Nijal Pearson and the Texas State Bobcats dominated the second half against California Polytechnic State University Wednesday night to win 54-42 at the Portland Classic.
Texas State trailed Cal Poly by seven points heading into halftime, but with a second half, the late surge was able to bring home the victory.
On his 21st birthday, Pearson scored a game-high 22-points to help lead the Bobcats to their third win of the season. Texas State is now 3-1 on the season. Pearson went 8-for-16 shooting including 4-for-5 from 3-point range. With 1,040 career points, Pearson is now 20th-place in scoring in program history passing Joel Wright and is just 5-points shy of Emani Grant.
With the help of Alex Peacock, the Bobcats were able to dominate on the boards as well. Texas State outrebounded Cal Poly 36-22. Peacock pulled down 11 rebounds Wednesday night along with 10 points. Peacock records his second career double-double and his first of the season.
The Bobcats shot 42 percent on the night including 37.5 percent behind the arc. Texas State held Cal Poly to 36 percent shooting. The Mustangs went nearly nine minutes without scoring a field goal, which led to a comeback run by Pearson and company. Pearson added a couple 3-pointers and a dunk by Eric Terry helped spur a 16-7 run in the second half.
Cal Poly eventually closed the gap to nine points with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, but Jaylen Shead hit a dagger 3-pointer to end the hopes of any comeback.
Though the team did not win in the way they had hoped to, Head Coach Danny Kaspar said the team came back from difficult situations.
“We had a bad first half offensively with turnovers and missing easy shots. We got it going in the second half,” Kaspar.
The Bobcats will remain in Portland to face the University of South Carolina Upstate on Friday night at 6:30 at the Chiles Center.