From STAFF REPORTS
Despite clawing back into the game early in the second half, the Texas State mens basketball team could not hold off a determined University of Houston squad over the weekend.
The Bobcats, who defeated Houston earlier in the season at Strahan Coliseum, lost this time around to the Cougars 94-71 at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Houston turned on the burners midway through the second half to take the win to split the series this season.
Matt Staff led all Bobcats with 16 points and five rebounds. Reid Koenen had 12 points, Brooks Ybarra added 11 points and Eddie Rios chipped in with 10 points for Texas State.
Texas State was able to cut Houston’s lead to 48-44 at the beginning of the second period after three layups and a three-pointer. From then, the Cougars were able to put things on cruise control as they took a 66-50 lead with 10:48 remaining.
After the 10-minute mark, Houston was able to stay one step ahead of Texas State. The Cougars capitalized on missed shots by the Bobcats and held the edge on the boards. Jordan Kirschke hit a three-pointer with seconds left on the clock but it wasn’t nearly enough to do anything but put a dent in Houston’s massive lead.
A pair of three-pointers and a layup gave the Cougars an 8-0 lead to start the game. With Houston leading 30-10, the Bobcats outscored the Cougars, 22-6 to get back within four points, but Houston made back-to-back three pointers with under a minute left. Rios drained a trey for the Bobcats with time expiring and Texas State entered the locker room down 42-35.
The Cougars, who were led by Joseph Young’s 25 points, out-rebounded the Bobcats 52-25 during the game.
Texas State will open up Southland Conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 4 when it hosts Stephen F. Austin. Tip-off at Strahan Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m. The Bobcats will then travel to Natchitoches, La. to face Northwestern State Saturday in a game scheduled to tipoff at 1 p.m.