Bobcats conclude season in first round of NIT, falling to UNT in OT 67-63

It’s too early to say goodbye to Terence Johnson.

He has been coaching senior guard Shelby Adams for the last five years. Senior striker Isiah Small has been on the Texas State roster for three. But it is still too early.

Players have helped the Bobcats reach historic heights. Crimson and Gold have won 20 games in two of the last three seasons. They have won a Sun Belt Championship in each of the last two years. On Tuesday, the team made its debut on NIT.

The State of Texas combined with the No. 2 seed of North Texas in the first round, which won an automatic bid in the tournament to win the regular season title of Conference USA. It was the first time the Bobcats played in a national tournament since 2019. They almost overcame the upset, taking a 56-50 lead with less than a minute left in the second half.

But Mean Green rallied in the final seconds of the draw to level the game, then won 67-63 in overtime to end the crimson and golden season.

“Of course you’re disappointed,” Johnson said. “You know, I wanted that for our seniors. I felt that Shelby Adams and Isiah Small and Darien Jenkins gave their blood, sweat and tears to this program and believed in me even in moments when I did not believe in myself. Of course, you want to continue the season of these men. You know, it’s too early to say goodbye, no matter how long you’ve had people like Shelby Adams and Isiah Small. But there is only one winner who can come out of it. “

With eight lead changes and a crowd of 3,386 in the Denton Super Pit, the game responded to the March Madness ad campaign.

Texas State came out of the gates slowly, shooting just 3-12 from the field and was left behind with 18-9 in the first eight minutes of the game. The team started to find its footing after the media timeout, however, hitting the next three shots to go 7-0.

Young striker Tyrell Morgan made a free kick in the last possession of the Bobcats to reduce the deficit to 32-28. North Texas missed a buzzer-beater on the other end. Morgan grabbed the target and fired the ball with a side shot towards the other goal as the buzzer was heard. The ball miraculously fell through the hoop and while the shot did not count, it gave a boost to the Bobcats for the second half.

The team started the second half with a 14-3 run, with seven opponents ahead. Mean Green lost the lead, jumping forward for a while with 44-43 with 7:23 remaining for the game. But senior striker Nighael Ceaser made a 6-0 run with a single hand and senior guard Caleb Asberry knocked down a three-pointer from the left corner to give the Crimson and Gold the biggest lead of the night with 52-44.

Texas State took the lead with multiple scores as a fastbreak dunk from Ceaser maintained the 56-50 lead at 39 seconds to go. UNT junior guard Taylor Perry responded at the other end with a one-and-1 three-pointer, making the game a score. Perry missed his free kick, but Asberry fell out of bounds after the rebound. Mean Green scored a layup in the inbound game, reducing it to 56-55.

North Texas immediately fouled Ceaser, who went 1-2 on the line, and Johnson called a timeout with 26 seconds to play. Asbury picked up a lost three-pointer from Perry, but got confused with Man Green, who won a ball jump with the possession arrow pointing to the UNT. The No. 2 seeded team cleared up to allow Perry to go to Asberry one on one in isolation. With just three seconds on the clock, Perry stepped back and put a three-pointer three feet above the top of the bow. Asbury made light contact with Perry’s right elbow and whistled for a foul, sending Perry to the free-kick line with a chance to win the game.

Perry missed his first shot but made the next two to make it 57-57. The Bobcats could not make a shot in the last 2.5 seconds of regulation, sending the game into extra time. North Texas prevailed over Texas State 10-6 in the last five minutes, taking the victory 67-63 and eliminating the crimson and gold.

“We had a great performance from Bobcat fans, so I’m very grateful for the support,” Johnson said. “And it was exciting, a lot of ups and downs in the game. We were down, we came back, we tried to hold on. You know, we thought we were in a good place going straight down, we missed some free throws, they took advantage of some free throws and some open 3 shots. So these games are exciting. If I was a fan, I would feel I was worth my money tonight. “

Texas State finished the year 21-8 overall. Johnson said the team will take some time to get away from basketball. Players will enjoy what is left of their spring break, visit their families and recover from a long season. Those eligible will have to decide if they want to return to San Marcos for another year or explore something new.

Johnson and his staff will continue to recruit, looking for prospects who can help replace the production that will be lost after the removal of longtime protagonists such as Adams and Small, and who can keep the Bobcats on the right track. direction. They will look back this season as well, evaluating what they can do to improve as a team and individually.

But even as time goes on and the State of Texas begins to take a different shape, Johnson will not forget the Bobcats 2021-22 and their success.

“I think this team is a special team,” Johnson said. “We’ve heard the word ‘asterisk’ next to our name since last year, you know, because it was a COVID year, playing only one side, so on and so forth. But to go back and do the things we did, I think this team is a proven team. I think we are taking the steps we need to take to be recognized as one of the best medium-sized programs in the country. And I think they are on the backs of these young people in these locker rooms. “

Bobcats conclude season in first round of NIT, falling to UNT in OT 67-63 Source link Bobcats conclude season in first round of NIT, falling to UNT in OT 67-63

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