Despite a double-double performance by Cameron Johnson, the Texas State men’s basketball team could not overcome its ice-cold shooting touch as Lamar handed the Bobcats their fourth straight loss 71-65 Saturday afternoon in Strahan Coliseum.
Texas State began the game hitting three of the first four shots to take an early 8-4 lead in the first two minutes of the game. The Bobcats led 10-7 after Cameron Johnson stole the ball from Lamar’s Jay Brown and hit John Rybak for a lay-up with 16:35 left to play.
But, the Bobcats missed three straight lay-up opportunities and that allowed the Cardinals to regain a 13-10 lead. Johnson ended the drought when he tipped in another missed lay-up.
Johnson and Ty Gough each made a jump shot in the paint to pull Texas State to within 18-16 with 10:54 left in the first half.
That is when Texas State lost its shooting touch as the Bobcats missed nine straight shots and made just two of their four free throws in the next five minutes before Brandon Bush grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a jumper in the paint. Five of the nine misses were inside the lane.
Lamar took advantage as the Cardinals went on a 12-2 run to open up a 30-20 lead. They extended their lead to 38-24 with 1:54 remaining in the half before Texas State scored five straight points to pull to within 38-28 at halftime.
In the second half, the two teams battled back and forth before Texas State scored seven straight points to pull to within six points, 55-49, with 11:16 left to play. Rybak began the rally with a three-point shot from the right wing, before Jonathan Sloan and Johnson combined for a pair of lay-ups.
Lamar led 58-51 with 10:43 left to play when the Bobcats missed six straight shots and Lamar connected on four of its six free throws to extend its lead to 61-51 with 7:23 left to play.
During the next four minutes, the Bobcats closed to within five, 62-57, when John Bowman nailed a three-pointer and made a lay-up and Brandon Bush hit one of his two free throws.
After the Cardinals increased their lead to 67-59, Texas State rallied to within four points when Rybak nailed another jumper and Brent Benson made two straight free throws.
But, that was as close as Texas State would get as the Bobcats missed two straight three-point tries and John Brown made two free throws to give Lamar a 69-63 lead with 16 seconds left in the game.
Johnson scored Texas State’s final two points on a lay-up before Ashton Hall hit both of his free throws to make the final score 71-65.
Johnson finished the game with 19 points and a career-best 13 rebounds to lead Texas State and Rybak added 13 points. Bowman scored eight points in his first start of the season and Corey Jefferson also netted eight points to go along with his game-high six assists. Brandon Bush finished with seven points and 10 rebounds for Texas State, which falls to 8-10 overall and 1-4 in Southland Conference play.
Brown led the Cardinals with 116 points and 10 rebounds, while Brandon McThay added 14 points off the bench and Ashton Hall added 13. Kenny Dawkins scored nine points and Coy Custer netted eight points off the bench for the Cardinals, improved to 11-7 and 2-3 in the Southland Conference.
Following Saturday’s loss, the Bobcats play two straight road games at UTSA next Wednesday night and at UT Arlington next Saturday afternoon.
— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION