Photo by Gerald Castillo
Texas State falters in double-overtime loss to UT Arlington
Don’t be mistaken, Texas State is reeling after an 84-77 double-overtime loss to UT Arlington on Saturday.
But the Bobcats aren’t heartbroken. Nor, are they ready to throw in the towel after losing they’re second straight game — Marking their first losing streak of the season.
“There’s a lot of games to played,” junior guard Nijal Pearson said. “We lost. We took a loss. We did some things wrong. They did some things right. We’re going to fight and find a way to get back.”
Texas State (17-5, 6-3 Sun Belt) hosted UT Arlington (10-12, 6-3) in front of an all-time record crowd of 6,581 inside Strahan Arena.
The Bobcats had plenty of opportunities to give the crowd a win, despite shooting below their season average and going an abysmal 9 of 20 from the free throw line.
With 1:58 left in regulation, Texas State saw itself trailing UTA, 58-54. But the Bobcats received a quick jumper from junior forward Eric Terry and two free throws from Pearson to tie the contest.
Junior guard Tre Nottingham put Texas State on top at 60-58 with 36 seconds left in the half.
Maverick junior guard Brian Warren, who finished with a game-high 30 points, wouldn’t let the game end in regulation. He sank a jumper with 14 seconds remaining to tie the game and force overtime.
Again, though, the Bobcats put themselves in a strong position to down UTA in overtime. Texas State made a game-winning play with under a minute left in the extra period.
Senior forward Alex Peacock’s shot fell short but Terry came down with the rebound. Feeling the pressure of a double team, he threw the ball behind him but it was headed out of bounds. But Shead made an acrobatic move to throw the ball to Nottingham before hitting the ground.
Nottingham gave Shead the ball back and he knocked down an 3-pointer to give Texas State a 67-64 lead with 47 seconds remaining in overtime
The play displayed the Bobcats’ hustle and grit. But it wasn’t enough to end the game.
Warren wouldn’t be denied. He scored four straight points, including a game-tying jumper with 16 seconds left to push the game into a second overtime.
The Mavericks took control of game in the final period with a dagger 3-pointer from junior guard Radshad Davis to give UTA an 80-74 lead.
Texas State couldn’t rally and fell, 84-77.
“Obviously, this is a very disappointing loss,” head coach Danny Kaspar said. “I thought our players, both teams, I thought played very hard. It was a must-win game.”
Despite nine Sun Belt games remaining, Saturday’s was important for Kaspar and his squad, especially because of the massive home crowd.
“I think every game is a must win,” Kaspar said. “It’s a must win because look at that crowd we have out there. Look at the excitement this team has generated. When you get people coming to your game like that, you need to win for them. That’s why it’s a must win.”
Pearson paced the Bobcats with 15 points followed by Shead, who had 13 points. Peacock and Terry added 12 points each.
Alongside Warren’s 30 points, redshirt junior Edric Dennis added 16 points for the Mavericks. Redshirt freshman David Azore recorded 14 points and brought down 13 rebounds.
Although Texas State struggled with UTA’s guard play, Shead said UTA’s offensive scheme was responsible for its good performance.
“(The Mavericks) did a lot of passing and cutting and they got open really well,” Shead said. “They were a lot more spaced out than most teams. I think they just they got a lot of shots in the flow of their offense.”
Texas State continues its three-game homestand against Appalachian State on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bobcats plan to look themselves in the mirror and get back to work.
“We’re not in panic mode,” Pearson said. “We’re not scared. We’re not about to cry. We’re fixing to fight. There’s only two things that can happen when you fight. We were fighting last year too. You can win, or you can lose. You can stand up about it, or you can lay down. But we’re not going to lay down. We’re going to fight.
“...We lost two games in a row. Yeah, they hurt. We were on the high horse and we got kicked right off. We’re going to look ourselves right in the mirror. We’re going to figure out what we did wrong and we’re going to fight. We’re going to keep swinging. We’re fighters.”