Men’s basketball looks to move up in standings against Southeastern Louisiana Lions
With the Southland Conference men’s basketball tournament looming two weeks away, the Texas State Bobcats look to win their second consecutive game on the road as they travel to Hammond, La.
The matchup with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions pits against each other two teams that desperately need wins and sport 3-9 records in SLC play.
The Bobcats notched their first road win Saturday in South Dakota after a 0-11 record away from Strahan Coliseum.
“Winning is a cure-all in athletics,” Coach Doug Davalos said. “Winning makes your food taste better, makes you sleep better, makes you want to get up the next day for practice even more. I give our guys a lot of credit.”
The Bobcats have won three out of their last four contests, only dropping a game to Texas-Arlington, the leader of the SLC.
Currently sitting in ninth place with four games remaining, the Bobcats still have a shot at slipping into postseason play. The top-eight seeds qualify for the conference tournament.
Brooks Ybarra, senior forward, believes the team is more confident having finally grabbed that elusive first road win.
“Practice is more upbeat,” Ybarra said. “No one is dragging. We’re really focused in and we feel we can still make it to the conference tournament. These wins have given us a lot more confidence in ourselves.”
But before the Bobcats can focus on the future, they know they must contend with a Southeastern team also seeking a postseason berth.
“They have a couple of guys that are really good catch-and-shoot guys, and also some guys that shoot better at home,” Davalos said. “They are a very athletic, slashing team with a transfer from Mississippi State (Elgin Bailey), a big guy that posts up really well.”
Texas State will look to counter with Ybarra, the Bobcats’ leading scorer coming off a career-high 29-point outing.
“We’re really trying to focus on just closing the gaps so they can’t drive and penetrate and get it to their post players,” Ybarra said. “We will try to keep them out of the paint and make them hit shots.”
Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The game is recognized as the Southland Conference Toyota Game of the Week, and will be broadcast on the SLCTV network and ESPN3.com.