Texas State prepares for final two home games, post season hanging in balance

Sports Reporter

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Men’s basketball is preparing for matchups against Western Kentucky and Georgia State in the Bobcats’ final home games.

Post-season aspirations are on the line this weekend in the men’s basketball team’s final two home games with Western Kentucky and Georgia State taking on Texas State at Strahan Coliseum.

The Bobcats will participate in a Sun Belt battle of the two top defensive teams Thursday against second place Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers allow an average of 67.2 points per game compared to the Bobcats’ 66.5 points, making them the number one defense in the conference.

Both teams shot below 50 percent from the field and combined for 21 turnovers in their Feb. 1 meeting. Texas State lost the match 68-64 at the E. A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. Wes Davis, junior guard, had four fouls in the contest and has experienced foul trouble in a series of recent games.

“I’ll try to be a little less aggressive,” Davis said. “It probably won’t be as bad this time because we’re at home against them. I know at their place they were calling fouls a little more quickly than they will here. I just have to give them a little more room, but stay aggressive at the same time.”

Seniors Joel Wright, Reid Koenen, Gordon Ball, Corey Stern and Phil Hawkins will be playing their final home games Saturday against Georgia State.

“It’s going to be a little bittersweet,” Koenen said. “I came here four years ago, played all four seasons, and I’m the only player who’s been here for four years. It’ll be kind of sad but exciting at the same time to have my family down here, not only for me but the other four seniors as well.”

The conference-leading Georgia State Jaguars are looking to secure their number one seed in the Sun Belt tournament as they take a 13–1 conference record to San Marcos. The Jaguars have won 18 of their last 20 games, including a rescheduled Feb. 17 68–41 victory over Texas State.  

Ryan Harrow, Georgia State guard, scored 17 points and shot 54.5 percent from the field against Texas State. Davis guarded Harrow in the game and is again slated to defend the player in the upcoming match. Harrow is fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game and second in assists per game with 4.6.

“I have to do a better job of guarding the on-ball screens,” Davis said. “(Georgia State’s) job is setting it up top and letting (Harrow) do whatever he wants. I have to do a better job to force him away from the screen and see if we can get help as he drives to the hoop.”

The Jaguars held the Bobcats to under 30 percent shooting and six assists compared to their own 14. Georgia State was able to shoot 52.5 percent from the field.

“We were playing with them in the first half,” Koenen said. “In the second half, we came out pretty poorly, and they ended up blowing us out. It’s just going to be more of a defensive mindset to come out and take away their best players in Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter.”

Davis said two consecutive wins at home will not only fuel the rest of the season, but carry momentum into next year and give the seniors a proper sendoff.

“We just have to make sure they go out with a bang,”  Davis said.