By Connor MacKinnon
Texas State was in a battle from the very beginning with Texas-Arlington. The Mavericks refused to give the Bobcats any space throughout the entirety of the game and the ‘Cats were willing to do the same. Unfortunately, the battle was too much for the Bobcats as they lost 84-77 to the Mavericks.
Early in the first half, Maverick guard Tiandr Jackson-Young scored five quick points in the opening minute of the first period giving UTA a 5-0 lead. The momentum started to shift the Bobcats’ way with sophomore forward Quentin Scott scoring back to back buckets and Bobcat guard Nijal Pearson hitting a three-pointer to extend the lead 17-13 with 9:00 remaining.
The ‘Cats at one point had a 27-18 lead, thanks to the bench players who stepped up in the first half. However, the Mavericks came galloping back with a 11-0 run to regain the lead 29-27 going into the half.
In the second half, neither team seemed to have an advantage. The lead changed 11 times and the game tied nine times. Bobcat forward Alonzo Sule scored on three possessions in a row to give the ‘Cats a slim 44-43 lead with under 10 minutes left in the second period. Whatever response the Bobcats seemed to have, Maverick guard Brian Warren answered with 16 points in the second half.
Furthermore, the game was in grasp in the closing minute and senior guard Tre Nottingham gave the Bobcats a 60-58 lead with 36 seconds remaining. Warren was willing to oblige Nottingham by hitting a clutch jumper on the next possession to tie the game and head to the first overtime.
The first overtime started with a bang with Bobcat forward Alex Peacock sinking a three-pointer. Pearson grew the lead with a free throw to make it 64-60 with 2:29 remaining. The Brian Warren show did not stop, Warren had an eight-point overtime explosion to push the Mavericks into a second overtime with the Bobcats.
The ‘Cats seemed to lose their way in the second overtime. Maverick guard Radshad Davis hit a three-point jumper to give increase to the lead 80-74 for UTA, which put the game out of reach.
Bobcats seem to be haunted by the same demons they have tried to shake off. The ‘Cats shot 45 percent from the free throw line for the game and left 11 possible points on the board that could have helped them possibly win the game. The ‘Cats had no answer for Warren who seemed to be out of his mind most of the game with his 30-point performance.
Even with back to back losses, junior forward Eric Terry had a double-double and history was made for Pearson. Pearson passed Henry Garcia as the seventh all-time leading scorer for the Bobcats. Pearson also tied Brent Benson for fourth on the list for most three-pointers made by a ‘Cat.
The Bobcats are now 17-5 overall with a 6-3 conference record, which makes them tied for second place in the Sun Belt Conference. Let’s see if the Texas State Bobcats can bounce back from back to back loses by beating conference foe Appalachian State Mountaineers next Thursday at 4 p.m. Be sure to check out all the action on KTSW 89.9.
Featured photo by Texas State Athletics.