The Texas State men’s basketball team looks to win its second straight home game when the Bobcats return from a nine-day break and play host to McMurry in a non-conference game on Dec. 30 at 7:00 p.m. inside Strahan Coliseum. Texas State enters the game with a 4-6 overall record this season after defeating Prairie View A&M 82-68 on Dec. 21.
McMurry has a 4-3 record this season, including a 1-2 record in road games this season. The Indians opened the season with an 80-55 loss at UTSA on Nov. 25, and suffered a 66-62 setback at Texas-Tyler on Dec. 6 before winning 91-77 at Hardin Simmons on Dec. 15. McMurry also split its last two games in the Trip Sports Las Vegas Hoopla Tournament. The Indians suffered a 69-66 against North Central on Dec. 19 before beating St. Vincent 82-78 on Dec. 20.THE SERIES
Sunday’s game will mark the 47th time that Texas State will play against McMurry and the Bobcats enter the game with a 38-8 record against the Indians. The two teams last met on Dec. 30, 2004 when the Bobcats won a 90-78 victory in Strahan Coliseum.
SCOUTING TEXAS STATE
Texas State has a 3-1 record in home games this season after its 82-68 victory over Prairie View A&M. The Bobcats suffered an 85-81 loss against New Orleans on Dec. 15. The Bobcats defeated Huston-Tillotson 104-81 on Nov. 19 and Southwest Assemblies of God 110-65 on Dec. 3 in their first two home games of the 2008-09 season.
The Bobcats have lost four games this season by a combined 19 points after the four-point loss against the Privateers. Texas State also suffered an eight-point loss at Texas, a six-point at Rice and a one-point loss at Wyoming.
Brent Benson leads Texas State and is ranked third among Southland Conference leaders with 17.6 points per game after scoring 16 points against Prairie View A&M. Brandon Bush is averaging 13.5 points and leads Texas State with 6.5 rebounds per game after netting 14 points and six rebounds against Prairie View A&M. John Rybak scored 11 points against the Panthers and enters Tuesday’s game averaging 10.7 points and is second among team leaders with 4.5 rebounds per game.
Cameron Johnson is chipping in with 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game after netting 13 points and five rebounds against Prairie View A&M..
LAST TIME OUT
Seniors Brent Benson, Brandon Bush and Corey Jefferson combined for 38 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Texas State men’s basketball team to an 82-68 victory over Prairie View A&M on Dec. 21 at Strahan Coliseum.
Benson came off the bench to score 16 points and collect two steals to lead the Bobcats in both categories, while Bush returned to the starting lineup for the first time in three games and netted 14 points, and team highs of six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Jefferson added eight points and equaled his season-high of eight assists to go along with five rebounds.
Texas State led 26-23 with 6:47 left to play in the first half when Jefferson nailed a three-point shot from the top of the key and Bush added four more points when he grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a lay-up and nailed a jumper from the left wing to give the Bobcats a 10-point lead.
Cameron Johnson’s jumper and tip-in gave the Bobcats a 37-23 lead with 4:57 left to play in the opening half.
The Panthers climbed back into the game during the next three minutes as Dorian McDaniel scored a three-point play with a lay-up and free throw, while Darnell Hugee added five more points with a free throw and a pair of lay-ups. Michael Griffin’s three-point basket made the score 39-36 with 1:04 left in the first half.
Texas State’s Jonathan Sloan made a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left to make the score 41-36 at halftime.
The two teams fought back and forth the first 10 minutes of the second half before Texas State used a 13-6 run to take a 71-56 lead with 6:35 left to play. Bush capped the run with an alley-oop slam dunk on an assist from Jefferson.
The Bobcats increased their lead to 78-60 with 4:02 left to play when Bush hit both of his free throws. Texas State head coach Doug Davalos emptied his bench with the Bobcats leading 79-62 with 3:48 left to play. The Bobcats went on to win their third home game of the season and improve their overall record to 4-6 heading into the Christmas break.
Texas State enters the McMurry game with the nation’s third best offense after averaging 88.3 points per game in its first 10 games. The Bobcats have scored 90 points in five of its last eight games.
The Bobcats tallied 110 points against Southwest Assemblies of God and 104 points versus Huston-Tillotson. Texas State also scored 96 points at Wyoming, 94 points at Rice and 93 points at Northern Colorado. The streak ended with 73 points at Texas.
SHARP SHOOTING BOBCATS
The Bobcats enter the McMurry game leading the Southland Conference and ranked 10th nationally in three-point shooting with 41.2 percent after making 87 of its 211 three-point attempts.
Senior guard Brent Benson is seventh among national individual three-point field goal percentage leaders with 52.0 percent (39-75) behind the three-point line. Benson also is seventh among national three-point field goals made leaders with a 3.9 per contest.
BENSON AND 30-POINT GAMES
Brent Benson scored 32 points at Wyoming and became the first Bobcat since Nov. 28, 2003 when he netted 32 points at Wyoming. Terry Conerway scored 30 points against Alaska-Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 28, 2003.
