Texas State to host rematch of last season’s 2OT thriller versus UT Arlington

Eric+Terry+shoots+a+free+throw+after+being+fouled+by+a+UT+Arlington+player.+Last+season%27s+UTA+matchup+saw+the+Bobcats+lose+in+double+overtime.+Photo+by+Kate+Connors+
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Texas State to host rematch of last season’s 2OT thriller versus UT Arlington

Eric Terry shoots a free throw after being fouled by a UT Arlington player. Last season's UTA matchup saw the Bobcats lose in double overtime. Photo by Kate Connors

Eric Terry shoots a free throw after being fouled by a UT Arlington player. Last season's UTA matchup saw the Bobcats lose in double overtime. Photo by Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Eric Terry shoots a free throw after being fouled by a UT Arlington player. Last season's UTA matchup saw the Bobcats lose in double overtime. Photo by Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Kate Connors

Eric Terry shoots a free throw after being fouled by a UT Arlington player. Last season's UTA matchup saw the Bobcats lose in double overtime. Photo by Kate Connors

Aidan Bea, Sports Reporter

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For the first time since a double-overtime heartbreaker loss in last season’s blackout game, Texas State men’s basketball will host in-state rival UT Arlington for a rematch on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Strahan Arena.

Last season the Bobcats fell 84-77 in double-overtime in front of 6,581 fans, setting a new attendance record and increasing tension between the two rival Sun Belt teams.

The 2018 matchup was hotly contested, seeing 12 ties and 14 lead changes. The difference maker was Texas State’s poor shooting down the stretch, especially from the foul line where the Bobcats only shot 9-20. On the other end, UTA shot 22-28 from the line, including 8-9 in overtime play.

UTA’s Brian Warren put up a career-high 30 points to lead the Mavericks, while senior guard Nijal Pearson led the Bobcats with 15 points and 4 steals.

Now, the game marks Pearson’s first game in Strahan Arena since breaking the program’s all-time scoring record. Pearson scored 23 points against ULM on January 16 to pass Charles Sharp’s (1956-60) record of 1884 career points.

Both teams enter Friday’s game with win streaks on the line. Texas State (12-8) enters this game fourth in the conference and on a four-game win streak. Although UTA is seventh in the conference, the team (8-12) is hot off of a two-game win streak. The Bobcats and Mavericks most recently beat both ULM and Louisiana.

Offensively, Pearson looks to extend his scoring record and enters this game scoring 19.8 points a game, while UTA is led by sophomore guard David Azore. Azore pitches in 15.7 points a game while shooting 39.7% from the three-point range.

Both teams are pretty evenly matched statistically, but Texas State enters the game with a +8.6 scoring margin compared to UTA’s +2.8. The Bobcats will have to counter the long-range scoring of the Mavericks, who enter this game making eight a game compared to the Bobcat’s five and a half. In order for Texas State to win this game, they will have to play stingy defense while still scoring the ball efficiently.

The ‘Cats will look to keep their win streak and seek redemption with hopes for another record-setting turnout.

Rivals Texas State and UTA will face-off at 4 p.m on Saturday at Strahan Arena.

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