Texas State men’s basketball got their third conference tournament win under Coach Doug Davalos Wednesday against second-seeded Denver, but could not advance to the WAC Championship.
The Bobcats lost 74-65 to No. 3 New Mexico State in the WAC Semifinals Friday evening in Las Vegas. Junior forward Joel Wright led the team with 17 points, following his 32 points in the team’s 72-68 upset win over the Pioneers. Men’s basketball got their first tournament win under Davalos in 2011, against Southern Louisiana in the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament, 72-68.
Men’s basketball became the second major sport to earn a victory in the WAC Tournament. Soccer defeated Idaho 2-1 in overtime before falling in the semifinals to Denver.
On Friday, the Bobcats dug a nine point halftime deficit against the Aggies. They cut it down to six with an early second half three pointer from Jones but then surrendered 10 straight points. Texas State trailed by as many as 16 in the second half.
Forward Matt Staff, the only senior in the Bobcats starting lineup Friday, finished his last game as a Bobcat with 13 points and five rebounds on 5-13 shooting. Starting guards Phil Hawkins and Reid Koenen shot a combined 0-12 in the loss. As a team, Texas State shot 34.5 percent to the Aggies 49.0 percent and got outscored by New Mexico State’s bench 22-9, 15-1 in the second half. The Bobcats never led.
Ninth-seeded UTSA, who upset No. 1 Louisiana Tech on Friday, fell to the fourth seed UT-Arlington 69-53. UT-Arlington and New Mexico State will play for the right to represent the WAC in the NCAA Tournament. With Louisiana Tech losing, the winner of the championship game will likely be the only representative from the WAC in the tournament, according to multiple Bracketolgists from USA Today, ESPN and CBS Sports.
Texas State lost to New Mexico State both times during the regular season, by 14 and by 11. Texas State got swept by Denver in the regular season as well, by a combined 26 points.
Texas State earned their right to play in the quarterfinals Friday, following a 68-56 victory over Seattle on Wednesday. Seattle finished with the worst record in the conference this season.