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The University Star


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Bobcats claw out win over Ragin’ Cajuns


Texas State senior guard Shelby Adams (4) goes up for a shot during a game against the University of Louisiana, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 72-68.

Texas State men’s basketball (11-4 overall, 2-1 Sun Belt) defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (8-7 overall, 3-2 Sun Belt) 72-68 in a game that came down to the wire Saturday evening.
It looked like Louisiana could’ve pulled away early in the second half after the Cajuns went on a 15-3 run, giving them a 12-point lead with just under 13 minutes left to play. A three-pointer by senior guard Shelby Adams along with three straight buckets from senior guard Caleb Asberry, one of them being a three, cut down Louisiana’s lead to just two.
“This game was what I thought it would be,” Head Coach Terrence Johnson said. “I’m proud of our guys. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”
Louisiana scored the first points of the game after redshirt freshman forward Kobe Julien stole the ball from senior guard Mason Harrell which then triggered a fastbreak layup by sophomore forward Jordan Brown. Harrell came back with a three-pointer to give the Bobcats an early 7-4 lead after both teams traded buckets. 
Senior forward Dou Gueye converted an and-one opportunity to tie the game at seven. Both teams went on small runs, but the game remained fairly tight throughout the first half. Harrell concluded the first half with a mid-range jumper of his own after a made three by Julien.
Brown opened up the second half with a mid-range jumper and came back to hit 1-2 of his free throws after being fouled by Asberry. A layup by senior forward Nighael Caesar brought the ‘Cats within one but Louisiana was quick to respond with a 12-1 run right under the 13:00 mark. Asberry drove in the paint and scored a layup coming out of the timeout. Gueye quickly answered with a jumper of his own to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 49-37 lead.
Adams hit a three-pointer that ignited a run for the Bobcats. Asberry followed with a jumper of his own, stole the ball on the following possession and threw down a reverse dunk as he started to catch fire. After a missed free throw from Gueye, Asberry drilled another three-pointer to bring the game within two. A pair of free throws from senior forward Isiah Small tied the game at 49 with under 10 minutes remaining.
Both teams traded buckets down the stretch, but it was Harrell’s late game free throws that put the ‘Cats up 72-68 at the 00:06 mark to put the nail in the coffin.
Asberry finished with a game-high of 22 points on 8-14 shooting from the field and 3-7 from three-point range. He also recorded five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
“I can’t speak enough about Caleb”, Johnson said. “He’s had really good practices all week and he’s been locked in. When he has a hot hand like that there aren’t many guys who are better.”
Harrell contributed with 16 points on 4-7 shooting from the field and 2-3 from three. Adams followed with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Brown led the Ragin’ Cajuns in scoring, finishing with 18 points. The 6-foot-11 forward also recorded 16 rebounds and a steal.
Next up, Texas State will play the first of its three upcoming road games against the Little Rock Trojans at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. The game will air on ESPN+.

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