Both the Texas State men’s and women’s basketball teams have gone 2-1 to start Sun Belt play, each sitting in third place in the conference standings heading into this weekend.
Both the men and women beat South Alabama at home Thursday night.
The men (9-7, 2-1) have won two in a row, falling at Appalachian State on Dec. 29 but then bouncing back to win at Coastal Carolina and against South Alabama.
The loss to Appalachian State was close — 66-62.
“It’s nice to be 2-1, but the competitive streak in me says we should be 3-0,” head coach Danny Kaspar said. “And we should. We were up by nine on Appalachian State with as little as 8 minutes to go, and we let it get away. Again, we failed to score that second half. We’ve got to do better, offensively speaking.”
Sophomore guard Nijal Pearson is leading the Bobcats in scoring at 14.4 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all but one of the first 15 games — he scored eight against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He’s also second on the team in rebounds with 5.7 per game.
“We need to play better defensively, be in better positions,” Pearson said. “We need to start to getting those tipped balls, those 50-50 balls. I feel like against (South Alabama) we should have forced a few more turnovers.”
The Bobcats will host Troy (7-9, 1-2) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Sun Belt Tournament championship game won by the Trojans 59-53.
The women (9-5, 2-1) opened Sun Belt play with a win over Appalachian State but then lost by one point last Sunday to Coastal Carolina 65-64. The Bobcats beat South Alabama 78-63.
Junior guard Toshua Leavitt put up 34 points in the loss to Coastal, setting a school record with 10 3-pointers on 14 attempts. Leavitt followed that performance with 28 points in the win over South Alabama, going 6-for-13 from 3-point range.
She’s leading the Bobcats in scoring at 18.1 points per game. She has scored in double figure in 12 of the 14 games this season and has scored 25 or more four times.
The women will host Troy (7-7, 2-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Indoor track begins: The indoor track and field schedule begins this weekend with the Purple Tiger Invitational in Baton Rouge, La. The Bobcats are competing against host LSU along with Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas Southern.