By Reily Chestnut
Assistant Sports Director
The great ones find a way to move on and regroup after a tough loss. Hopefully Texas State can do that after losing to UT-Arlington 70-68. This pill is a bitter one to swallow since the Bobcats could’ve won to avoid overtime for the second time in three games. But you’ll hear about that if you read the whole way through so let’s get going.
On this Saturday afternoon after a week off, Texas State certainly couldn’t use fatigue as an excuse. Especially when the guys only went up to Arlington for this battle versus UTA–a battle that the ‘Cats needed to stop the ugly shift from six wins in a row to winning only one game since that streak came to an end. That simply means a return to the drawing board for head coach Danny Kaspar now that things have taken a turn for the worst in Bobcat men’s basketball. Anyways, where was I? Ah yes, the action against UTA. What went wrong exactly?
For starters, Texas State had a chance to win the game in regulation. The game clock had 1.3 seconds left and point guard Tre Nottingham, who balled out with a career-high 24 points and six 3PTs, tossed the inbound pass to forward Alex Peacock in front of the basket, wide open and in mid flight (last name really works for him). Peacock put up the shot and as the buzzer sounded, the ball wiggled around the rim and popped back out, further torturing this team as another bad omen during this mudslide. It was even more painful since Peacock has earned the hearts of Bobcat fans everywhere this season for knocking down two game winners prior to this misfortune. To summarize, the shot missed, and we get five extra minutes of Bobcat basketball–an overtime that the Bobcats shot 1-for-7 overall while UTA star Kevin Hervey knocked down the go-ahead free throws after Nottingham picked up the 43rd total personal foul of this rivalry game.
I swear this game had so much whistle blowing that the U.S. government might need to make some arrests. Regardless, the foul calls made hit Texas State where it hurt… their front court players. Ultimately, that will prove to be the difference when looking back at this game where Immanuel King picked up three personal fouls just three minutes into his start! The fact that Texas State even had a chance to win the damn game is incredible considering King got benched pretty quickly and Peacock picked up two fouls in the first half as well. So let me give a shout out to the Bobcats who shined bright tonight.
Nottingham broke out big time tonight by becoming the first Bobcat since Kavin Gilder-Tilbury to knock down six 3PTs in a game. Nijal Pearson played his best all-around game in a while by dropping a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes. Nedeljko Prijovic graduated from boarding school after pulling down six boards off the bench with two dimes to spare in 20 minutes. Eric Terry fought hard to earn his eight points, four offensive rebounds, one steal and one block. But in the end, Texas State is back to square one and still has more questions than answers to solve after dropping to 7-6 in SBC play.
The fear only rises since Texas State must try to break the trend next Thursday against SBC top dog Louisiana-Lafayette in the Cajundome….a place where the ‘Cats have never won. Catch that action next Thursday at 7:15 p.m. on KTSW 89.9 and believe in your Bobcats!
Featured image by Phillip Pongratz.