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Women’s basketball wins quarterfinals, semifinals

Texas+State+graduate+student+JaKayla+Bowie+%2815%29+dribbles+the+ball%2C+Saturday%2C+Feb.+4%2C+2023%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+74-56.

Texas State graduate student Ja’Kayla Bowie (15) dribbles the ball, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 74-56.

Graduate forward Da’Nasia Hood scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Bobcats (22-8, 13-5 Sun Belt Conference) to a 56-47 victory over Appalachian State (11-20, 6-12 Sun Belt Conference) in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
Texas State finished with a well-rounded game both offensively and defensively, forcing 24 turnovers while also shooting over 35% through four quarters.
“We have a lot of veterans here,” Hood said, “So, the teamwork and the chemistry is something we’ve been working on for a long time and it’s just finally showing out for us.”
Hood was impactful on both ends of the court, recording three steals along with four made shots from long-range.
Texas State head coach Zenarae Antoine remains confident in the teams’ ability to defend and force turnovers during these key matchups.
“That’s what you need from a veteran crew,” Antoine said, “I thought Lauryn [Thompson] today was an X-factor, which is just awesome.”
Antoine continued to stress the importance of rebounding and believes controlling the rebound battle could ultimately determine the winner of the game.
Senior forward Lauryn Thompson contributed to 14 points and six rebounds in 32 minutes of action alongside Hood.
Over the last few games, Thompson has focused her efforts on crashing the rebounds and looking for other ways to help the team in that department.
“That’s been a big focus for us, so I would just say the work finally paid off today.” Thompson said.
The Bobcats limited the Mountaineers to 3-of-14 shooting through the first 10 minutes and finished the first quarter with a sizeable nine-point advantage.
Appalachian State managed to keep the score within double digits in the second quarter, shooting over 35 percent and keeping the Texas State lead at seven at halftime.
The Mountaineers put together a handful of baskets in the third quarter, and after going scoreless during the final three minutes, the Bobcats found themselves in a two-possession ball game entering the fourth quarter.
Appalachian State held many opportunities to take the lead late down the stretch, but the Bobcats limited the Mountaineers to only three points in the final four minutes of action.
Texas State would go on to finish with consistent free throw shooting to close out the contest and knock off the Mountaineers to advance to the Sun Belt Semifinals for the first time since 2018.
Antoine described the win as a hard-fought battle and is tries to remain focused moving forward into Sundays’ game.
“We’re not going to relax mentally,” Antoine said, “Because we already have a very clear understanding of what it’s going to take.”
Texas State eliminated Southern Miss by a score of 85-57 in the second round.
After being held to a mere four points in the team’s regular-season finale, senior forward Da’Nasia Hood, a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference first-team member, scored 30 points and picked up a double-double by collecting 16 rebounds.
In the first half Texas State and Southern Miss were back and forth until Texas State went on a 12-point run in the first quarter to create separation. 
Texas State was up 27-16 in the second quarter, until Southern Miss came back and took the lead 41-33 at half-time.
As the end of the third quarter approached the Bobcat offense proved to be top much for the Golden Eagles, at they increased the lead to 20 points at the start of the fourth quarter. 
As the number three seed in the tournament, Southern Miss took a goodbye in the third round.

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