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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 ends losing streak behind career performance from Sykes

Texas+State+senior+guard+Dylan+Dawson+%280%29+attacks+the+paint+versus+South+Alabama%2C+Thursday%2C+Feb.+1%2C+2024%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.
Kobe Arriaga
Texas State senior guard Dylan Dawson (0) attacks the paint versus South Alabama, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at Strahan Arena.

Texas State men’s basketball (8-14, 2-8 Sun Belt Conference) defeated the University of South Alabama 74-66 (10-12, 3-7 Sun Belt Conference) Thursday night at Strahan Arena.

The win snaps the team’s four-game losing streak dating back to January 17 and is just the second victory of the new calendar year.

“It feels good to be back in Strahan [Arena] with the fans and community,” Texas State Head Coach Terrence Johnson said. “By embracing changes, we took a step in maturity a little bit, so hopefully, this is the day things start to change.”

Each team was eager to end their losing streaks, as the Jaguars entered the contest having lost three consecutive games.

The Bobcats opened the game with a 7-0 run in 20 seconds, spread between sophomore forward Davion Sykes, junior forward Christian Turner and freshman guard Kaden Gumbs.

Sykes netted a career-high 18 points, bringing his total number scored for Texas State to 82. Additionally, he recorded a team-high 11 rebounds to finish with the first double-figure performance of his collegiate career.

“I thought [Sykes] kept the game simple tonight,” Johnson said. “I thought he took what was given to him. I thought he executed and played with the right type of energy and mindset. A lot of times, his plays put us in the position we’re in right now.”

The Bobcats led the game for all but one minute, never allowing the Jaguars to tie the score.

South Alabama went on a 16-3 run late in the second half to cut Texas State’s lead to a single point at 48-47.

Senior guard Tyrell Jones was the top-scorer for the Jaguars with 16 points and two steals.

Sophomore guard Jordan Mason responded with a pair of threes over the span of one minute to regain Texas State a comfortable lead.

Sykes put the game away for Texas State by scoring 10 points in the final six minutes of regulation to cap off his career night.

The Bobcats will look to build off the momentum from this win as they head into their first matchup of the season against Southern Mississippi University (12-10, 6-4 Sun Belt Conference). The Golden Eagles are coming off a 78-71 loss to Arkansas State.

Tip-off between Texas State and Southern Miss is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3 at Strahan Arena. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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  • Texas State junior forward Christian Turner (30) and sophomore guard Jordan Mason (5) celebrate the win over South Alabama, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State sophomore forward Davion Sykes (4) skies to the basket for the dunk versus South Alabama, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State freshman guard Kaden Gumbs (11) passes the ball while driving to the basket versus South Alabama, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State sophomore guard Davion Sykes (4) gets fouled while floating the ball over the South Alabama defender, Thursday, February 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State head coach Terrence Johnson watches over his team facing South Alabama, Thursday, February 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State sophomore guard Jordan Mason floats the ball over the South Alabama defender, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State sophomore guard Jordan Mason drives the ball to the basket versus South Alabama, Thursday, February 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State junior forward Brandon Love (24) floats the ball over two South Alabama defenders, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State sophomore Davion Sykes (4) lays the ball between two South Alabama defenders, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Strahan Arena.

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