Bobcats split weekend matchups to Louisiana teams, Foster’s jersey retired

Sports Reporter

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Senior forward Joel Wright dunks the ball Feb. 6 at Strahan Coliseum. Wright scored 19 points giving Texas State a victory over University of Louisiana—Monroe 65–57.

After completing a season sweep of Louisiana-Monroe Thursday night, Texas State lost Saturday to Louisiana 67–66 on the night Jeff Foster’s jersey was retired.

The Bobcats looked to improve their standing in the Sun Belt and build on their previous contest with Louisiana—Monroe. The Bobcats outrebounded Monroe 30-23 en route to a 65–57 victory over the Warhawks Thursday night.

Senior forward Joel Wright led the team with 19 points while senior forward Gordon Ball had a put-back and a jumper within the last two minutes to seal the victory for the Bobcats. Texas State remained in the 8th spot in the Sun Belt Tournament Thursday after its victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

The team hoped for another victory heading into Saturday’s game against Louisiana at Strahan Coliseum. The Bobcats’ game plan was to contain Louisiana point guard Elfrid Payton. Junior guard Wes Davis helped hold Payton to 3-14 shooting in the game.

“Our big men were there to help once (Payton) got by me,” Davis said. “I thought I’d give a lot of credit to them.”

The Bobcats headed into the half with a 33–31 lead. The Ragin’ Cajuns were shooting 41.9 percent compared to the Bobcats who were shooting 52.1 percent from the field.

At the beginning of the second half, the Bobcats built a 12-point lead on the Ragin’ Cajuns capped by Wright, who recorded three blocks in a two minute sequence. Senior forward Corey Stern was called for a technical foul late in the game when he taunted after blocking a shot.

“This is the kind of stuff that has held Texas State back for so long, and we have to clean it up,” Kaspar said. “We can’t let our immaturity get in the way of a victory.”

Louisiana took the lead on a 3-point attempt by guard Xavian Rimmer with 10 seconds remaining.

Texas State chose not to call a timeout in the final possession, and Wright turned the ball over, finalizing Louisiana’s comeback victory against Texas State and making this the latest game in which Texas State has failed to close out an opponent.

“From the last couple of games, we know we can compete with anybody,” Davis said. “We’re not far behind anyone. We can beat anyone any night, but we just have to play smarter at the end of the game and be able to close out.”

The crowd awaited Foster’s ceremony with the Bobcats leading after the first half. Athletic Director Larry Teis and University President Denise Trauth gave their remarks as they unveiled Jeff Foster’s number, which became the fourth retired jersey to hang in Strahan Coliseum.

During his speech, Jeff Foster acknowledged his 1997 teammates in attendance who were part of the last Bobcat team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. “That’s the first individual honor I’ve ever received, and I’m very grateful to the university,” Foster said. “Like I’ve said all along, I’m truly grateful for my teammates, all I’ve learned from them, and (the jersey) is really up for all of us. It’s great to be up there, but it’s really a team effort.”

Foster spoke about his dedication playing basketball at Texas State and his determination to make it to the Indiana Pacers. He thanked everyone in attendance for their support of the program.

 “I’m really happy they have (Coach) Danny Kaspar to turn this thing around and put a defensive team on the floor like we had.”

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