Texas State Moves To CIT Quarterfinals After Defeating Idaho Vandals

By Reily Chestnut
KTSW Reporter

The Bobcats pulled off an impressive win over Idaho by virtue of a 64-55 win to earn a spot in the College Insider Tournament quarterfinals at Strahan Coliseum.

While the final score read as 64 to 55, the first half was a defensive showcase as Texas State headed into the half leading 24-23 over the Vandals. However, once the teams got back out on the floor it was all offense in the second half as the Bobcats made 11 of their first 13 shots and scoring 24 points by the 9:20 mark. This came in the midst of a 18-6 run for the Bobcats to take a 39-38 lead and blow it up into a 57-44 lead, the largest for either team during the game. Still, Idaho fought back with a 9-1 run to cut the lead to 58-53 for Texas State. The Vandals would never get closer though as freshmen Nijal Pearson made a three with two seconds left on the clock to put the Bobcats up 61-53 and effectively end Idaho’s season. That was the story of the second half for the Bobcats as they shot 67% on 14-21 shooting while making 9-12 free throws.

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Photo by Lucero Trevino.

Nijal Pearson ended up finishing with 16 points to lead the ‘cats, with 14 coming in the second half while making 3 out of 4 threes! He also got help by strong second half performances out of the seniors as Kavin Gilder-Tilbury (KGT), Ojai Black, and Bobby Conley all contributed 20 points combined on 7-11 shooting. KGT and Black finished with 14 and 13 points respectively. Black shot 5-7 along with a game leading 5 assists, while KGT led the team with 2 blocks as well. Conley himself managed to hit free throws in the second half and then to put the game on ice as he had 8 points with 5 of those points coming from the charity stripe, all in the second half as well.

Outside of the starters the offense off the bench didn’t really pick up as much, but it didn’t matter as the ‘cats defense once again showed its worth. They held the Vandals to 42.9% shooting with only 6 of their 19 threes finding the net. Also helping the ‘cats out was their ability to make Idaho pay for bad offensive plays as the team stole the ball away from the Vandals 8 times! This only helped them outscore Idaho 20 to 9 in points off turnovers as the Vandals committed 12 TOs. Along with the fact that Idaho shot 7 of 14 from the free throw line, it helped Texas State win the battle on this Wednesday night.

This victory has put the Bobcats at 22-13 on the year, the most wins for this program over a season since the 1993-94 team won 25 games. The team will now look to keep the season moving forward this Saturday at 4pm where they will face the Saint Peter’s Peacocks. Catch that game on KTSW 89.9 and keeping following @KTSWSports on twitter for all the news on Texas State Athletics!      

Featured image by Lucero Trevino.

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