By JohnPaul Ekpe
Texas State Men’s Basketball (11-4 overall, 2-1 Sun Belt) defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (8-7 overall, 3-2 Sun Belt) 72-68 in a game that came down to the wire Saturday evening.
It looked like Louisiana could pull away early in the second half when the Cajuns went on a 15-3 run, which gave them a 12-point lead with just under 13 minutes left. However, the lead was cut into two after a three-pointer by senior guard Shelby Adams and three straight buckets from senior guard Caleb Asberry, one of them being a three.
“I can’t speak enough about Caleb [Asberry],” Head Coach Terrence Johnson said. “He’s had really good practices all week, and he’s been locked in. When he has a hot hand like that, there aren’t many guys who are better.”
Asberry finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-14 shooting from the field and 3-7 from three-point range. He also recorded five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Senior guard Mason Harrell contributed 16 points on 4-7 shooting from the field and 2-3 from three. Adams followed with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Louisiana kicked the game off when redshirt freshman Kobe Julien stole the ball from Harrell, which led to a fastbreak layup by sophomore forward Jordan Brown. After trading buckets, Harrell returned and hit a three-pointer to give the Bobcats an early 7-4 lead.
Senior forward Dou Gueye converted an and-one opportunity to tie the game. Both teams made small runs keeping the game tight throughout the first half. Harrell concluded the first half with a mid-range jumper after Juliens made three.
The second half began with a mid-range jumper from Cajuns forward Jordan Brown. Then, up by three after a made free throw, senior forward Nighael Caesar’s brought the ‘Cats within one. Louisiana went on a 12-1 run with thirteen minutes left.
Down by fourteen, Adams hit a three-pointer that ignited the Bobcats; Asberry scorched the floor with a sequence that involved a jumper, a stolen ball, and a monster reverse dunk.
After a missed free throw from Gueye, Asberry drilled a three-pointer to bring the game within two. Senior forward Isiah Small tied the game with a pair of threes, bringing the score to 49 with under 10 minutes remaining.
Both teams traded buckets down the stretch, but Harrell’s late-game free throws put the nail in the coffin. “This game was what I thought it would be,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of our guys. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”
The final score was 68-72, Texas State.
Texas State will play the first of its three upcoming road games against Little Rock on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. You can listen live on KTSW FM 89.9 San Marcos, and it will be streamed on ESPN+.
Featured Image by Texas State Athletics
Written by: ktsw admin