Despite three double-double performances and four players scoring in double figures, the Texas State men’s basketball team missed some critical scoring opportunities down the stretch as the Bobcats fell 82-78 against UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 30, in front of 2,531 at Strahan Coliseum.
Texas State was led by Cameron Johnson’s 21 points and 11 rebounds, while John Rybak added 16 points and Ryan White scored 14 points and handed out a career-high 10 assists. In addition, Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute scored 10 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the Bobcats.
Marquez Haynes, who entered the game as the nation’s second-leading scorer, led four UTA players in double figures with 21 points. In addition, Dwight Gentry and Tommy Moffitt added 13 points each and Brandon Long netted 12 points for the Mavericks, who improved their record to 10-9 overall and 2-4 in Southland Conference play.
The two teams fought to a 37-37 tie in the first half, and the game featured 16 ties and 12 lead changes. The Mavericks broke the final tie with 9:14 left to play when Long nailed a three-point shot to give UTA a 55-52 lead.
After Ryan White nailed a jumper on Texas State’s next possession, Long made one of his two free throws and Haynes drove underneath the basket for a lay-up and was fouled on the play by Rybak. Haynes made the free throw to give UTA a 70-64 advantage.
The Bobcats missed their next two field goal attempts and Johnson converted one of his two free throws as UTA expanded its lead to eight points when Moffitt scored on a three-point play with a lay-up and free throw to give UTA their biggest lead of 73-65 with 3:13 left to play.
The Bobcats closed to within three points three times, but couldn’t get any closer until Johnson made a jumper in the lane to make the score 80-78 with 11 seconds left. But, after a time out, Moffitt was fouled and made both of his free throws clinch the game for UTA.
The loss gives Texas State a 10-11 overall record, and the Bobcats fell to 4-3 in Southland Conference play after suffering just their second loss in a home game this season.
Texas State returns to action next Wednesday night when the Bobcats travel to Hammond, La., for a game against Southeastern Louisiana.
— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTER