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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

Southern Miss outlasts Texas State to give Bobcats 10th conference loss

Texas+State+sophomore+guard+Coleton+Benson+%2822%29+dribbles+the+ball+through+the+Coastal+Carolina+defense%2C+Thursday%2C+Jan.+4%2C+2024+at+Strahan+Arena.
Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State sophomore guard Coleton Benson (22) dribbles the ball through the Coastal Carolina defense, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 at Strahan Arena.

Sophomore guard Jordan Mason scored a team-high 18 points as Texas State men’s basketball (11-16, 4-10 Sun Belt Conference) dropped a 78-74 nail-biter against the University of Southern Mississippi (15-12, 8-6 Sun Belt Conference) Saturday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

“A hard-fought game today,” Texas State Head Coach Terrence Johnson said. “I thought we gave a better effort than we did Thursday night, but to win on the road, you have to defend and execute, two things that we obviously struggled with today.”

Mason filled up the stat sheet by shooting 8 for 20 from the field, grabbing three rebounds, dishing out two assists and recording three steals. Sophomore guard Coleton Benson made his first start of the season, scoring 17 points and shooting 3-for-6 from three.

The Bobcats had a slow start, only reaching six points in the first five minutes of play. Scrappy defense and 10 turnovers kept Texas State battling after an early eight-point deficit. A 7-2 Texas State run evened the score at 19-19.

Texas State finished the first half strong, taking a 38-33 lead into halftime. The Golden Eagles tied the score at 42-42 in the opening minutes of the second half.

Neither team could establish much of a lead as they traded baskets throughout the second half. Southern Miss took a 53-51 lead off a jumper from senior guard Andre Curbelo and did not surrender it for the remainder of the game. Curbelo finished the game with a career-high 24 points to lead the Golden Eagles.

Benson kept the game within striking distance after draining a three to cut Southern Miss’ lead to three points at 68-65.

With 54 seconds left on the clock and down by two points, Texas State’s sophomore forward Davion Sykes missed a crucial game-tying layup. After playing the fouling game, Southern Miss put the game on ice from the charity stripe.

Texas State will look to snap its current two-game losing streak against its next opponent, Georgia Southern University (5-22, 2-12 Sun Belt Conference).

“We’ll go home, regroup and see if this week we can address the little things that made such a big difference before Thursday night,” Johnson said.

Tip-off between Texas State and Georgia Southern is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Georgia. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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