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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Men’s basketball advances to second round with win over Georgia State

Texas+State+senior+guard+Mason+Harrell+%2812%29+gets+double+teamed+by+a+pair+of+Arkansas+State+defenders%2C+Thursday%2C+Feb.+9%2C+2023%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+66-62.

Texas State senior guard Mason Harrell (12) gets double teamed by a pair of Arkansas State defenders, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 66-62.

The Bobcats (13-18, 6-12 Sun Belt) left their opening game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament with a win Tuesday night as they held off the Georgia State Panthers (10-21, 3-15 Sun Belt) in an 81-76 contest. 
The regular season wasn’t exactly kind to Texas State, with multiple Bobcats going down with injuries throughout the year. However, the Bobcats shook off the cold close to their regular season and handled Georgia State in an all-around victory. 
All five starting Bobcats cracked double-digits. Senior guard Drue Drinnon led the way with 16 points, freshman guard Jordan Mason finished with 15, senior forward Tyrell Morgan totaled 14 and senior guard Mason Harrell tied with junior forward Nate Martin by scoring 13 points on the night. 
Despite those scoring totals, both teams started the game a bit tepid, combining for just 12 points in the opening five minutes. An impressive turnaround jumper from graduate forward Nighael Ceaser gave the ‘Cats an early 8-4 lead. 
With each team swapping buckets, things became a bit more back-and-forth until a put-back from Georgia State sophomore guard Dwon Odom brought the score to 22-17. 
From there, Texas State went on a commanding 15-6 run fueled by Drinnon, who knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers to go along with a 3-pointer during that four-minute stretch. 
Georgia State used a couple of trips to the free-throw line and another bucket from Odom to close the gap to just 10 points at 41-31 before entering halftime. 
Despite the double-digit lead, Georgia State was still in the game. That was in large part due to their advantage at the charity stripe. The Panthers made all 13 of their free throw attempts while the Bobcats connected on just seven of their eight tries. 
The second half featured Georgia State making several attempts to cut the lead, bringing it down to six multiple times, but the Bobcats responded to each attack. 
An inside hook shot from sophomore forward Kaleb Scott finally cut the lead to just four points at 61-57 with about seven minutes left in the game.
However, the Bobcats stretched their lead back out to eight with a couple of free throws and an assist courtesy of Mason. 
Odom would continue to lift his team up though, scoring six points in just over a minute of game-time to cut the lead back down to four at 67-63. 
But again, the Bobcats held off Georgia State with some clutch free throw shooting from Martin and Morgan that replenished the Texas State lead back to 10 points with just 3:10 to play. 
Texas State then began killing the clock on each possession, forcing the Panthers to foul the rest of the way. The Bobcats closed the game with eight made free throws in the final minutes.
After dropping the reigning Sun Belt Conference tournament champions, the Bobcats will now advance to the second round for a matchup with Old Dominion, a team Texas State lost to 70-68 on a buzzer-beating layup on Feb. 11. 
Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 2 at the Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida.

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