua Leavitt dropped in another layup on the next possession and canned a 3-pointer later on as the Bobcats only trailed 14-12 heading into the second quarter.

The Oklahoma State defense stepped up in the second quarter. Texas State only made two field goals -- both from senior forward Zandra Emanuel at the rim -- on 16 attempts. Freshman guard Kennedy Taylor chipped in a pair of free throws, but the team couldn’t find another way to score, falling behind 25-18 at the half.

Brooke Holle came alive in the second half. After being held scoreless through the first two quarters, the junior guard picked up her first basket 13 seconds into the third. She kept cruising from there, earning another five points in the quarter. The Cowgirls came alive, too, though, and extended their lead, 48-36.

The Bobcats outscored the hosts in the fourth, but weren’t able to rally back, falling 66-55. Brooke led the team with 16 points, all of them coming in the second half. She was followed by Leavitt with 15. Emanuel finished the game with a season-high eight rebounds and three assists to go with her eight points.

Texas State (3-4) will look to bounce back when they return home to host St. Thomas (2-3) on Tuesday inside Strahan Arena at 7 p.m.