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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

Texas State extends winning streak to four with victory over Ball State

Felix Menke
Texas State sophomore guard Jordan Mason (5) drives to the basket, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Strahan Arena.

Sophomore guards Coleton Benson and Jordan Mason each scored a team-high 11 points for Texas State men’s basketball (11-14, 4-8 Sun Belt Conference) in its 68-60 win against Ball State University (12-12, 4-7 Mid-American Conference) Saturday afternoon at Strahan Arena in the MAC-Sun Belt Conference Challenge.

Saturday’s win is Texas State’s fourth consecutive.

Head Coach Terrence Johnson said the Bobcats’ success is a factor of taking the season one game at a time.

“To go 1-0, to be honest with you, to live in the moment,” Johnson said. “Not control the uncontrollable, not worrying about trying to go 5-0, 4-0, 3-0. The motto is to go 1-0 every single day.”

Benson came off the bench and, in 12 minutes, went 2-3 from beyond the arc to go along with his three made free throws.

Sophomore guard Davion Sykes scored 11 points in 33 minutes, shooting 4-10 from the field while grabbing 10 rebounds, for his second straight double-figure performance.

“I just think [Sykes] knows his job; he’s comfortable in his role,” Johnson said. “He understands how important it is for him to rebound the ball and for him to allow the offense to flow through him.”

The Bobcats’ bench outscored the Ball State bench 39-0 as the Cardinals relied on their starters, not making any substitutions until the final minutes.

Ball State jumped out to an early lead in the opening minutes, but the Bobcats took control by going on a 33-18 run to give them a 37-31 lead at halftime.

Ball State junior forward Basheer Jihad scored a game-high 19 points to go along with nine rebounds and three steals.

Ball State never led at any point during the second half due to Texas State’s defense and shot-making ability. Texas State ended the game with 13 steals compared to Ball State’s five.

“We’ve been pretty handsy lately,” Johnson said. “We have a number of deflections that we are trying to get every game. We doubled the post today, so we had to get our hands up, and those deflections led to steals.”

Texas State will look to extend its winning streak to five games against its next opponent, South Alabama University (12-13, 4-8 Sun Belt Conference). The Jaguars are coming off a 75-66 win against Northern Illinois University.

Tip-off between Texas State and Troy is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Alabama. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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