Texas State men’s basketball plays Texas A&M - Corpus Christi at home Wednesday in a game with potential postseason implications.
The Bobcats, who are in last place in the Southland Conference West Division, trail the Islanders for fifth place by one game and a loss would not only put the team two games back, but would mean Texas State loses a potential tiebreaker if the squads have even records at the end of the season.
“It’s definitely a must-win,” Reid Koenen, sophomore forward, said. “It can lead to us getting into the tournament and I feel like the rest of the guys on the team know we’ve definitely got to get this one in order to stay in contention.”
Koenen came in off the bench and scored 16 points (his highest total in two years at Texas State) in the 20-point loss last Saturday to the undefeated-in-conference Texas-Arlington Mavericks. Koenen hopes he contributes in a big way again Wednesday.
“Our leading scorers didn’t shoot as well in that game as they normally do, so I was just trying to help out how I could,” he said. “Hopefully in the upcoming games I can continue to shoot the ball like I did and help the team that way.”
Texas State must contain junior Terence Jones, the Islanders’ leading scorer, who is sixth in the SLC with 14.4 points a game. The Bobcats held LaQuentin Miles, Central Arkansas’ leading scorer, to two points on 0-8 shooting in their last victory.
The Islanders have not won since defeating Texas State earlier this season and have scored more than 55 points just twice in the last five games. The Bobcats are second in the SLC in 3-point shooting (37 percent), while the Islanders rank 11th (31 percent).
“We know that [the last time against AMCC], we didn’t finish the game,” Head Coach Doug Davalos said. “We had a 10 point lead and came down and turned the ball over. We really, for 36 minutes, were in total control of that game but those factors hurt us and they’ve hurt us all year.”
When Texas State outscores opponents in the paint, the team is 6-2. When the Bobcats get outscored inside, their record is 2-13.
“Protecting the paint will be a real big part [to winning Wednesday],” Koenen said. “We’re going to need to find a way to clog up the middle and stop that penetration.”
History in this particular matchup is not on Texas State’s side. The Bobcats have lost to Texas A&M – Corpus Christi four of the five times the Islanders have made the trip down to San Marcos.