The Bobcats were outrebounded for the first time this season 39-28 but led 14-10 in offensive boards.
HOUSTON – Sophomore Nijal Pearson netted a team-high 16 points Saturday night in the Texas State men’s basketball team’s 71-52 loss at Houston Baptist in Sharp Gym. It was the seventh time this season and 34th time in his career that he has reached double-figures in a game.
The Bobcats drop to 4-4 on the season while the Huskies are now 3-5.
“This loss eclipsed the pain that I felt after UTSA because at least we competed against UTSA,” said head coach Danny Kaspar. “This one looked like we were hit in the face and backed off. I hope we can learn from this and bounce back.”
After trading three baskets apiece, Pearson gave TXST its first lead of the game when he converted an old-fashion three-point play at the 16:47 mark. HBU answered back with a layup but Pearson hit the Bobcats’ lone three-pointer of the first half to give them a 10-8 lead with 15:24 left in the first half.
The Huskies countered with a 7-0 run that lasted 5:02. Eric Terry snapped the Texas State scoreless streak with two free throws. A layup by Pearson just over halfway into the period cut the deficit to 17-14 but that would be as close as TXST would get the rest of the game. HBU scored the final four points heading into halftime at the charity stripe for a 38-30 advantage.
Pearson would score the Bobcats’ first three points of the second half, unfortunately the Huskies netted nine and take a 14-point advantage. TXST was able to cut the deficit to 10 twice with the last being a three-pointer from the left corner courtesy of Deris Duncan to make it 50-40 with 11:20 remaining.
Pearson finished 6-of-19 from the field with one made three-pointer. His field goal attempt total is a career-high and the most since Emani Gant took 19 shots at Washington State on Dec. 15, 2015. The Beaumont, Texas native also grabbed a team-high five rebounds and was one of three players to record a steal.
Marlin Davis netted eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. He also finished with an assists and a steal. Both Tyler Blount and Terry scored six points apiece while Duncan contributed five points as he went 2-for-3 from the field.
TXST was held to 30.5 percent shooting and finished 14-for-19 at the free throw line. The Bobcats were outrebounded for the first time this season 39-28 but led 14-10 in offensive boards. They also forced 18 turnovers while committing 11.
Next up for the Bobcats is a meeting with McMurry at 7 p.m. in Strahan Coliseum on Wednesday.
For the latest on Texas State men’s basketball, visit the official website of Texas State athletics at www.txstatebobcats.com, follow the team on Instagram and Twitter at @TxStateMBB and like on Facebook at /TexasStateMensBasketball.