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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 looks to extend win streak against ULM

Texas+State+senior+forward+Quentin+Scott+%2814%29+jumps+and+shoots+over+an+incoming+Incarnate+Word+defender+during+a+game%2C+Saturday%2C+Dec.+5%2C+2020%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+72-64.

Texas State senior forward Quentin Scott (14) jumps and shoots over an incoming Incarnate Word defender during a game, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 72-64.

Men’s basketball (9-4 overall, 3-1 Sun Belt) will be on the road Jan. 22-23 (4-9 overall, 2-4 Sun Belt) to play their fifth and sixth conference games of the season, both against the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
The back to back games will be matchups 15 and 16 of the teams’ history, with Texas State holding an 8-6 advantage all-time.
It will mark only the third and fourth game for the ‘Cats since Jan. 2 after their doubleheader against Arkansas State, scheduled for Jan. 8-9, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
COVID-19-related issues have not slowed down Texas State, as it has come out on top in six of its last seven games, placing the Bobcats in first place of the Sun Belt Conference West Division.
The Bobcats are led by junior guard Mason Harrell, who is averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting over 41.7% from deep. Harrell, along with the emergence of his backcourt companion, junior guard Caleb Asberry, has been key throughout the team’s recent hot stretch.
Since Asberry entered the starting lineup on Dec. 15 against the Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi Islanders, the Bobcats have gone 6-1. Asberry was the leading scorer in five of those games.
The two-day visit to Louisiana projects well for Texas State, according to Las Vegas betting lines and ESPN game predictions. Texas State is a heavy favorite, as the team goes into both games with a 71.4% chance of victory.
The Warhawks, despite having a sub -.500 record, have lost three games by three or fewer points.
ULM is led by the duo of junior guards Koreem Ozier and junior guard Russell Harrison, who both average over 13 points per game and lead the team on the boards at over 4.5 apiece.
With ULM’s guard-dependent rebounding, it will look to push the pace in transition with drives to the basket and either kick it to open shooters on the wing or take layups at the basket.
Both teams rely heavily on their guards, and the game could come down to a battle of the backcourts. While Asberry and Harrell will see the lion’s share of both Ozier and Harrison on both ends, it will be important for senior forward Isiah Small and junior forward Alonzo Sule to dominate on the glass.
Both Small and Sule must take advantage of potential second chance opportunities due to the Warhawks’ lack of a true rebounding presence and overall size in the front court. The Warhawks lose the rebounding battle by an average of 7.7 per game while allowing opponents to shoot nearly 43.5% from the field and 37.2% from deep.
The importance of communication in transition will be a deciding factor in both contests. ULM’s transition offense and ability to force turnovers is a key factor in its game, as the team averages nearly 15.5 points off turnovers per game.
Texas State will look to continue its win streak and stay atop the West Division while ULM will look to end a four-game losing streak.
The matchups between Texas State and ULM will take place at 6 p.m. on Jan. 22 and at 4 p.m. on Jan. 23, respectively, at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, Louisiana. Both contests will be available on ESPN+.

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