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Bobcats earn Portland Classic title in win over Pilots

Texas State Men's Basketball
Monday, November 26, 2018

An 11-2 start for Portland wasn’t enough to slow down the Bobcats. Not even close.

It took a while for Texas State to climb out of the nine-point deficit. A close-range jumper from junior forward Chandler Davis gave the team its first lead of the game at 26-25 with 4:20 left in the first half.

But the Bobcats erupted for 55 points in the second half to secure the 91-68 road win over the Pilots on Saturday to take home the Portland Classic title.

“This was an awesome win. I was impressed with our intensity," said head coach Danny Kaspar. “We started out over anxious in the first four or five minutes. I was impressed with the way we came back. It was great to see our guys come out to start the second half and put it on them hard.”

Nijal Pearson led the team with a career-high 33 points in the victory. His dominance in the first half helped keep Texas State in the game.

The junior guard’s first basket came at the 13:10 mark, ending Portland’s 11-2 opening run. Pearson sank his next four field goals from there to rack up 13 points, his only misses coming at the free throw line. When Texas State’s leading scorer subbed out for the first time halfway through the first, the Bobcats only trailed 16-15.

Pearson also collected five rebounds, three assists and three steals and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Senior guard Tre Nottingham was named to the all-tournament first team after picking up 11 points in the victory, and Davis chipped in another 10. Senior forward Alex Peacock led the team with seven rebounds while freshman guard Mason Harrell dished out six assists.

Texas State (5-1) will return home on Wednesday to host Rice at 7 p.m. inside Strahan Arena.

“(I’m) so happy for Nijal getting the Most Valuable Player award and Tre making the all-tournament team,” Kaspar said. “Nijal has not only played outstanding this weekend but kept our guys focused on the task at hand. We hope we will have a great turn out against Rice on Wednesday.”

San Marcos Record

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