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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


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Bobcats drop conference opener to No. 20 James Madison

Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State freshman guard Kaden Gumbs (11) goes in for a layup during the game against LeTourneau, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

Texas State men’s basketball (6-7, 0-1 Sun Belt Conference) faced its second straight loss against an undefeated ranked team, No. 20, James Madison University (13-0, 1-0 Sun Belt Conference), 82-65 in its first conference game Saturday afternoon at the Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

“Tough game all the way around. We struggled to get a rhythm on the offensive end and weren’t connected on the defensive end,” Texas State Head Coach Terrence Johnson said. “Credit JMU; they’re an excellent team and extremely well coached. We have to get back to the drawing board and address some things before our next contest.”

The Bobcats scored the game’s opening basket, but the Dukes went on a 13-2 run powered by a pair of threes from redshirt senior Julien Wooden.

Late in the first half, the Bobcats went on a 9-2 run to make the score 25-24. The Dukes ended the half on an 11-4 run to take a 38-26 halftime lead.

James Madison came out hot to open the second half and expanded its lead with six quick points. The Bobcats went nearly six minutes without scoring allowing the Dukes to take a commanding 51-30 lead with eight minutes remaining, which was enough to put the game out of reach.

James Madison graduate student forward T.J. Bickerstaff finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. Junior guard Terrence Edwards Jr. added 17 points and five rebounds for the Dukes.

For Texas State, sophomore guard Coleton Benson was the leading scorer with 19 points off the bench. Freshman guard Kaden Gumbs added 14 points and five rebounds.

Next, the Bobcats will seek their first conference win and get a break from undefeated ranked teams as they will face Coastal Carolina University (3-8, 0-1 Sun Belt Conference).

Tip-off between Texas State and Coastal Carolina is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, at Strahan Arena. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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