With a just over a minute left in the game, Nijal Pearson did what he has done all year, came through in the clutch. Pearson hit the game winning go-ahead three-pointer that ended the 64-62 game on senior night against the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Canjuns.
“I’m not scared of nothing,” Pearson said after the game. “I work so hard for shots like that. I live for shots like that.”
Texas State dominated ULL throughout the game but the Ragin’ Cajuns came storming back late in the game. The first lead change occurred at 1:40 left in the game after ULL’s JaKeenan Gant alley-ooped over Texas State’s defenders.
Gant was held scoreless in the first half, but came alive in the second half and ended the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
After what looked to be a deflating play, the Bobcats raced down the court and set up a play in which Pearson had an open shot and he pulled the trigger. The crowd of 4,706 at Strahan Arena erupted.
“When I caught it, I just went into my shot. I was sure I was going to make it,” Pearson said.
On senior night, the Bobcats treated its home crowd to another captivating night. Senior forward Alex Peacock, however, was held out of this last game on senior night because of the flu. Peacock, a fan favorite, sat on the sidelines in street clothes as he watched his teammates and senior guard Tre”Larenz Nottingham play on the home court as a Bobcat for the last time.
For the first time all year, head coach Danny Kaspar was forced to go with a different starting lineup as Akiem Daschner made his first career start.
With six points and seven rebounds, Daschner was able to pull out a solid start to help the team to a crucial win.
With a victory of 64-62 over the Rajun’ Cajuns, the Bobcats sit alone atop of the Sun Belt in first place, Kaspar said the group remains in high spirits.
“They’re a happy group in (the locker room),” Kaspar said. “They’re very happy and I’m happy for them.”
Nottingham led the team in scoring for his last home game as a Bobcat with 17 points.
“When I saw the first shot hit early, I thought ‘aw its going to be a long night for them'” Nottingham said.
With the last three games being road games, Kaspar said the team has to become road warriors.
“When I looked at the schedule, I said, ‘those last five games are going to be hard.’ But we’re in a position where we can control our own destiny,” Kaspar said.
The Bobcats travel to play Troy on Thursday then plays at South Alabama, and finishes the season at UT- Arlington.
The Bobcats hope to finish the season as the top seed heading into the March 12 Sun Belt tournament. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.