UT Arlington hands Texas State ninth consecutive loss

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Men's Basketball

Tre Nottingham sent the Strahan Coliseum crowd of 3,356 into a frenzy.

The junior guard swished a game-tying 3-pointer against UT Arlington with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.

But Maverick senior forward Erick Hervey silenced the frantic maroon and gold clad fans with a 30-foot 3-pointer to seal the win for UTA, 85-82, on Friday

“It was a great shot. There’s no way around it,” sophomore guard Nijal Pearson said. “Man, I thought he missed it. I thought I was going to grab the rebound. I was right there ready for the rebound when it hit off the rim, but it was just a great shot. I mean, (Hervey) is a good player. He’s confident. I mean there’s nothing I could’ve done. What can I say? It was just a great shot..”

It’s been a frustrating, annoying and heartbreaking final month of the regular season. The Bobcats (14-17, 7-11 Sun Belt) saw themselves as high as second place in the Sun Belt this season but finished the conference slate on a nine-game losing streak.

Texas State, however, has been in every game during its skid except its 27-point loss to Georgia State and Friday was no different.

The Bobcats battled throughout Friday’s contest against UTA (19-12, 10-8). They received career performances from Pearson and junior forward Alex Peacock. Pearson finished with a career-high 31 points. He added six assists, five rebound and three steals. Peacock went 10-10 from the field and tallied 24 points. Nottingham hit three 3-pointers — none bigger than his game-tying 3 — and notched 11 points.

The Mavericks appeared to put the game away when they went up 78-70 with 1:09 left in the second half. But Pearson knocked down a 3-pointer and Nottingham completed a 4-point play after being fouled on a good 3-point attempt.

Texas State chose to foul senior guard Erick Neal with 24 seconds left and UTA leading 82-79. Neal missed both free throws, and Texas State drove up the court and Nottingham evened the game with a 3-pointer.

But Hervey walked the ball up the court and confidently pulled up and sank a deep 3-pointer to secure the game for the Mavericks.

Hervey and Neal paced UTA with 22 points each. Fifth-year senior Johnny Hamilton added 15 points. The Mavericks outscored Texas State in points in the paint, 42-18, bench points, 43-6, and rebounds, 35-31. The Bobcats committed 18 turnovers, while UTA only had 12.

“Alex Peacock had big game. Nijal Pearson had a huge game and we needed it,” head coach Danny Kaspar said. “But the only thing I’m going to say I’m disappointed in is we made too many turnovers, and these turnovers I don’t think were inflicted by the other team. I think we shot ourselves in the foot with these turnovers and we cannot have 18 turnovers and beat good team and we had too many (Friday night). We just had too many.”

The Bobcats head into the Sun Belt tournament reeling after their nine consecutive losses to end the regular season. But Texas State is also confident that it can finally grab that elusive win in the tournament.

“We know that we can compete with anybody,” Peacock said. “We can beat anybody in this league when we play our defense and shoot the ball well. The good thing is, going into the tournament, everybody is 0-0. We put together a nice four-game winning streak, which we’ve done before it’s nothing new to us, we can win it.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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