San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 14th, 2009
Bobcats to test winning streak with first league road game


Now that they’ve won five straight games, the Texas State Bobcats will learn tonight if they’ve really got a step up on last season, when they failed to make the Southland Conference Tournament in men’s basketball.

The Bobcats are on the road tonight against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which tied with them last year in the West Division basement at 6-10 in the league and also missed the league tournament, which includes the top eight out of 12 teams.

If the Bobcats are improved enough to make a step this year, it might begin by at least matching last year’s 71-69 win in Corpus Christi. The Bobcats haven’t yet won on the road this season (0-4), though they opened the season with a neutral site win against California-Fullerton.

The Islanders also are 1-0 in the league, though, based on last year, that win was the easiest in the league, a 70-44 stomping at home over Central Arkansas, which finished last year dead last in the league at 4-12. The Bobcats reached a little higher in their only league game so far, an 87-76 win against Texas-Arlington Saturday at Strahan Coliseum.

The win against UTA added validity to Texas State’s five-game winning streak, which includes triumphs against easy pickings like Schreiner and McMurry. But even against more nutritious competition like Northern Colorado and UTA, the Bobcats are winning consistently in double figures throughout the streak.

The Bobcats are making strides on defense, holding UTA to 41 percent field goal shooting, including 27.8 percent from behind the three-point line. Texas State has kept three straight opponents below 30 percent from three-point territory.

Senior guard Brent Benson leads Texas State with 18.9 points per game, followed by senior swingman Brandon Bush, who averages 14.5 points and leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per game.

The Islanders had lost three straight before beating Central Arkansas, but they also beat Georgia, 80-79, right before that losing streak. They’re tenth in scoring among Southland teams, averaging 65.4 points per game, while they rank sixth in scoring defense at 68.1 points per game.

Like last year, the Bobcats are first in scoring among league teams, but last in scoring defense. However, they have improved on both fronts. Their points per game on offense are up from 83.6 to 90.1, while their points against are down from 84.8 to 78.4.

Overall, the Bobcats are 8-6, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is 7-9.

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