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

February 26th, 2009
Bobcat bucket squads remain on league bubble

STAFF REPORT

Going to the home stretch in the Southland Conference basketball season, the Texas State men’s and women’s teams are barely hanging in there for the last invitations to the league tournament.

The Southland Conference will invite only its top eight out of 12 teams to its tournaments in Katy next month. After a 68-52 loss at Stephen F. Austin (SFA) Wednesday night, the men’s team is in a two-way tie for eighth place with McNeese State, each at 5-8 in the league. The Bobcats are 12-14 overall. Meanwhile, the Texas State women are all alone in seventh place after a 73-60 win against SFA Wednesday night at Strahan Coliseum. Texas State now is 6-7 in the league, with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Sam Houston State right behind at 5-8. The Bobcats are 12-13 overall.

Each Texas State team will play its final three regular season games against Northwestern State Saturday, against Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) on March 4 and against Sam Houston State on March 7.

The women’s team appears to have a more open path. Though the Bobcats play UTSA (11-2 Southland, 18-8 overall), on the road, they’ve got a puncher’s chance of breaking even in the league and preserving their playoff position. They will play Sam Houston (5-8, 8-18) at home and Northwestern State (7-6, 15-11) on the road.

The men’s team will play Northwestern State (3-10, 11-17) and UTSA (7-6, 16-10) at home, but the regular season finale with, perhaps, a playoff bid on the line, consists of a tough assignment at Sam Houston (10-3, 16-10).

If Wednesday night’s performance on the road against the other league leader, SFA, is any indication, then the Bobcats will struggle in that final game. SFA jumped to a 40-21 halftime lead behind its league-leading defense, which allows only 53.0 points per game within the conference. The Bobcats shot only 37 percent in the first half, compared with 58 percent for SFA.

Matt Kingsley scored 23 points to lead SFA, which is 10-3 in the league and 18-8 overall. Brandon Bush led the Bobcats with 22 points.

Gabriell Mattox and Victoria Davis both scored 21 points for the Texas State women’s team in its important home win Wednesday night against SFA.

After a three-pointer by Mattox gave the Bobcats a 33-31 halftime lead, they shot a scorching 62.1 percent (18 of 29) in the second half and extended their lead to 70-52 with 4:26 left. SFA was never able to find the range, shooting a pretty consistent 36.2 percent (25 of 69) for the game.

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