Monthly Archives: January 2013

College Basketball: If it began today…

Here is what the WAC Tournament would look like through nine regular-season games. Teams begin the second round of conference play tonight.


Game 1 — No. 7 San Jose State vs. No. 10 UTSA
Game 2 — No. 8 Texas State vs. No. 9 Seattle University
Game 3 — No. 3 Denver vs. No. 6 Idaho
Game 4 — No. 2 New Mexico State vs. Winner Game 1
Game 5 — No. 1 Louisiana Tech vs. Winner Game 2
Game 6 — No. 4 Utah State vs. No. 5 UT-Arlington


Game 1 — No. 7 Denver vs. No. 10 UT-Arlington
Game 2 — No. 8 New Mexico State vs. No. 9 Texas State
Game 3 — No. 3 Idaho vs. No. 6 Denver
Game 4 — No. 2 Utah State vs. Winner Game 1
Game 5 — No. 1 Seattle University vs. Winner Game 2
Game 6 — No. 4 UTSA vs. No. 5 Louisiana Tech

Still a lot of basketball to be played between now and March 12.

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College Basketball: A deserved award

Even though every school nominates an athlete to win Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week, only one could have won it for his performance last week. And that was Texas State junior forward Joel Wright.

In two games last week, Wright averaged 28 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2.5 assists. Wright scored 24 of his career-high 37 points in the second half of the Bobcats’ 78-73 road win over Idaho  last Thursday.

This week, Texas State needs Wright to be just as solid when it hosts New Mexico State and Denver. Both teams are near the top of the standings.

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College Basketball: Men make it three in a row

For some reason, that’s how I imagined Texas State head coach Doug Davalos to be in the locker room before last Thursday’s game against Idaho. Like the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 movie “Major League,” the Bobcats had been mired in a long losing streak, but snapped it a game before. Texas State then knocked off the Vandals to win consecutive games for the first time since earlier this season.

Well, the Bobcats weren’t content with going home without three wins under their belt. Just like it did against UTSA and Idaho, Texas State notched a come-from-behind win over Seattle University last Saturday. The Bobcats beat the Redhawks, 86-83.

Texas State got the job done all over the court in the game with Seattle.

On defense, the Bobcats forced 16 turnovers and converted those into 25 points. Junior forward Reid Koenen sparked Texas State’s offense, as he scored a career-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Koenen buried three 3-pointers and knocked down each of his three free throws.

With the win, the Bobcats improved to 3-6 in the Western Athletic Conference while maintaining their hold on eighth place. Texas State gets a bigger test Thursday night at home when it hosts second-place New Mexico State.

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Bobcats split with Idaho

Air Jamaica finally took off. Who knew his first runway would be in Moscow, Idaho?

Behind a monster night by junior forward Joel Wright, the Texas State men overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Idaho, 78-73. It was the Bobcats’ second consecutive win after they snapped their nine-game losing streak last Saturday.

Wright, nicknamed “Air Jamaica” from his days on the Brooklyn playgrounds, did just about everything for Texas State against the Vandals. He scored a career-high 37 points, grabbed six rebounds, notched five steals and dished five assists.

After a slow start, in which the Bobcats trailed 32-15, Doug Davalos’ team picked it up. Texas State narrowed Idaho’s lead to four by halftime and took its first advantage late in the second half (67-65) on a 3-pointer by junior guard Phil Hawkins.

Despite a late rally by the Vandals, the Bobcats held them off. Free throws down the stretch by Hawkins and Wright sealed it for Texas State.

In San Marcos, the Bobcat women started strong and faded fast — all in the comfort of the first half.

Even though it played without junior forward Ashley Ezeh for the third consecutive game, Texas State never lost a step in the first seven minutes against the Vandals. The Bobcats led 19-9 and their five-guard lineup looked strong doing so.

Then junior guard-forward Jasmine Baugus got into foul trouble and Texas State’s intensity lacked. Thirteen minutes later, the Bobcats trailed 38-24 after Idaho went on a 29-5 run.

Texas State got back within single digits in the second half, but could never swing ahead. Bobcat senior guard Diamond Ford tallied 17 of her game-high 25 points after halftime.

Both teams are back in action Saturday against Seattle University.

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College Football: Hello, Moscow!

Texas State and Idaho will play on Nov. 2 in Moscow.

Texas State will play at Idaho on Nov. 2.

