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February 19th, 2008
Bobcats keep tournament hopes alive with win

Sports Writer

CORPUS CHRISTI – Brent Benson hit a game winning jumper with just over 1 second to play to give Texas State (12-13, 5-7) a 71-69 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-16, 5-6) Wednesday night at the American Bank Center. The Bobcats desperately needed this win in order to stay in contention to make the conference tournament. They entered the game in 10th place. With the win, they are now tied for 8th place with UT Arlington and only one game behind SE Louisiana, UTSA and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who each have 5-6 conference records. The all time series between these teams is now tied at 3-3. The Islanders won the meeting earlier this year at Strahan 82-69. The `Cats snapped a 3 game losing streak while the Islanders where denied their first 3 game win streak this season.

The Bobcats entered the game as the league’s highest scoring team with 84 a game and have scored 90 or more points 7 times this season. Defensively, they give up over 85 points per game so everyone was expecting a high scoring contest. The 1st half was not what everyone expected. The teams shot a combined 33% from the floor and the half ended with the Islanders leading 31-27. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi held advantages in Point off of turnovers (11-3) and Bench points (23-7). The Bobcats, meanwhile held a big advantage at the free throw line. Texas State made 9 of 15 free throws while the Islanders only made 1 of 6. The `Cats last held the lead with 12:17 left until half when Cameron Johnson hit a layup to make the score 14-13. The Islanders then went on a 14-6 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 27-19 with 8:14 remaining. The half ended with the Bobcats holding the Islanders to 4 points over that last 8 minutes. In the first meeting this year, the Islanders dominated inside using their size advantage, but they opened the game by shooting 7 straight three-pointers.

Texas State tied the game at 43 when Brandon Bush made his 2nd foul shot with 12:16 left in the game. After the Islanders jumped out to another 8 point lead (55-47) at the 10:35 mark, the Bobcats tied it back up just a little over 4 minutes later. Brandon Thomas made a layup with 6:04 remaining to tie it up 56-56. The Islanders largest lead after that was 5 points, 64-59 with only 3:41 left. The Bobcats fought back and tied it up 66-66 and then again 69-69 with only 50 seconds left. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi missed a jumper with 22 seconds remaining and Ty Gough got the rebound. This set up the last second shot by Benson for the Bobcat victory. The Islanders turned the ball over during the inbound pass to end the game. The keys to victory were that the Bobcats shot 10 more shots for the half and made 16 of 19 free throws. Brandon Bush and Brandon Thomas combined for 24 points in the half to lead the team in scoring. Thomas also had 7 rebounds in the 2nd half.

For the game, the Islanders held the lead for 37 of the 40 minutes. Texas State shot just 31.3% from the field, while Corpus Christi shot 44.1%. The `Cats out rebounded the Islanders 56-38 for the game. Thomas led the team on his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Bush, the teams scoring leader (14.4 ppg) went 9-11 from the free throw line to finish with 13 points. Corey Jefferson finished with 10 points and Ty Gough grabbed eight rebounds.

The Bobcats will return home for the Maroon vs. Orange rivalry game vs Texas-San Antonio Saturday the 23rd.


Texas State
Texas A&M CC

Scoring: Brandon Thomas (18), Brandon Bush (13), Corey Jefferson (10), Brent Holder (8), Matt Fullenwider (7)
Rebounding: Brandon Thomas (15), Ty Gough (8), Brandon Bush (6), Matt Fullenwider (5), Cameron Johnson (5)
Assist: Corey Jefferson (5), Brent Holder (2), Matt Fullenwider (1), Brandon Thomas (1), Brent Benson (1)
Blocks: Jonathan Sloan (1)
Steals: Brent Benson (3), Brandon Thomas (2), Corey Jefferson (2), Cameron Johnson (1)
Scoring: Justin Reynolds (16), Kevin Perkins (11), Antonio Topps (11)
Rebounding: Justin Reynolds (6)
Assist: Kevin Perkins (7), Horace Bond (3), Tim Green (3)
Blocks: Demond Watt (4)
Steals: Kevin Perkins (3), Horace Bond (2)

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