Bobcat women’s basketball had a busy week as they played two away games only two days apart. Travelling first to Cedar City, Utah and then to Flagstaff, Arizona, the Bobcats took on both Southern Utah and Northern Arizona University at their respective home courts. Unfortunately, the Bobcats couldn’t pull out a win from either trip, but battled in close losses.
On Thursday, Jan. 22 the Bobcats were defeated by the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds by a score of 74-69. The two teams battled and fought the entire first half, the lead changing hands several times in just the first 20 minutes. The Thunderbirds edged ahead at the end, with the score a close 36-31 going into halftime. After the break, the Thunderbirds managed to expand their lead and sustain it for most of the second half. The Bobcats would not go down quietly, however, and after a 8-0 run, freshman Hannah Caudill hit a three to bring the Bobcats within one, 70-69 with 29 seconds left. After a pair of Southern Utah free throws and a missed Bobcat three, however, time expired and the Thunderbirds came out on top, 74-69.
“I was really proud of our tenacity to get back in the game late in the second half,” Head Coach Trish Binford said. “We made some pretty critical plays down the stretch but came up short.”
The Bobcats were led in scoring, assists and steals by junior Lindsay Stockton, who tallied 20 points, five assists and three steals. “Lindsay Stockton had a terrific game facilitating and really attacking off the bounce,” Binford said. Junior forward Jasmine Hommes also tallied 19 points, and senior forward Jackie Elliott contributed 13 points. The Thunderbirds were led by in scoring by Ashleigh Munns, who recorded 18 points.
Two days later the Bobcats ventured to Flagstaff, Arizona to play Northern Arizona University. The Bobcats and Lumberjacks traded leads back and forth in the first half before the teams were sent to the locker rooms with the score tied at 36 apiece. Northern Arizona came out on fire in the second half, shooting 54 percent from the field as well as connecting on 14 of 19 free throws. The Bobcats played even with Northern Arizona until a 9-0 run midway through the second half helped the Lumberjacks establish a safe lead and a 79-64 victory.
Kalli Durham led the Bobcats in scoring with 13, and Jasmine Hommes added 10 in the loss. The Bobcats won the rebounding battle, 36-35 led by Alexa Dawkins. “When you have an opportunity to break away you need to take advantage of those scenarios,” Binford said. “Once you allow an opponent to get back in, they gain confidence, get more loose, and then start knocking down more shots off that energy.”
Despite the losses, the Bobcats are in good spirits. “We’ve learned we can compete with anyone,” Binford said. “If we are able to stay together and stay in the present with our focus, we will take the next step and turn the corner in the right direction.” The Bobcats face Sacramento State on Thursday, Jan. 29 in Worthington Arena. “This is a fantastic opportunity to get back home in front of our crowd and put a complete game together against a top Big Sky opponent,” Binford said.