When two shoes dropped from the Sun Belt Conference, Texas State — and every remaining team in the league — were put in a scheduling bind for the upcoming season. Luckily for the Bobcats, they were able to call on a former conference mate to fill the void.

A few days ago, Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State finalized plans to join Conference-USA this fall. Both schools paid the Sun Belt an exit fee of $700K and join C-USA on July 1, the same date Texas State is welcomed to Karl Benson’s new league.

Those departures left the Bobcats with 11 games on their 2013 schedule, since South Alabama (who they weren’t supposed to play) fills the void of the departed.

Rest assured, Texas State found someone just in the nick of time. On Nov. 2, the Bobcats travel to Moscow, Idaho to play the University of Idaho inside the Kibbie Dome. Last year, Texas State beat the Vandals by a score of 38-7.

News of the game on Nov. 2 was first reported by Vandal Nation, a blog dedicated to Idaho athletics. Texas State has yet to confirm or deny.

That gives the Bobcats five non-conference games for the upcoming season: at Southern Mississippi, vs. Prairie View A&M, at Texas Tech, vs. Wyoming and now at Idaho.

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College Basketball: Men snap losing streak

Sorry for a delayed post, but better late than never.

Texas State finally snapped its nine-game losing streak and did it in a big way last Saturday afternoon against Texas-San Antonio. In a game that saw five ties and eight lead changes, the Bobcats battled back from several deficits to outlast the Roadrunners, 81-78, in overtime.

It was a breakout game for Texas State, as five players scored in double figures — Reid Koenen (23 points), Corey Stern (18), Joel Wright (16), Phil Hawkins (13) and Wesley Davis (10) — and its defense paved the way.

“We picked a hell of a time to have our best total-team effort,” Bobcat head coach Doug Davalos said. “This team that we saw today could beat a lot of people. If we carry this over and keep staying together, not care who gets the minutes and everybody contributes, we can do anything we want from this point on.”

Two of the main cogs for Texas State in its first league win as a member of the Western Athletic Conference were Koenen and Stern.

When the Bobcats needed a big shot, Koenen stepped up. Koenen raised the stakes with each of his five made 3-pointers (a career high), with his last coming with 1:03 left in overtime to put Texas State up 77-76.

“I haven’t been shooting the ball too well as of late, so I made a point of it to get in the gym more,” Koenen said. “This is a big rivalry game, so I wanted to come out and knock down shots if I was open.”

Even though Stern posted career highs in minutes (38), points (18) and rebounds (13), it was his defense that set a tone. Stern patrolled the top of the Bobcats’ zone, using his length to force UTSA’s smaller lineup around him and making life miserable for Kannon Burrage when he attempted game-winning shots at the end of regulation and overtime.

Texas State improved to 5-14 overall and 1-6 in the WAC.

“We’ve taken a ton of tough losses this year, but it’s big for us going forward,” Stern said. “We’ve got a good team and we’re ready to show that.”

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College Football: Schultz to Utah?

Word around the campfire is that the University of Utah has its eyes on Texas State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Schultz for a similar position with its football team.

Many feel Schultz’s offensive scheme would fit well with what the Utes, who went 5-7 overall and 3-6 in the Pac-12, do. Utah is coached by Kyle Whittingham.

Schultz helped groom Bobcat senior quarterback Shaun Rutherford into a better passer than he was last year. In 2012, Rutherford completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,137 yards and 15 touchdowns. The senior had two 300-yard passing games, including a 324-yard performance against Texas-San Antonio.

When reached for a statement, Schultz had no comment.

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College Basketball: Quotables from Tuesday’s practice

Spoke with head coach Doug Davalos, senior guard Vonn Jones and senior forward Matt Staff after Tuesday’s practice.

Texas State looks to snap a nine-game losing streak Saturday afternoon when it travels to UTSA. Davalos is 8-4 against the Roadrunners in his tenure with the Bobcats.

Davalos on if he feels other people are disappointed with the way the season has gone thus far: “Nobody has to set higher expectations for me than I do for myself. My deal is that I’m not happy with the way things are going. It doesn’t have to come from anybody else. I’m trying to find ways to help our players turn the corner and fix it.”

Davalos on if home-court advantage matters in the IH-35 Rivalry Series: “It doesn’t matter where we play. We could play out in the park. That’s what is so neat about a rivalry like this, is that I really don’t feel that home-court advantage is that significant. Each of us has had success in each other’s gym.”

