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February 9th, 2009
Bobcats fall 85-79 at McNeese State

SUBMITTED REPORT

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Despite a pair of 22-point performances by Brandon Bush and Brent Benson, the Texas State men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome 10-0 run by McNeese State midway in the second half as the Cowboys rallied for an 85-79 victory over the Bobcats Sunday night at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Bush scored 12 of his points in the first half and Benson came off the bench to add 11, including a three-point basket with three seconds left in the opening period to give the Bobcats a 41-39 lead at halftime.

But after the two teams battled back and forth the first six-and-a-half minutes in the second period before Texas State opened up a 55-51 lead after Corey Jefferson hit Bush ahead of the field for a fast-break lay-up with 13:27 left to play.

But Texas State didn’t score another point for the next five minutes as the Bobcats missed five shots from the field, including a pair of three-point attempts and committed three turnovers in that span.

The Cowboys took advantage with a 10-0 run to retake the lead and never trailed again. McNeese State scored four quick points on a pair of lay-ups by John Pichon and Billy Cotton to tie the score.

Texas State worked the ball around to Bush on its next possession, but his jumper in the lane rolled off the rim.

McNeese State secured the rebound and Patrick Richard nailed a three-point shot from the right baseline. Then, Diego Kapelan hit a trey from the left corner on McNeese State’s next possession to give the Cowboys a 61-55 lead with 9:44 left to play.

John Rybak ended the drought with a lay-up to pull Texas State back to within two 61-57 with 8:20 left to play.

The Cowboys extended their lead to 66-59 on Richard’s three-point play with a lay-up and free throw, before Texas State charged back into the game.
Rybak nailed a three-point shot from the right side and Brandon Bush hit a jumper in the lane to make the score 66-64 with 6:17 remaining.

The two teams battled back and forth during the next couple minutes before Pichon made a dunk shot to give McNeese State a 75-68 lead.

The Bobcats tried to remain in contention as Brent Benson nailed a pair of three-point field goals and Corey Jefferson added another trey to pull Texas State to within 82-77 with 48 seconds remaining. But, Pichon put the game away with a lay-up and free throw to make the final score 85-79.

Benson and Bush each scored 22 points to lead Texas State, while Rybak finished with 13 and Cameron Johnson added 10.

The Cowboys were led by Pichon, who finished with 27 points, while Kapelan added 24.

With the loss, Texas State falls to 10-12 overall this season, and 3-6 in the Southland Conference standings, while McNeese State improves to 9-12 and has a 3-5 Southland Conference mark.

— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTER

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