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February 14th, 2008
Another close loss for Bobcat men

By MICHAEL WRIGHT
Sports Reporter

LAKE CHARLES, La — The Texas State (11-12, 4-6) men’s basketball team made it close but eventually fell to McNeese State (9-12, 3-6) Wednesday night 81-77, at Burton Coliseum. With the win, the Cowboys snapped a four game losing streak while Texas State has now lost two in a row. There are just six games remaining and the Bobcats must start winning to earn a bid to the Southland Conference Tournament. Eight team will qualify for the post season. The first place teams in each division earn an automatic spot and the last six teams are determined by best record. If the season ended today, the Bobcats would be the 8th team in.

The first half of play saw eight ties and five lead changes. The last tie of the half was at 25-25 with 5:42 remaining when Brent Benson nailed a 3-pointer. The half ended with the Cowboys leading 39-34 when they hit a 3-pointer with only 3 seconds left to extend their lead to five. Texas State only made 11 of 31 (35.5%) from the field but made 8 of 11 (72.7%) from the free throw line. The Cowboys made only one more shot by making 12 of 31 (38.7%) but made 12 of 17 (70.6%) their free throws. McNeese State got more chances at the line as the Bobcats were called for 13 fouls compared to the Cowboys 8. Brent Benson led Texas State in scoring as he put up 14 points (8 of 9 free throws). Jonathan Sloan was the team leader in rebounds with 7 boards.

In the second half, the ‘Cats narrowed the Cowboy lead down to 2 points when Brent Benson hit a jumper at the 17:37 mark. McNeese State then little by little upped their lead to 9 (57-48) with 10:54 remaining. They would never get the lead into double digits though as the Bobcats fought back. With 1:45 remaining the Cowboy lead was once again only 2 points as Brandon Bush made a layup to make the score 74-72. The Cowboys scored the next six points, all on free throws, to move ahead 80-72 with only 36 seconds left. The Bobcats had missed three 3-pointers during that stretch. Matt Fullenwider‘s jumper with 14 seconds left made the score 80-77. The Bobcats missed their last two 3-pointers of the game and the Cowboys made another free throw to bring the final to 81-77. For the half, Benson scored another 14 points to lead the team. He finished with a career high 28 points for the game. Brent Holder made 3 of 7 three pointers in the 2nd half to score 9 and give him 12 points for the night. The Cowboys hit 50% (14 of 28) of their shots in the 2nd half while the Bobcats only made 36.6% (15 of 41). Texas State ended up shooting just 36.1% from the field. This marks the 3rd straight game that the Bobcats have shot under 40% from the field.

John Pichon led the Cowboys with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Kleon Penn recorded 13 rebounds and eight blocks for McNeese. Penn came into the game with 69 blocks on the season which puts him in first place in the league standings and ninth in the national ranking. The Cowboys leads the league in blocks, rejecting 5.7 for a total 113 this season. Texas State has recorded 40 blocks collectively this season and only had 2 in the game. Texas State’s 77 points did not hurt their average much as they lead the conference and rank fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 84 point per game.

Texas State will head back to Strahan Coliseum to host the Lamar Cardinals at 4 pm, Saturday the 16th.

BOX SCORE

   
1st
2nd
Final
Texas State
34
43
77
McNeese State
39
42
81

STAT LEADERS

TEXAS STATE
Scoring: Brent Benson (28), Brent Holder (12), Brandon Bush (9), Jonathan Sloan (7), Corey Jefferson (5)
Rebounding: Jonathan Sloan (10), Matt Fullenwider (8), Brandon Thomas (6), Brandon Bush (5),
Assist: Corey Jefferson (4), Brent Benson (3), Ryan White (3),
Blocks: Brandon Bush (1), Dylan Moseley (1)
Steals: Brandon Bush (2)

McNEESE STATE
Scoring: John Pichon (26), Rorey Lawrence (12), Jarvis Bradley (11)
Rebounding: Kleon Penn (13), John Pichon (10), Jarvis Bradley (7)
Assist: John Pichon (6)
Blocks: Kleon Penn (8), John Pichon (2)
Steals: Rorey Lawrence (3), Jarvis Bradley (1), P.J. Alawoya (1

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