No Cameron Johnson, no problem. In Texas State’s previous contest at UT-Arlington, Johnson was called for a flagrant foul, which meant that he would have to sit out Wednesday's and Saturday’s home games. Then to add insult to injury, Wednesday’s contest would be against one of the best team’s in the Southland, Stephen F. Austin University, and then against the top scorer in the conference, Anatoly Bose, on Saturday.
So basically the theme of the next two games would be for everyone to do their part and step up if the team were to win, and that is exactly what the Bobcats did Wednesday night. The Lumberjacks came into San Marcos without their star point guard Denzel Barnes - and man are his shoes hard to fill. The 'Jacks had a hard time taking care of the ball, and their 18 turnovers propelled them to a 66-61 loss.
Throughout the first half, there were really only three guys who got it done on the offensive end for both teams. Senior center Jereal Scott for SFA, and guards John Bowman and Ryan White for Texas State. By the end of the first half, Scott had torched the Bobcat “D” for 17 of his team's 32 points on seven-of-eight shooting from the field. He was definitely taking advantage of Johnson’s absence. Now as for the Maroon and Gold, Bowman had nine and White had eight at intermission to make the score 32-31 in favor of SFA.
The second half had a bit of a different tune. Texas State opened the final period on an 8-2 run and never really looked back. The ‘Cats strung consecutive defensive possessions together in spurts throughout the half and held Scott to just two second half points. Not only did they play good defense, they also rebounded the basketball as a team very well. Out of the 26 total rebounds in the game, five players had four boards apiece, and no one had more than that.
And when it was crunch-time, the Bobcats executed on the offensive end as well. They ran the shot clock all the way down to about ten seconds, and got either a layup or foul at the end of seemingly every possession. They also shot free throws exceptionally well. Texas State went 23-29 from there (14-18 in the second half) and also held onto the ball. The team only committed ten turnovers, which was probably the most underrated stat in the ball game.
So the 11-game losing streak against the ‘Jacks finally ended in impressive fashion, seeing as it came about without their leading scorer and preseason all-conference pick. The win put Texas State in a three-way tie for first place in the SLC western division with UTA and UTSA at 4-3, while SFA’s loss dropped them to fourth in the conference at 3-4. Texas State will be back in action at Strahan Coliseum this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to take on the Nicholls State Colonels. KTSW will have pregame coverage starting at 3:45 p.m. on 89.9 FM KTSW and ktsw.net.
Robert Fisher, KTSW Assistant Sports Director
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