The LadyKats basketball team will meet the Southwest Texas Bobcats for the second time this season Thursday, but this time it will be right here in Huntsville.
The two teams last met on Jan. 9 in San Marcos, in a game that ended with the Bobcats on top 66-57.
The final score may not show it, but some of the LadyKats players gave their all trying to defeat the Bobcats. Alice Johnson got a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Katrina Barclay had 13 points.
Despite an excellent game on the part of Sam Houston State, Southwest Texas, and specifically Tori Talbert, proved to be too much for the LadyKats’ defense.
Talbert finished the game with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
“Half of her points were from the free-throw line,” Ritter said about Talbert’s point total. “So we definitely can’t foul her and that’s going to be one point of contention for us.”
The LadyKats had a great shooting night in the first game, hitting 38.9 percent from the floor, with SWT only hitting 36.8 percent. Ritter said it was the foul shots and rebounds the Bobcats were allowed that killed the LadyKats’ chances.
“With 17 offensive boards you cannot beat a team,” Ritter said of the Bobcats’ high rebounding game in January. “We happened to shoot 39 percent, Southwest shoots 37 percent, and we have the better shooting percentage. We only missed one free throw all night, but we were unable to beat them because we sent them to the free-throw line 26 times and gave them a second-chance point 17 times, and you cannot win a game like that.”
Not wanting to reveal too much about her team’s strategy for Thursday, Ritter did reveal a few things from January’s game that the LadyKats need to improve to take control against the Bobcats.
“We do need to get the ball inside,” Ritter said. “We had poor spacing in our offense the last time we played them, which I think hurt us. We need more than two people to score in double figures for us to win (Thursday) night.”
The team will have a much deeper bench this time, which should help their effort. They will have all 10 players activated, as opposed to the eight that were healthy in January
“It would be nice to be able to bring the bench in and for them to come give us a spark,” Ritter said
Despite the nine-point loss in January, Ritter believes her team has just what it takes to come out on top against Southwest Texas.
“We’re at home,” Ritter said. “I truly believe that if we come out ready to play, execute our game plan and play with a lot of emotion, I think we have a really good chance to win.”
The game will take place at Johnson Coliseum Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.