In front of the largest home crowd of the season, Cameron Johnson recorded his second straight double-double performance and combined with Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute for 25 rebounds to lead the Texas State men’s basketball team to a 76-62 victory over UTSA in the annual I-35 Maroon vs. Orange rivalry game.
Texas State evened its record to 10-10 and improved their Southland Conference mark to 4-2 with the win in front of 3,519 at Strahan Coliseum on Wednesday night. It is the best start in SLC play for the Bobcats since 2003-04 when they had a 5-1 record in their first six conference games.
“This is fun isn’t it,” said Texas State head coach Doug Davalos. “It’s fun watching this team play. We went through the gauntlet at the beginning of the season, but we have good combinations now and they are executing.”
Texas State never trailed in the game against the Roadrunners, who fell to 12-6 overall and 2-3 in Southland Conference play. In addition to Johnson’s 22 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan White scored 14 points and John Rybak scored in double figures for the first time in seven games with 10 points. In addition, Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute scored seven points, grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, and recorded a career-bests of eight assists and four steals.
Texas State took control of the game early when White hit Bidias A’ Moute for a lay-up on the opening play of the game. After Terry Field made a pair of free throws for UTSA, Johnson scored his first points of the night before Demarco Stepter grabbed his own miss and scored on a lay-up to tie the score for a second time at 4-4.
That is when Texas State seized control of the game as the Bobcats scored 16 straight points to open up a 2-04 lead with 13:29 left in the first half. Johnson led the charge with 16 points. John Bowman also nailed a three-point shot. Then, after Bidias A’ Moute blocked Stepter’s jump shot, he hit Bowman for a fast-break dunk shot. White capped the run when he nailed a three-point shot from the top of the key.
The Bobcats led by 13 points (34-21) when Omar Johnson stole the ball and drove for a lay-up and Terry Field hit a jumper from the left side to pull the Roadrunners to within 34-25. A couple of minutes later, Morris Smith, IV pulled UTSA to within six for the first time when Devin Gibson hit Smith, IV for a three-pointer with 2:10 left in the period.
After Gibson hit a free throw, Bowman hit Rybak for a three-pointer to give the Bobcats a 41-33 lead. Gibson hit a jumper in the lane to close out the first-half scoring and make the score 41-35 at halftime.
UTSA closed to within one twice during the first six minutes of the second half before Jonathan Sloan scored on a three-point play with a lay-up and free throw after he was fouled by Smith, IV.
The Bobcats extended their lead to eight when Dylan Hale nailed a three-pointer and grabbed Johnson’s miss and threw ahead to Tony Bishop for a fast-break dunk shot that extended Texas State’s lead to 64-56 with 7:56 left to play.
After Gibson made a lay-up to pull UTSA to within 64-58, the Bobcats pulled away again with a 9-0 run. Bidias A’ Moute capped the rally when Johnson stole the ball and hit him for a slam dunk to make the score 73-58 with 1:55 left to play.
“If we hadn’t played both halves against UTSA, we wouldn’t be celebrating right now,” Davalos added. “We beat them on the boards and made our shots.”
That sealed the victory for the Bobcats as they went on to win 76-62. The win was Texas State’s second straight and third victory in the last four games. The Bobcats return to action this Saturday when they play host to UT Arlington in a SLC Television Network game at 2:00 p.m. The game also marks Texas State’s annual “Stuff Strahan” contest.
— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTEREmail | Print