Five graduate senior basketball players were honored after Texas State's win over South Alabama. Joined by their families are Ja’Kayla Bowie, Tianna Eaton, Da’Nasia Hood, Taelour Pruitt, and Kennedy Taylor
Photo by Texas State Athletics
Senior Guard Kennedy Taylor became the all time leader in assists in Sun Belt Conference History with 735 career assists
Photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats defeat South Alabama for Senior Day
In the final home game of the season, the Texas State Bobcats defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 77-57 After a tough 58-54 loss to James Madison on Thursday night, graduate senior Kennedy Taylor wasn’t thinking about the defeat but rather ways the Bobcats can improve themselves.
“We don’t try to focus on the negative,” Taylor said. “We just try to learn from the last game. We put it out there for the next one.”
Graduate senior Da’Nasia Hood agreed with her teammates’ statements with the team fighting for a regular season title and a high seed in the conference tournament.
“We just focused on ourselves,” Hood said. “We came out with the mindset to execute and finish strong. You can only focus on that.”
With Texas State heading into a game having lost to South Alabama in their first meeting 45-43, head coach Zenarae Antoine was more worried about her team improving from both their last encounter with the Jaguars and the loss against James Madison.
“What an exciting game,” Antoine said. “One of the things that I really wanted to stress with the coaching staff and with the team was not as much as we owe them (South Alabama) from the game at their place as we owe ourselves an opportunity to get better. To learn from the last game against JMU. Learn from the scouting film with a really quick turnaround. To learn to play at a championship level.”
In the loss to South Alabama in their first encounter, Texas State had trouble closing out the game on top of turning the ball over.
“We struggled finishing for sure while having a lot of turnovers,” Antoine said. “You can’t have too many turnovers and give up extra opportunities while you are on the road … but it was about closing out during the end of the game. I feel like we really learned from that along the way. The Sun Belt Conference is tight right now with everyone fighting for positioning at the top for multiple reasons … You literally have to be on your game every single possession on both sides of the floor.”
For the Bobcats, the ability to learn from their mistakes in their losses has been the reason the team is still in the thick of the conference race.
“That means you’re able to overcome the highs and lows of a basketball game and the highs and lows of losses,” Antoine said. “One thing we saw is Bobcats bounce back. You add the layer if it gives you the opportunity to have your senior class finish out at home with a win and celebrate with each other.”
But the last home win wasn’t the only thing historic for the Bobcats.
During the game, Taylor became the all time leader in assists in Sun Belt Conference history breaking the record set by Clemette Haskins of Western Kentucky who had 731 assists from 1983-1987.
Taylor, who currently has 735 assists, was happy to celebrate the moment not only with her family but with her teammates who have been there since they first started their college basketball careers at San Marcos.
“It’s definitely a surreal feeling,” Taylor said. “Especially having to do it on Senior Day while my family was here. I tell people all the time that this is my favorite team so I was happy to go out there and do it with them. There is no better feeling than getting the ball to my favorite shooter here.”
Texas State closes out the regular season on the road for the final two games.
First up for the Bobcats is another titanic showdown with the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
Tip-off is at 5 p.m. Wednesday night at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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