The Texas State men’s basketball team showed their Bobcat fight after beating the Idaho Vandals 64-55 Wednesday at Strahan Coliseum to advance to round three of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Texas State has continued to prove themselves all season long after being picked to finish in 12th place in the Sun Belt Conference. The team finished the SBC Tournament in the championship game, and are now preparing to play their third game in the CIT.
“When they picked us last in the conference, I knew they were wrong,” Head Coach Danny Kaspar said. “We were working way too hard to be in last.”
The Bobcats started off the game slower than usual, allowing Idaho to get ahead by six points with 13:29 left in the game. By this time, the late crowd started to trickle in and make some noise. This gave the Bobcats the momentum they needed to get in rhythm.
A jumper from Maxwell Starwood, freshman forward, and a three-pointer from Bobby Conley, senior guard, closed the six-point gap to only one point, making the score 13-12.
From there, multiple lead changes took place. The Vandals finally got ahead by three points, but the Bobcats stole the lead after two made free-throws by Ojai Black, senior guard. This sent the game into halftime with a Bobcat lead of 24-23.
Coming from the half, Texas State was first on the board. With both teams defense in full effect, the eighth tie of the game came with 16:10 left in the game.
With Black knocking down his free-throw, the Bobcats took the last lead of the night.
Texas State opened the lead by 13 points, 57-44, with only 5:37 in the game.
The Vandals attempted to close the lead, but only managed to get it to five points with 3:20 on the clock.
Although Conley went 1-for-2 on the free-throw line, the Bobcats opened the lead to 64-55 with 1:13 left in the game.
Neither team was able to score after that, ending the game 64-55 in favor of Bobcats.
Nijal Pearson, freshman guard, led the team with 16 points. Pearson went 50 percent from both, the field goal and three-point line. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, senior forward, ended the game with 14 total points and Black had 13.
Defensively, Immanuel King, junior forward, led the team with eight rebounds. Following him was Conley with seven. Overall, the Bobcats picked up 31 boards.
With this win, the Bobcats will advance to the third round of the CIT. Texas State will welcome the St. Peters Peacocks Saturday at Strahan. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.