Davalos on Saturday’s game: “Anytime you play UTSA, it’s such a good, heated rivalry. They’ve had some problems with injuries and sickness. We’ve had some problems with injuries and sickness. Basically, it’s all hands on deck for a game like this and you better be ready to produce and contribute.”

Jones on Saturday’s game: “This game is big. We both haven’t won a game in WAC play. We’re coming in hungry and really need this. We want this win.”

Staff on Saturday’s game: “This is definitely a rivalry game. Whenever UTSA is involved, it always brings out the best. It doesn’t matter if both of us haven’t won a game or [UTSA standout forward] Jeromie Hill is hurt, the game is still going to go on and the feelings are still going to be there.”

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College Basketball: First win, sixth loss

Texas State junior guard Deonte' Jones scored a career-high 21 points in the Bobcats' 91-74 loss to UT-Arlington.

Texas State junior guard Deonte’ Jones scored 21 points in the Bobcats’ 91-74 loss to UT-Arlington. It was a career high for Jones, who hit five 3-pointers (Photo by Jarryd Castillo).

One team from Texas State finally earned its first win in the Western Athletic Conference while the other suffered yet another disheartening loss.

It was the Bobcats women, who traveled to Texas-Arlington and knocked off the Mavericks by a score of 63-57. Senior guard Diamond Ford (18) and freshman guard Erin Peoples (14) scored in double figures for Texas State, as Zenarae Antoine’s team improved to 7-9 overall and 1-5 in the WAC.

Then, in San Marcos, it was more of the same for the Bobcat men.

Texas State fell behind early, clawed back within four points midway through the second half and was demolished down the stretch. With 9:09 remaining in the second half, the Bobcats only trailed 69-64; but four minutes later, were down 19.

Wasted in Texas State’s ninth consecutive loss were strong performances by junior guard Deonte’ Jones and junior forward Joel Wright. Jones canned five 3-pointers on his way to 21 points, while Wright led the Bobcats with a team-high 24.

Texas State’s defense left a lot to be desired Saturday afternoon, as it let the WAC’s worst shooting team to knock down 57.1 percent of its shots. Was it a wake-up call for the Bobcats to see how easy the Mavericks had it?

“A wake-up call? [Expletive]. We’ve had a lot of wake-up calls lately,” Texas State head coach Doug Davalos said. “Teams know we haven’t been playing well. The shocker was UTA had been struggling offensively and they came in and played well.

“We’ve had these moments. We’ve had four-point games turn into 15-point games and calling a timeout after a barrage of 3-pointers. Then you look up and you think, ‘Weren’t we just down four?’ Just like that it’s a double-digit lead. It’s happened too much, so I don’t know if it’s a wake-up call. It’s bad news.”

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College Basketball: Swept by LA Tech

Losses keep piling up for Texas State in basketball. Louisiana Tech swept the Bobcats on Thursday, dropping both the men’s and women’s records to 0-5 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Texas State junior forward Joel Wright can't keep possession as he's defended by Louisiana Tech guard Jaron Johnson (Daily Record Photo by Gerald Castillo).

Texas State junior forward Joel Wright can’t keep possession as he’s defended by Louisiana Tech guard Jaron Johnson (Daily Record Photo by Gerald Castillo).

In San Marcos, the men didn’t stand a chance.

The Bulldogs attacked the glass and pulled down 19 offensive rebounds to Texas State’s eight. Louisiana Tech added 23 second-chance points and its bench combined to score 35.

Bobcat junior forward Joel Wright helped spark a 15-5 run to open the second half with nine points during the span, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs, who owned a 17-point halftime lead, broke it open soon after. Wright finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and a block.

“We’re not used to coming back and winning,” Texas State head coach Doug Davalos said. “We’re used to coming back and making it close. We don’t come back and finish plays. You are a creature of habit. They’ve come back and finished. When you make a run, it doesn’t bother them, because they’re used to those situations.”

It was the Bobcats’ eighth consecutive loss, which is the longest skid in Davalos’ seven-year stint. Texas State lost seven games in a row during the 2010-11 season.

On the road in Ruston, La., a poor first half doomed the Bobcat women.

Texas State fell behind 39-25 after shooting 30 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from the free-throw line. It wasn’t pretty for the Bobcats, who needed a spark in the worst way.

On a positive note, Texas State senior guard Diamond Ford notched a game-high 25 points. Ford took over sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list, moving ahead of former Bobcat standout Joyce Ekworomadu.

Both teams are back in action Saturday against Texas-Arlington.

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