By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
Following Texas State’s first home men’s basketball game against a Division I opponent, Bobcats head coach Doug Davalos bemoaned the need for senior leadership and a decent job with lay-ups. Lacking those attributes, the Bobcats suffered an 85-81 loss to New Orleans Monday night at Strahan Coliseum and fell to 3-6 for the season.
The Bobcats held their final lead at 74-72 with Corey Jefferson’s lay-up as four minutes remained. But New Orleans scored the next seven points, thanks to jump shooting by Kendall Dykes and T.J. Worley, for a 79-74 lead.
And as the Bobcats tried to climb back in the game, Davalos’ substitution pattern was telling. Jefferson, the senior point guard, didn’t re-enter the game after the 2:43 mark. The other seniors, Brandon Bush and Brent Benson, were relegated to part-time offensive roles as Davalos inserted John Bowman and Roshun Jackson for defensive purposes during free-throw timeouts.
“I couldn’t find any combination that really worked,” Davalos said. “The whole game, I couldn’t find a group of guys who played consistently.”
But Davalos was especially perturbed about his seniors.
“They need to be in there giving us leadership,” he said.
Apparently, though, the seniors didn’t justify their presence in the lineup from a defensive standpoint as New Orleans availed itself of consistently open three-point shooters. The Privateers made nine of their 20 three-point tries. Dykes and Worley led them with 19 points each, Dykes by running an open baseline and Worley by making three of six from the arc.
“The whole team has to buy in defensively,” junior forward John Rybak said.
New Orleans enjoyed an especially productive second half, making 16 of 26 from the field (61.5 percent) on the way to a 29 of 57 night overall (50.9 percent).
Meanwhile, the Bobcats couldn’t make lay-ups, especially going down the stretch. Over the last 12 minutes, Texas State made only nine of 26 field-goal attempts (34.6 percent), consistently missing from under the basket. For the second half, Texas State made only nine of 20 lay-ups.
“We have to make those tough shots,” Davalos said.
Sounding much like Texas State football coach Brad Wright early this season, Davalos said the Bobcats are too likely to accept congratulations for a good performance, only to come out flat in the next game. After the Bobcats lost by only 81-73 at Texas last Saturday, the pattern predicted that Texas State would come back with a poor game against New Orleans.
“We didn’t win anything,” Davalos said of the Texas game.
Against New Orleans, the Bobcats not only didn’t win, but they lost on their home floor to a team entering with a 3-5 record. With the win against Texas State, though, New Orleans has won four of its last five.
Ty Gough led the Bobcats with 16 points, followed by Bush and Rybak with 15 points each. Davalos held Bush out of the starting lineup for the second straight game.
“Benson was supposed to shoot a three,” Davalos said. “He decided to dribble down and penetrate instead. That’s the one time he doesn’t shoot a three.”
The way the Bobcats were going, through, Benson might not have made it, anyway.Email | Print