San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 1st, 2008
'Cats runaway victory turns into photo finish against SFA

By MICHAEL WRIGHT
Sports Reporter

SAN MARCOS – What looked to be a blowout early on, the game between the Texas State (12-8, 6-1) and Stephen F. Austin (6-12, 3-3) women’s basketball teams turned into a nail biter. After leading by as many as 25 points (40-15) in the 1st half, the Bobcats held on for a 76-75 victory against the Ladyjacks at Strahan Coliseum Thursday night.

The game was televised by Fox Sports Southwest and was the first Bobcat women’s basketball game ever televised from Strahan Coliseum. The game was played in front of 2546 fans which is the largest home crowd in Texas State women’s basketball history. Texas State has now won six of their last seven games. The win was only their 7th in 55 tries against the Ladyjacks and they snapped a six game losing streak to SFA.

Kim Cessna finished a 26-3 Texas State run when she hit a layup with 2:54 left in the half to take a 40-15 lead. After that point, the `Cats turned the ball over 5 times and SFA went on an 11-0 run to end the half with Texas State leading 40-26. The Bobcats made and impressive 18 of 29 shots (62.1%) in the 1st half while holding SFA to 9 of 33 shooting (27.3%). Tamarra Evans-Slugga scored 11 points to lead the Bobcats in the 1st half.

Texas State regrouped at halftime and extended their lead to 18 (55-37) on a jumper by Victoria Davis with 13:07 remaining. The Bobcat looked to be in control of the game and still led 64-49 when Ashley Cole hit a jumper at the 7:17 mark. SFA then made another run 11-0 just like at the end of the 1st half and knocked the Bobcat lead down to 4 (64-60) with 5:36 left in the game. The Ladyjacks completed their comeback bid when SFA’s Nicki Carr (13 pts, 7 rebs, 2 steals) hit a layup to tie the score at 71 with 1:57 remaining. Bobcat fans could finally breathe a little easier when Brooke DeGrate hit a free throw with 16 seconds left to make it a 2 possession game with a 4 point lead (76-72). SFA was not finished though as Carr hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. Texas State had little trouble inbounding the ball with all the pressure applied by the Ladyjacks but they did get it in to run out the clock for the 76-75 victory.

SFA made a whopping 21 of 27 (26-34 for the game) free throws in the second half to fuel the comeback while Texas State only made 7 of 13 from the charity stripe. SFA entered the game as the 12th ranked free throw shooting team in the conference. Aimee Hilburn led the team and finished with her first double-double of the season as she scored 14 points and had 11 rebounds. Tamarra Evans-Slugga scored a career-high 14 points.

The Bobcats (12-8, 6-1 SLC) stayed tied atop the Southland Conference West Division standings with the win and will play Sam Houston State on Saturday as the first half of a doubleheader with the men’s team as Texas State hosts the Stuff Strahan event.

BOX SCORE

   
1st
2nd
Final
SFA
26
49
75
Texas State
40
36
76

STAT LEADERS

SFA
Scoring: Ebony Alexander (16), Nikki Carr (13)
Rebounding: Jordan Ford (8), Nikki Carr (7), Chantol Drennan (6)
Assist: Ebony Alexander (4)
Steals: Jordan Ford (3), Jessica Gaines (2), Nikki Carr (2)

TEXAS STATE
Scoring: Aimee Hilburn (14), Tamarra Evans-Sluga (14), Marie Moser (10), Kim Cessna (10), Ashley Cole (9)
Rebounding: Aimee Hilburn (11), Brooke DeGrate (8), Marie Moser (7), Ashley Cole (7), Joyce Ekworomadu (5)
Assist: Joyce Ekworomadu (4), Victoria Davis (4), Aimee Hilburn (3), Brooke DeGrate (3), Ashley Cole (3)
Blocks: Aimee Hilburn (1), Marie Moser (1), Victoria Davis (1), Chika Ofoegu (1), Kim Cessna (1)
Steals: Brooke DeGrate (2), Joyce Ekworomadu (1), Ryann Bradford (1)

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