Bobcats just fall to Ragin’ Cajuns despite dominating first half

Junior Avionne Alexander passes the ball to open teammate Jayla Johnson as she charges down the court.

Kate Connors

Junior Avionne Alexander passes the ball to open teammate Jayla Johnson as she charges down the court.

Claire Partain, Sports Editor

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After leading by as many as 18 points in the third period, Texas State women’s basketball fell just short of their first conference win in a 73-67 loss to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday afternoon at Strahan Arena.

The Bobcats were just six points away from slashing their five-game losing streak, instead falling to an 0-6 conference record and 7-10 overall record.

Despite the loss, the first half was dominated by Texas State. Senior forward Bailey Holle landed her first of three three-pointers in the first few minutes of play, kicking off a period with several scoring runs by the Bobcats, including a career-high 6-6 run by freshman forward Chelsea Johnson to put the ‘Cats at a 23-16 lead with just over six minutes left in the half. Johnson went on to put up 14 points for Texas State, three more than her previous career record against the University of Texas-Permian Basin in November.

The ‘Cats kept the lead from 5:45 in the first period to 6:27 in the fourth, leading by as much as 18 until the Cajuns slowly gained momentum and tied up the match. In the final two minutes of play, two free throws by senior guard Brooke Holle and a shot by sophomore guard Kennedy Taylor weren’t enough for them to catch up as they fell 73-67.

In addition to Johnson’s high scoring, the game made program history for Brooke Holle, who surpassed Julie Brooks (2000-04) for the ninth-place spot in three-pointers in program history. Holle connected on two threes in the game and paced the team in scoring (15) and both teams in rebounds (11). Bailey Holle brought in three three-pointers of her own and led the ‘Cats with five assists, while sophomore forward Da-Nasia Hood went on a 6-0 run alongside Johnson in the first half and landed 12 total points for the Bobcats.

As a team, Texas State outscored Louisiana 17-12 in the first quarter and 19-9 in the second before falling 29-17 and 23-14 in the final two periods. The Bobcats shot 44% to the Cajuns’ 45%, outscored ULL 24% (5-21) to 9% (1-11) on three-pointers, and led 16-7 in assists. Texas State grabbed 34 boards to ULL’s 30 but fell 11-7 in steals.

Next up, the ‘Cats will take the road for a two-game trip to take on Troy at 6 p.m. on Thursday and South Alabama at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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