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

Texas State’s Emani Gant works through a crowd in an exhibition game last week against Sul Ross State. TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION PHOTO



The Texas State men’s basketball team took a good run at Houston Friday night in Danny Kaspar’s first game as their head coach, but fell short, 76-70.

The result didn’t exactly change basketball history, but the game came pretty close to bringing new definition to the Bobcats. Several times down the stretch, the Bobcats were within one possession, but they just couldn’t get over than hump on the road.

The game somewhat resembled a meeting by these same two teams two years ago at Strahan Coliseum, which Houston won, 81-78. Same kind of game: Houston took a double-digit led and Texas State whittled it down to make it close.

Would the Bobcats have won this year’s game against Houston, 20-13 last year, if it were at Strahan Coliseum? Consider that the home court is said to be worth three points, then throw in another Texas State defensive stop, and the imagination doesn’t stretch very far.

The Bobcats and Houston were pretty even across the box score Friday night, with a couple of exceptions, most obviously Houston’s home court free throw advantage. Houston took 27 free throws and made 18, while the Bobcats took 19 free throws and made 12. That six-point difference reflects the final game margin.

Forwards Emani Gant and Joel Wright led the Texas State scoring with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Houston’s Danuel House led all scorers with 24 points in the first game of the season for both teams.

Houston held a 46-41 halftime lead and increased its advantage to 67-55 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Bobcats came to within 72-70 with a 15-5 run capped by a left-wing three by Phil Hawkins.

The Cougars held a 73-70 lead with the ball as 22 seconds remained. House hit a straight-away three as the shot clock expired to give the Cougars the final 76-70 margin.

Kaspar will coach his first game at Strahan Coliseum next Tuesday (7 p.m.), and it will be against Stephen F. Austin (SFA), his former team. SFA won its opener Friday night, downing Texas-Tyler, 90-64.


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