The 32 points were the most points scored by a Bobcat since January 29, 2000 when Wesley Williams scored 34 points against UTSA.
Benson’s previous career best was 28 points last season against McNeese State on Feb. 28, 2008. His 32 points also marked the sixth time he has netted 20 or more points in a game during the past two years after transferring from Coastal Georgia Community College. He opened this season scoring 25 points in Texas State’s 76-66 victory over Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the Verizon Wireless Tip-Off Classic.
RYBAK AND 30-POINT GAMES
John Rybak enters the Prairie View A&M game having recorded one 30-point game this season. Rybak registered career-highs of 32 points and 10 rebounds at Rice. He scored 24 of his points in the first half when he scored over half of Texas State’s 44 points in the first half and was the only Bobcat to score in double figures during that span.
RYBAK IN DOUBLE FIGURES
In addition to his first 32-point performance at Rice, John Rybak has scored in double figures in four other games this season, including the last two games against Prairie View A&M and New Orleans. He scored 17 points to lead Texas State against Huston-Tillotson, 15 points against New Orleans, 11 points versus Prairie View A&M and 10 points at Northern Colorado.
RYBAK ON THE BOARD
John Rybak registered 10 rebounds to go along with 32 points at Rice to mark the first game in which he has registered a double-double. Rybak also has grabbed five or more rebounds in five games this season. He also pulled down six rebounds versus New Orleans and Huston-Tillotson. He also pulled down five boards against San Francisco and Southwest Assemblies of God.
JOHNSON AND DOUBLE-FIGURE GAMES
Sophomore forward Cameron Johnson has scored in double figures six times this season, including Texas State’s last three contests. Johnson netted 13 points against Prairie View A&M, 10 points against New Orleans and a career-best 24 points in his first start of the season. He also tallied 14 points against Southwest Assemblies of God, 11 points at Wyoming and 10 points against Huston-Tillotson.
BUSH AND DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Senior guard Brandon Bush just missed his second double-double of the season in each of the last three games against Prairie View A&M, New Orleans and Texas. He recorded 14 points and six rebounds versus Prairie View A&M, 15 points and eight rebounds against New Orleans after he tallied 13 points and nine rebounds at Texas.
Bush recorded his first double-double of the season when he scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds at Wyoming. It is the seventh double-double performance by Bush and it marked the fourth time that he has scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a game.
BUSH AND 20-POINT GAMES
Brandon Bush scored 22 points at Wyoming and that marks the 13th game in which he has netted 20 points in a game. Bush recorded four 20-point games in 2007-08, seven 20-point games in 2006-07 and one 20-point contest in 2005-06.
Brandon Bush was automatically selected for the 2008-09 preseason All-Conference teams in a vote of Media and Sports Information Director polls. Bush was an All-SLC Third-Team selection last season and by league by-law was automatically put on the All-SLC team. Last season, Bush averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 rebounds to lead the Bobcats in both categories. He was named a preseason All-SLC Second-Team selection this year.
GOUGH AND DOUBLE DOUBLES
Sophomore center Ty Gough recorded his first double-double of the season and the fifth double-double performance of his collegiate career when he scored 12 points and grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds against Huston-Tillotson.
GOUGH IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Ty Gough enters the McMurry game having scored in double figures three times this season after netting a season-high 16 points against New Orleans to lead Texas State. His previous season-best was 13 points against Southwest Assemblies of God and 12 points versus Huston-Tillotson.
Gough enters the Prairie View A&M game having scored in double figures 10 times during his collegiate career.
DEPENDABLE HELPING HAND
Not only does senior guard Corey Jefferson leading the Southland Conference in assists to turnover ratio with an average of 3.2 assists per turnover. He ranks second among Southland Conference assists leaders with a 5.1 assists per game after equaling his season-high of eight assists against Prairie View A&M. Jefferson also registered eight assists at Wyoming. He dished out seven assists against Huston-Tillotson and handed out six assists against Rice, Southwest Assemblies of God and San Francisco. He has tallied five or more assists seven times this season. He registered five assists against Cal State Fullerton.
Junior college transfer Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute began his career at Texas State having scored in double figures during each of Texas State’s first three games this season. He opened the season with 18 points and a team-best six rebounds in the Bobcats’ 76-66 victory over Cal State Fullerton. Bidias A’ Moute also netted 11 points against Huston-Tillotson and 10 points against San Francisco. His streak ended at Wyoming when he scored just two points.
Bidias A’ Moute registered a season-best seven rebounds, two points and one blocked shot at Texas. He also scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds against New Orleans.
Following the McMurry game, Texas State opens the New Year against Schreiner on Jan. 3 and Northern Colorado on Jan. 6 before opening their 2008-09 Southland Conference schedule against UT-Arlington on Jan. 10.
by Rick Poulter
Texas State Athletics