Panthers pounce on Bobcat’s postseason dreams

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Panthers pounce on Bobcat’s postseason dreams

FIU sophomore guard Isaiah Banks dunks the ball over the Bobcats' Eric Terry March 23. 
 Photo by Jakob Rodriguez.

FIU sophomore guard Isaiah Banks dunks the ball over the Bobcats' Eric Terry March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez.

FIU sophomore guard Isaiah Banks dunks the ball over the Bobcats' Eric Terry March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez.

FIU sophomore guard Isaiah Banks dunks the ball over the Bobcats' Eric Terry March 23. Photo by Jakob Rodriguez.

Andrew Zimmel

The Texas State men’s basketball team played host to the Florida International University basketball team and were bounced out of the first round of the postseason tournament with a final score of 87-81.

After finishing fourth in the Sun Belt conference and third in the Sun Belt Tournament with a loss to Georgia State, The Bobcats accepted a bid into the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, a postseason college basketball tournament that acts as an alternative for schools who were not selected by the NCAA for their yearly tournament or the National Invitational tournament.

Hours before tipoff between the two teams, Nijal Pearson was listed as inactive after an injury he suffered in a practice on Friday, Head Coach of the Bobcats Danny Kaspar said.

“When you learn your leading scorer and first team all-conference player is not going to play at one o’clock, that can sometimes knock a team off stride,” Kaspar said. “I thought (our) guys kind of kept it together for the most part.”

In place of Pearson, Kaspar started Sophmore forward Akiem Daschner who was starting only his second game as a Bobcat. Along with Daschner, the Bobcats rolled out the usual line up of Jaylen Shead, Tre Nottingham, Alex Peacock and Eric Terry.

In the first half, the Bobcats struggled to score, instead, turning the ball over nine times and having the starting lineup shoot 10-19 from the floor. Early on, however, Nottingham stepped up to replace Pearson’s scoring production.

Nottingham scored a career-high 27 points on 8-21 shooting attempts from the field and shot 4-13 from behind the arch. Sophomore Shelby Adams also made his presence felt scoring 12 points and pulling down nine rebounds, leading the team in that category, Nottingham said.

“Shelby (has) matured a lot these past two years,” Nottingham said. “You can see him progressing in practice and in games. He works, he comes to work every day. He’s a dog, he’s grinding every day.”

Another hurdle Texas State had to overcome during the game was the injury to Alex Peacock, which Kaspar described after the game as a hamstring pull. The injury prevented Peacock from playing more than 20 minutes and limited his impact on both ends of the court.

The Bobcats lead by as many as nine points in the second half, but in the last three minutes, FIU was able to clamp the Bobcats forcing them into a costly turnover that eventually cost the Bobcats the game.

The Bobcats finished their season 24-10, the most wins by any team at Texas State coached by Kaspar.