Da'Nasia Hood scored 20 points and added seven rebounds for the Bobcats in a 56-47 victory over Appalachian State.
Photo provided by Texas State Athletics
Texas State holds off App State for win
Texas State held off a late rally by Appalachian State to advance to the Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals in a 56-47 win over the Mountaineers.
Lauryn Thompson, who finished the game with 14 points and six rebounds, was a key part in the win especially down low on the defensive side against a tough App State offense.
“It was pretty tough on defense,” Thompson said. “They were pushing me around down there but I was focused on crushing it for my team. These last few games, I’ve been trying to find a way to hit the glass harder which was a big focus for us. The hard work finally paid off today.”
Head coach Zenarae Antoine wasn’t surprised by the intense battle between the Bobcats and the Mountaineers despite the difference in seeding as both teams' offenses were held to under 60 points.
“I had an understanding that this was going to be a battle the entire time largely because our styles of play are pretty different,” Antoine said. “They (App State) do a really good job of mixing it up on defense and playing a lot more zone. We prepare for that to the best of our abilities.”
With the Bobcats taking the double bye due to being a top four seed, the extra rest turned out to be beneficial for the team as well.
“Because we have a veteran team and it’s late in the season, the effect wasn’t great regarding their bodies,” Antoine said. “They needed that time off and rest. Obviously there is a benefit in some ways because of that rest but I think when you are hot and you are playing, both men’s and women’s, for our team and our routine, we pretty much kept it the same within the confines of the rules.”
Texas State jumped out to a fast start as the first quarter went in favor of the Bobcats at 17-8.
Despite the fast start, the Mountaineers didn’t back down and began to claw themselves back into the game.
“I thought we started off the bat really strong then App battled back after that,” Antoine said. “It was going to be really important we settle down and we did a better job of doing that coming out of halftime by understanding what they were going to do. It took us a little while to find our stride but we found a way as the game went despite it getting a little dicey towards the end.”
The close call came in the fourth quarter as App State trimmed the Bobcat lead down two at 46-44 with only four minutes left in the game.
Texas State responded by going on a 8-0 run to push their advantage out to 54-44 as App State never threatened to retake the lead.
“We did a good job of mixing it up,” Antoine said. “Having a veteran team and the mentality of finding a way to win is what we did. Our next matchup is going to be neck and neck so this game is going to be a grind and a battle.”
In the win, graduate senior forward Da’Nasia Hood led the team in scoring and rebounds with 20 points and seven boards.
“It was about staying patient and working with my teammates,” Hood said. “I turn up on defense, play with my team, and we translate it to offense.”
Texas State returns to play Sunday as they square off with Southern Miss for the third time this season.
The Bobcats took the first two games winning 62-52 in OT and 69-52 in the second game.