In a game that felt predictable after the Bobcats’ slow start to the season, the Texas State men’s basketball team fell 71-63 to the Troy Trojans in their conference home opener on Monday night.
The ‘Cats’ struggled to get a foothold at the start of the game, trailing for most of the first half until they came back up with a seven-point lead, 13:33 left in the first half. The ‘Cats then fell behind as the half closed with a 29-28 deficit and were unable to take the lead for the rest of the game, falling behind by up to 12 points before falling 71-63.
Head Coach Danny Kaspar said the Bobcats could not quite match the intensity of the Trojans throughout the game.
“I think (Troy’s) energy from start to finish was somewhat better than ours,” Kaspar said. “That’s the difference in eight points.”
Texas State’s guards struggled against the Troy zone defense which dared the ‘Cats to take outside shots, something that set the Bobcats behind. The team’s starting guards shot 7-26 from the floor and as a team the Bobcats were only able to hit six of their 19 shots from behind the arc.
Junior guard Marlin Davis said that the Bobcats changed their game plan after losing out the first half.
“At half time we said we have to pick up our intensity, that they were playing harder than us the first half,” Davis said. “I think we were down by 10 or 11 points. There wasn’t any time to wait, it was time to go.”
This marked the Bobcats’ fourth conference loss as the ‘Cats continue conference play with only one Sun Belt win against Arkansas State last Saturday. While the Bobcats have plenty of time to correct the ship, the team still has their composure after their fifth loss this season coming by less than double digits.
The team needs to come back with a better mindset and be more willing to make high-stakes plays in the game, according to senior guard Nijal Pearson.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to making plays,” Pearson said. “We’ve got do what we do best. There isn’t anything that they did that threw us off. It’s more of what we didn’t do.”
The Bobcats will get a chance at redemption as they play the second of their three-game home stand against Coastal Carolina on Saturday.