The Texas State Men’s basketball took a heartbreaking 85-82 loss Friday, March 2, on Senior Night at Strahan Coliseum to Sunbelt rival the University of Texas at Arlington.
The loss drops the Bobcats to a 14-17 overall record and 7-11 in conference play and improves the Mavericks to 19-12 overall and 10-8 in conference.
Nijal Pearson, sophomore guard, and Alex Peacock, junior forward, both hit career highs in scoring for the night to tally up a total of 55 points.
Pearson scored 31 points for the night to try and help push the Bobcats to a victory. He shot 9-of-17 from the field, 6-of-8 from beyond the arch and 7-of-10 from the line. Head coach Danny Kaspar said Pearson is one of the best players to ever wear a uniform for the Bobcats.
Peacock hit a total of 24 points, shot 10-of-10 from the field and knocked down two 3-pointers. He became the 11th Division 1 player this season to make all 10 shots without missing.
Kaspar said his team is not at full strength after the Bobcats lost their ninth game in a row with this one being the final of the regular season.
Down by eight points with a little over a minute left on the clock, Pearson knocked down a 3-pointer. The Mavericks then responded with an easy slam to continue to pull away.
On the next in-bound play, Pearson found Tre’Larenz Nottingham, junior guard, in the left corner to pull up from the three. Nottingham was fouled on the play and went to the line. He grabbed the extra point and pulled the Bobcats within three.
The Bobcats quickly fouled with 37 seconds on the clock. The University of Texas at Arlington player Kevin Hervey connected the two shots from the line and increased the score to 82-77. Pearson quickly took the ball up the court to grab two points and cut the lead to a three-point deficit. Nottingham then fouled quickly to save some time for the Bobcats to score after the free throw attempts. Mavericks’ player Erick Neal missed both free-throw attempts to keep the score at 82-79.
Peacock grabbed the rebound and found Nottingham to pull up for another 3-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game 82-82 with 17 seconds left in the game.
Within the last five seconds of the game, Hervey dribbled up the court and hit a 30-foot 3-point shot to pull the visitors ahead 85-82. Teammates from the bench stormed on the court over to Hervey to celebrate the breath-taking shot before referees blew a whistle. The Bobcat fans yelled for a technical foul as refs looked to review in the monitor. After reviewing what happened, refs did not issue a technical, but placed 0.9 seconds on the clock.
In the final in-bound play for the Bobcats, Nottingham threw up a prayer from midcourt to tie the game but came up short, ending the game 85-82.
Nottingham grabbed 11 points on the night, shooting 3-of-10 from the field and 3-of-9 from the three, hitting 2 crucial 3-pointers late in the game.
The Bobcats will be in the Sunbelt Conference Tournament Wednesday, March 7, to face off against eighth seed Coastal Carolina.