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The Student News Site of Texas State University

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

Air Force soars over Bobcat basketball in road opener

Quentin Scott jumps to dunk the ball Nov. 1 at Strahan Arena.

Quentin Scott jumps to dunk the ball Nov. 1 at Strahan Arena.

After trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half, the Texas State Bobcats lost to The Air Force Academy 78-71 Saturday. The loss marks the second time the ‘Cats have lost to the Falcons in three years and drops them to 1-6 in road openers under head coach Danny Kaspar.
The Bobcats led only once in the first half and had to fight their way back to end the half with a five-point 35-30 deficit after a buzzer-beating coast-to-coast layup by sophomore Mason Harrell. Harrell proved to be the holdout for the Bobcats, scoring 11 points in the first half and shooting 2-4 from behind the arc.
Despite Harrell’s accuracy, the Bobcats as a whole struggled shooting from deep, going 3-18 with only Harrell and senior guard Nijal Pearson connecting from behind the arc. Pearson landed his sole three-pointer in the second half, marking his 178th career three and putting him as the all-time leader for the program.
The start of the second half was all Air Force, with the Falcons going on a 11-2 run and pushing the game’s biggest lead, a 46-32 advantage. The ‘Cats were able to cut the lead to single digits, but it proved too little too late as the Falcons hit free throws late in the game to seal the win.
Kaspar said he appreciated the team’s grit but found weaknesses in the team’s defense and shooting accuracy.
“The guys fought to the end tonight and I can appreciate that,” Kaspar said. “At the same time, our defense was subpar, and we shot poorly from the 3-point and free throw lines. We cannot give up 43 points in a half and shoot like we did tonight and expect to win.”
The team’s shooting accuracy was lower than Kaspar’s expectations, but redshirt junior Marlin Davis racked up some points for the Bobcats. After missing all of last season, Davis gave Texas State 11 points and four assists off the bench. The ‘Cats also outscored Air Force 46-18 in the paint and won out 10-8 on offensive rebounds.
The Bobcats will return to Strahan on Tuesday to match up against Prairie View A&M. The Panthers are coming off a 73-69 loss to UCF and last lost to the Bobcats in 2016. PVAM, however, could prove a threat as the defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champions and 2018 NCAA tournament qualifiers. Prairie View also holds a threat in Devonte Patterson, the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, who wasn’t on the court for the Panthers’ loss to UCF.
Bobcat fans should be on the lookout for Patterson, a player who averaged 13.5 points and 5 rebounds last season, as well as Chancellor Ellis, who is leading the team in points per game and free throw percentage.
For the Bobcats, the focus has been scoring down low so far this season with sophomore Alonzo Sule and senior Eric Terry. Harrell is working on becoming a reliable scorer and is picking up the slack from Person’s hot and cold shooting.
Both teams are .500 on the season as they head into Tuesday’s home game at 7 p.m. The ‘Cats will face Prairieview before heading to fellow NCAA qualifier Baylor at 8 p.m. on Friday in Waco.

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