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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

Coleman and Cesar’s combined 39 propel men’s basketball to massive victory

Texas+State+senior+forward+Nighael+Ceaser+%2822%29+jumps+layout+against+Georgia+Southern%2C+Thursday%2C+Jan+26%2C+2023%2C+at+the+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+70-67.

Texas State senior forward Nighael Ceaser (22) jumps layout against Georgia Southern, Thursday, Jan 26, 2023, at the Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 70-67.

Texas State men’s basketball (11-11, 4-5 Sun Belt Conference) entered Thursday night’s contest needing a victory to not only snap a three-game losing streak but turn around what has been up to this point a disappointing season as March quickly approaches. 
With its back against the wall the Bobcats managed to put together one of its best performances of the season and upset Georgia Southern (12-10, 5-4 Sun Belt Conference) 70-67 on Jeff Foster Court at Strahan Arena in San Marcos. 
“We finally got us one,” head coach Terrence Johnson said in a post-game press conference. “I think the fans, community and student body has been waiting for a reason to celebrate these guys and they had one tonight. It was a phenomenal atmosphere and a phenomenal effort by our guys.” 
For the second straight game, Texas State was without the services of its leading scorer in fifth year senior guard Mason Harrell, who once again sat out due to an undisclosed injury. 
Georgia Southern started off the game red-hot going 3-3 from the field and knocking down a three to jump out to an early 10-0 lead within the opening three minutes forcing Johnson to call a timeout.
During the timeout junior guard Davion Coleman entered the game and instantaneously provided a much-needed spark by hitting a pair of threes. Senior forward Tyrel Morgan buried a three of his own along with two jump shots to make the score 12-11 with 14:16 remaining. 
A forced turnover led to a fastbreak layup by freshman guard Jordan Mason to give Texas State its first lead of the game at 13-12. 
Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first half as neither could take a lead greater than three points until a jump shot with one second left in the half by fifth year senior guard Jalen Finch gave Georgia Southern a 36-31 lead at halftime. 
The Eagles built on the lead early in the second half with a layup from Finch. Texas State responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 38-38. 
Like in the first half, both teams went back and forth, unable to create much separation until back-to-back mid-range jumpers by graduate student forward Nighael Ceasar gave Texas State its largest lead of the game at 60-53 with just under six minutes in regulation. 
Ceasar finished the game matching his career-best with 23 points on 10-for-14 from the field while also hauling in four rebounds and one steal. 
With 40 seconds left in the game a Georgia Southern three cut Texas State’s lead to just four points at 66-62. 
With time beginning to run out, Georgia Southern had no choice but to play the fouling game sending Ceasar to the line where he went 1-2. 
A three-point play on its next possession brought Georgia Southern within two points at 67-65 with 23 seconds remaining. 
The Eagles continued to foul, sending Coleman to the free throw line where he was able to put the game away for the Bobcats by going 3-for-4 on two separate trips. 
Coleman finished the night with a career-high 16 points on 5-for-10, including three three-pointers. The Houston native had only made two three-pointers as a Bobcat coming into Thursday’s game. Together he and Ceasar combined for 39 of the team’s 70 points.
Texas State outperformed Georgia Southern in every statical category but it was the team’s defense that Johnson left the court impressed with the most. 
“Tonight, we beat a good team. Just so happened that things went our way,” Johnson said. “I’m sure they don’t’ want one of their key guys to go 1-for-10 but I like to think that our guys did a pretty good job of making it hard for him tonight. Overall, I thought it was a complete, total team effort.” 
Johnson also praised the fight, his team and composure, his team showed having lost it’s previous three games. 
“Just a hungry, thirsty group of young men that stayed the course and made up their minds that they were going to trust each other and believe and hold on throughout the course of the game no matter what happened.” 

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