Despite a career-best performance by junior guard John Rybak, the Texas State men’s basketball team could not get some key stops down the stretch and suffered a 100-94 loss at Rice Saturday afternoon in the Tudor Fieldhouse.”I really feel bad because we wasted a spectacular performance by John Rybak,” said Texas State head coach Doug Davalos. “He not only was scoring for us, but he played with a lot of energy on defense. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t get enough players to play good defense and make some key stops in the second half.”
Rybak finished the game with career-highs of 32 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bobcats. Senior guard Brent Benson added 17 points and Brandon Bush added 16 points despite being limited to 22 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.
Rybak kept Texas State in the game single-handedly in the first half as he scored 24 points in the first half as the Bobcats trailed by six at halftime, 50-44.
Dylan Moseley started the second half for Bush who had three fouls in the opening period and made a pair of three-point shots to pull Texas State to within 54-52.
After Lucas Kuipers tipped in a missed jumper by Trey Stanton to give the Owls a 56-52 lead, Texas State scored four straight points on lay-ups by Rybak and Cameron Johnson, who finished the game with nine points, to tie the score at 56-56 with 15:45 remaining to play.
The Bobcats tied the score again with 9:52 left to play when Bush hit a lay-up to make the score 69-69.
But, this time, the Owls answered with three-straight three-point field goals and a pair of free throws to take the lead and never looked back. Cory Pflieger hit the first trey from the right wing. Then, Rodney Foster added a three-point shot from the top of the key and Pflieger added a trey from the left wing to put the game out of reach. Lawrence Ghorum capped a run with a pair of free throws and give the Owls a 77-66 lead with 8:02 left to play.
The Bobcats fought back to pull within 89-85 with 2:44 left to play, but couldn’t get any closer than within four points the rest of the way as Rodney Foster closed the game hitting six straight free throws down the stretch to preserve the win for the Owls.
The Owls were led by Pflieger’s 28 points. Foster added 21 points, while Bryan Beasley and Ghorum added 13 points each.
The win was the first victory at Tudor Fieldhouse for the Owls, who improved their season record to 3-5, while Texas State fell to 3-4 overall this season and will play their next game at Texas on Dec. 13.
The Bobcats return home to play host to New Orleans on Dec. 15 in Strahan Coliseum.
by Rick Poulter
Texas State Athletics