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February 25th, 2010
Bobcats holding tight after second straight loss

022510johnsonSTAFF REPORT

A week ago, Texas State appeared pretty close to being a shoo-in to for qualification to the Southland Conference men’s basketball tournament. But a week ago was two losses ago, and now the Bobcats are on the bubble, needing, in essence, to win their next two games — both on the road — to qualify.

With an opportunity to earn something of a statement victory Wednesday night against Stephen F. Austin (SFA) at Strahan Coliseum, the Bobcats lost, 77-70. Texas State held a 37-30 lead with 18:52 left. But the Bobcats’ depth failed them and SFA was 14 points better for the rest of the night.

The loss dropped the Bobcats to 6-7 in the Southland Conference, alone in seventh place. However, three teams — Northwestern State, Lamar and Nicholls State — are right behind them, tied for eighth at 5-8. The top eight teams go to the league tournament next month.

The Bobcats go to Northwestern State Saturday (2 p.m.), then play at Texas-San Antonio next Wednesday. If the Bobcats can’t win both, then they will have a very tall hill to climb in their season finale on March 6 against Sam Houston State at Strahan Coliseum. Sam Houston, 12-1 in the league, already has clinched at least a tie for the regular season title with three games remaining.

SFA put a 21-6 run on the Bobcats early in the second half Wednesday night and surged to a 51-43 lead with 13:24 remaining in the game.

Texas State fought back to within 58-57 with 7:23 left on a basket by Cameron Johnson, but SFA survived the surge and extended its lead back out to 69-62 with 3:17 left. The Bobcats never again cut their deficit to less than five points.

SFA put five players into double figures, led by Eddie Williams with 20 points. Johnson led Texas State with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Uriel Segura added 16 points for the Bobcats and Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute scored 15.

The Bobcats are 12-15 overall. SFA is 19-7 overall and 9-4 in the Southland Conference.

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