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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

Cat Fight: Men’s basketball looks for huge upset win against Houston Cougars

Texas+State+Bobcats+cheer+on+their+teammates+from+the+sidelines+during+a+game+against+Lamar+University%2C+Wednesday%2C+Dec.+15%2C+2021%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+67-47.

Texas State Bobcats cheer on their teammates from the sidelines during a game against Lamar University, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 67-47.

The Bobcats (9-2) have extended their win streak to eight but will face their toughest test yet when they meet the No. 13 ranked Houston Cougars (10-2) on Wednesday night.
The ‘Cats last contest was a 75-36 dismantling of Paul Quinn. Texas State held the Tigers to a measly 22% shooting from the field, including no makes on 10 three-point attempts. However, the Bobcats lost the turnover battle, mostly due to a slow start. It was something Coach T.J. Johnson accredited to the physicality of the game.
“We were not ready for the level of physicality … it’s a very physical team, that’s how they play,” Johnson said. “I just reminded [our players] you didn’t start playing basketball in a gym, you started in a park, so it’s a mentality thing and we adjusted our mentality.”
That reminder served Johnson’s team well as the Bobcats outscored Paul Quinn 41-16 after half-time.
Sophomore guard Dylan Dawson was a sniper off the bench, leading the ‘Cats with 15 points including four made threes. Senior forward Nighael Ceaser also continued to shine in his reserve role with a stat-stuffing 12 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two steals. 
The Bobcats will need all hands on deck as they travel to face Houston, a team that is currently ranked fifth in the country in terms of point differential.
The Cougars are coming off a 72-61 win over Oklahoma State. Houston led 57-55 with 4:31 left to play before going on a 10-2 run to seal the game. Eight of those points came from sophomore guard Jamal Shead, who finished with 18 on the night.
Besides Shead, the Cougars had three other double-digit scores. Junior guard Marcus Sasser and graduate forward Fabian White Jr. each had 15 points, while senior guard Kyler Edwards added 13 points.
The Cougars shot well from the floor, but only connected on 56% of their free throws, something Texas State might take note of after learning how to play a scrappy game against Paul Quinn.
“I told [our players] if you think that this is a physical game, wait ‘till the 22nd,” Johnson said. “Your non-conference is there to prepare you, to take steps. I think throughout the course of it all, it’s important that our guys understand that all of this is an opportunity to grow and develop.”
Dawson echoed his coach’s sentiment when asked what he thinks about their final non-conference matchup with Houston.
“That’s honestly the perfect game we need,” Dawson said. “Competition, toughness, aggressiveness. It’s everything we’re gonna need in conference [play] and they have it.”
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 22 at the Fertitta Center in Houston. The game will air on ESPN+.

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