By STAFF REPORT
The Texas State men’s basketball team opens at home Wednesday (7 p.m.) against Huston Tillotson after splitting two games last week in the Verizon Classic in Honolulu.
The Bobcats started both games well, but came out of them with one victory. After opening with a 76-66 win against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14, they took every bit as much of a loss to San Francisco on Nov. 16, falling, 88-74. Cal State Fullerton is in the Big West Conference, which, like Texas State’s Southland Conference, is a perennial one-bid league in the NCAA Tournament. San Francisco is in the West Coast Conference, which popped up with three bids last year.
Texas State took control against Cal State-Fullerton with a 40-23 halftime lead, holding the opponent to 28.6 percent field goal shooting in the first half. Texas State newcomer Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute provided a big lift with ten points in five minutes before the intermission.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 45-25 in the second half, then Fullerton went on a 19-4 run to come within 49-44 with 12:47 left. The Bobcats pushed their lead back out to 69-55 in the next 7:30 as Bidias A’ Moute and Brent Benson each scored eight points.
Bidias A’ Moute and Benson combined to take 25 of Texas State’s shots, since they were the team’s most accurate shooters. Benson finished with 25 points on eight-of-13 field goal shooting (including three-of-seven from three-point range), while Bidias A’ Moute made seven of 12 field goal attempts for 18 points. The rest of the team combined to make eight of 24 shots.
The Bobcats took an eight-point lead against San Francisco at 25-17 and stayed ahead, 42-41, at halftime. However, San Francisco took control early in the second half behind the hot shooting of Dior Lowhorn, who made three field goals in the first 1:18 after intermission while the Bobcats responded with two turnovers. The Dons took a 47-42 lead at that point, then slowly extended it out to 78-65 with 4:15 left.
The Bobcats forced 16 turnovers in the first half, but San Francisco tightened its work in the second half and made only eight turnovers. Benson again led the Bobcats with 12 points, followed by Brandon Bush with 11. Bidias A’ Moute and Tre Nichols each scored ten points for Texas State.
Texas State is coming off a 13-16 performance in 2007-08, during which it finished 6-10 in the Southland Conference and missed qualifying for the league tournament.