By Jude McClaren
The Texas State Men’s basketball team’s historic season came to a close this Saturday in a hard-fought loss to Florida International University. The Bobcats played this game without their leading scorer and first team all-conference player Nijal Pearson. Pearson was injured on Friday in practice, and was determined out for the game on Saturday morning.
Head coach Danny Kaspar wasn’t informed until around 1 p.m. and the players didn’t know until about an hour before the game. Despite this unexpected adversity, the Bobcats only lost by a six-point margin with a score of 87-81.
The only other all-conference player for Texas State is senior guard Tre’Larenz Nottingham, and he lived up to that honor in his final game as a Bobcat. Nottingham finished with a career high of 27 points, leaving everything on the court. The Bobcats led multiple times during the game, and even took a nine point in lead in the second half.
Another Bobcat who carried the scoring load was sophomore guard Shelby Adams. Adams also had a career high in points with 12, and gave a much needed spark off the bench to keep the game close. Despite the ‘Cats valiant efforts, they were overwhelmed the height and scoring ability of FIU, as guards Devon Andrews and Brian beard scored 29 points each, and their backup center Elhadji Dieng stands at 6’11”.
“I wish we could’ve ended stronger,” Kaspar said after the game.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, with players and coaches having higher aspirations than the end result, the Bobcats still notched 24 wins, which Kaspar said was more than he expected going into the season.
“I’m not gonna be too down on myself,” Nottingham said, keeping things in perspective for his final press conference. “I love these guys.”
While this may have not been the way the ‘Cats have wanted the season to end, the Bobcats still exceeded expectations and have established a winning culture at Texas State. The Bobcats may not play another game for six or so months, but as soon as the first game of the 2019-2020 season hits, you’ll be able to catch the action on KTSW 89.9.
Featured image courtesy of Texas State Athletics.