Texas State picks up win over UT-Rio Grande Valley

Texas State Men's Basketball

Texas State’s size has become the driving force of having success on both ends of the court.

The Bobcats outrebounded (40-27), converted more second-chance points (22-7) and had more free throw attempts en route to a 75-58 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley on Saturday inside Strahan Coliseum.

Head coach Danny Kaspar gave his big men credit for their production in the paint but also said he needs to see more out of his guards in terms of putting down shots.

“So out of 75 points we’re getting 55 from our front line, our fours and fives.” Kaspar said. “Well I think (our size) is important but I’d sure like to see our guards put some points up. I thought Tre Nottingham, even though he only had five points, made some good plays (Saturday). I told Marlin (Davis) he’s going to have to play better.”

Texas State had four players end Saturday night with double-doubles despite the tough night from the field. Sophomore guard Nijal Pearson had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Both forwards Immanuel King and Nedja Prijovic scored 13 points, while redshirt sophomore Eric Terry produced 10 points off the bench.

The opening seven minutes of the game were a struggle for both teams as neither squad could sustain a rhythm. The Bobcats held the Vaqueros scoreless for the opening seven minutes. It wasn’t until halfway through the half when Texas State started to score against the trap-defense UTRGV presented.

Texas State went into the half with a 34-24 lead and never gave it up. UTRGV  hit the opening shot of the second half to cut down the double-digit lead. The Bobcats then went on a seven-point run and took control.

“(Having success) felt good,” King said. “It felt like parts of last year’s team. Because once we get stops we get rolling. That’s when the offense comes and we start feeling a lot better and lock in on defense.”

Texas State’s turnovers were up (18) but Kaspar mentioned that it is to be expected against an opponent like UTRGV. The full-court pressure and traps caught the Bobcats off balance early. But breaking down the press became advantageous down the stretch when the offense got plenty of easy buckets.

Overall, the Bobcats shot 45.5 percent from the field and converted 73.3 percent at the free thrown line. This is the first win of the season for Texas State as it improve to 1-2. The Bobcats travel to California to play three games in the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase. The first match will be against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

“It was very nice to get this first win of the season,” Kaspar said. “Especially after our loss on Wednesday. Very good, satisfying feeling. My guys have practiced pretty hard. They’ve been pretty hard workers. Tonight we played very well. I was pleased with a lot of aspects of our game.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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