Despite a combined 46 points by Brandon Bush and Brent Benson, the Texas State men’s basketball team could not overcome a 16-point halftime deficit and fell at Sam Houston State 92-82.
“We came here to win this game and are disappointed,” Texas State head coach Doug Davalos said. “We kept fighting back, but we didn’t want to have to come back from a 16-point deficit. It’s a shame we didn’t play better in the first half.”
Sam Houston State used a pair of decisive runs in the final 13 minutes of the opening period to take a commanding 49-33 lead into halftime. After the two teams fought back and forth in the first seven minutes of the game, the Bearkats used a 15-2 run to take a 31-19 lead.
After Texas State climbed back to within five points, the Bearkats answered with another 16-2 run to open up a 47-28 lead.
The Bobcats scored five straight points with John Rybak nailing a three-point shot and Benson adding a lay-up before Sam Houston’s Barkley Faulkner closed the opening period with a lay-up to make the halftime score 49-33.
Texas State made a couple of comeback bids in the second half as Corey Jefferson drove for a lay-up and nailed a three-pointer from the left wing to pull Texas State back to within 11, 49-38.
After Bush scored on another driving lay-up to make the score 53-42, Sam Houston’s Preston Brown scored six straight points to push the Bearkats’ lead back to 61-42.
Sam Houston State held a 68-47 lead with 12:46 left to play before Texas State used a 14-4 run of its own to climb back into contention. Roshun Jackson and Benson began the comeback bid as they combined to make four straight free throws.
After Sam Houston’s Lance Pevehouse made a couple of free throws for the Bearkats, Jefferson hit Jackson for a three-point shot from the right corner. Bush drove the lane for an up-and-under lay-up and Jackson scored another lay-up following a turnover by the Bearkats.
After Faulkner made two free throws, Dylan Moseley capped the rally with a three-point shot from the top of the key to make the score 70-61 with 8:40 left to play.
Unfortunately, the Bobcats could not get any closer than eight points the rest of the way as Sam Houston State made 13 of their 14 free throws and Pevehouse added five points on a three-point basket and lay-up to help keep Texas State at bay.
Bush led the Bobcats with 24 points, while Benson added 21; Jackson finished with a career-best 11 points and Jefferson added 10. The loss drops Texas State to 14-15 overall and the Bobcats finish the regular season with a 7-9 Southland Conference record. They will play in next week’s 2009 State Farm Southland Conference Tournament that begins on Thursday, Mar. 12.
“I want to encourage our fans to come out and support us at the tournament,” Davalos said. “I know it is a two-hour drive to the Merrill Center in Katy. Every team in the Southland Conference is a tough team and anyone can beat anyone in this league. The school that has the most fans attending will have a definite advantage.”
Bobcat fans can purchase tickets for the tournament through the Texas State Ticket Office by calling (512) 245-2114.
Falkner made 15 of his 19 free throws in the game and led Sam Houston State with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Corey Allmond, Josten Crow and Pevehouse finished with 17 points each for the Bearkats, who finished the regular season with an 18-11 overall record and 12-4 mark against SLC teams.
— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTER