By Adam Keehn
School is back in session and what better way to cap off the first week of the semester than a men’s basketball game here in San Marcos, Texas. At 4 p.m. this Saturday, the Bobcats will continue conference play at home against the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).
As of late, the maroon and gold are rolling. After a sluggish start to conference play, Texas State found a groove and has been able to put together a four-game winning streak. Their win streak is currently the highest in the conference making the Bobcats one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt.
Texas State will host UTA on Jan. 25 and their work is cut out for them. Last season, the Bobcats faced UTA twice in conference play, and lost both of their meetings with the Mavericks. A very good 2018-19 Texas State team lost each of these games by eight points, once on Feb. 2 and once on March 9.
UTA also has some key players returning this season. One of which is senior guard Brian Warren, who scored 30 and 24 points respectively in games against Texas State in 2019. In addition to Warren, redshirt sophomore David Azore returns as UTA’s leading scorer this season at 15.7 points per game. With that being said, the Bobcats will be tested this Jan. 25.
Before tip-off, Texas State will be honoring senior Nijal Pearson for becoming the programs all time leading scorer in the nearly-100 year history of Bobcat basketball. He accomplished this incredible feat against University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) Jan. 16.
Unfortunately, he broke the record on the road and not in front of the home fans, but he did it in incredible fashion. After the comeback in the second half thanks to an 11-0 Texas State run, Pearson iced the game with a three ball from the top of the key and a free-throw on the next possession. With big thanks to Pearson, the Bobcats clawed their way back into the game and won 64-63.
This is not only a tough game for Texas State, but an important one. The maroon and gold sits at 5-4 in conference play, while UTA is 4-5, meaning a Maverick win will make the two teams tied at 5-5 in conference and a Bobcat win will create some separation and extend the streak to five in a row.
Last season, a record of 6,581 Bobcat fans packed Strahan Arena for the double overtime game against UTA. We’ll see if the fan base can match that energy in this big match up at Strahan on Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.
Following Saturday, Texas State will stay at home for two more games against the two teams they just beat on the road, ULM and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
Featured image by Nathan Rarangol.