Men’s basketball finds success over Rice Owls


Steve Ueckert 713.906.9815

Nijal Pearson, freshman, shoots a basket Feb. 13 during the game against Arkansas State.
Photo by: Melissa Ueckert | Staff Photographer

Sean Anchondo

The Texas State mens’s basketball team had their sixth win of the season against the Rice university Owls Wednesday night at Strahan Arena at the university events center.

The 74-60 against the Owls marks the best start for the Bobcats since the 1980-81 season. All six of their wins have been made by more than 10 points. The last time the Bobcats started 6-1 and won their games by 10 or more points was in 1957.

With 25 points and 9-16 for shooting including five three-pointers, stand out junior guard Nijal Pearson continues to climb the all-time scoring list. Pearson is now 14th in school history after surpassing Dameon Sansom Wednesday night.

Head Coach Danny Kaspar said Pearson’s play and leadership proved pivitol in the on and off the court.

“Nijal pearson is playing really good basketball right now,” Kaspar said. “He puts in a lot of time in the gym, more than anybody on the team. He really wants it. His leadership and his play are instrumental in our positive start.”

Pearson, however, was not satisfied with the game, specifically that the Owls were able to make a run at the end of the game.

“Transition defense,” Pearson said. “We need to be better, we turned the ball over. [We had] some goofy turnovers in late game situations. We need to manage the game better. When we go up 20 we need to try to go up 30.”

Defense has been the identity for the team so far this season. Boasting the 13th best scoring defense in the nation, Coach Kaspar’s M.O. has been a suffocating defense. Texas State has only allowed one team to score over 70-points so far this season, marked by their only loss of the season to date against Drake University.

Next up, the Bobcats head south on I-35 with revenge on their minds against rival UTSA after a heartbreaking loss last year. Pearson said last year’s loss remains in the back of his mind, but on gameday, all that matters is the game at hand.

“UTSA can celebrate last years win and can bring up last years win,” Pearson said. “But come Saturday it’s going to be a 40 minute fight and that’s the only 40 minutes that matter. Saturday we’ll be ready to play.”

Tip off is at 3 P.M. Saturday at UTSA Convocation Center in San Antonio.

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