Texas State loses to rival UT-Arlington at Strahan

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Sports Reporter

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Senior forward Corey Stern is blocked by Maverick defense Jan. 18 at Strahan Coliseum. Texas State was defeated by UT—Arlington with a score of 56–48.

The Texas State men’s basketball team shot 32.1 percent in Saturday’s 56-48 loss to the UT-Arlington Mavericks.

The team held a halftime lead against the Mavericks after scoring 24 points and holding the Sun Belt Conference’s third scoring offense to 22. Texas State overcame a 10-2 deficit in the first five minutes of the game, responding with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 10-10 with 12:11 to go in the first half.

There were four lead changes throughout the game. The Bobcats’ largest lead was 4 points while the Mavericks’ was 8.

Texas State went up against two of the top three scorers in the Sun Belt, UTA’s senior guard Reger Dowell and senior forward Brandon Edwards. Dowell was the leading scorer for UTA Saturday, scoring 16 points, while Edwards contributed 7 points and seven rebounds.
“They have a talented team,” said Coach Danny Kaspar. “They have an Oklahoma State transfer and a Texas Tech transfer. Their best player is probably number 35, Brandon Edwards.”  

Texas State held the Mavericks to 31 percent shooting in the first half but allowed them to shoot 47 percent in the second half. Two of the Bobcats’ regular starters, senior forward Joel Wright and sophomore forward Emani Gant, saw limited minutes on the court due to an effort to give other teammates more playing time.

“You saw a lot of guys get playing time that don’t normally play,” Kaspar said. “I’m going to continue to do that when I think players are not performing. That includes Joel Wright and Emani Gant who didn’t play a lot of minutes.”

Senior forward Gordon Ball scored a career-high 10 points, and added seven rebounds, three of which were on the offensive side. Ball also played 21 minutes, a career-high at Texas State.

Ball, known more as a single block post player, showed off some jumpers throughout the game shooting 5- 7 from the field and had a block in an effort to bring his team back into the game.

“I really tried to change the momentum of the game,” Ball said. “I tried to bring some enthusiasm and some energy with it. I thought it was a solid block.”   

Texas State and its conference-leading scoring defense forced UTA into 19 turnovers that led to the team’s 13 points from turnovers. Contributing to those turnovers was freshman guard Naiel Smith and junior guard Wes Davis, who combined for five of the team’s 11 steals.

Davis fouled out against the Mavericks. He now has fouled out in back to back games.

“I don’t feel like I should have been in that much foul trouble last game,” Davis said. “I’ll try to be a little less aggressive.”

The Bobcats continued their struggles at home. The team has won three games at home against Division I opponents this season.

“When we are at home, we seem to be a little undisciplined,” Kaspar said. “I am very frustrated that when we come home we aren’t as disciplined as we are when we are on the road.”