Texas State senior forward Isiah Small (1) goes up for the tip-off against St. Mary's University, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 52-43.

Texas State's men’s basketball (1-1) fell to the Louisiana State University Tigers 59-84 in its non-conference matchup Friday night. Now the Bobcats look for redemption as they head to Nashville to face off Vanderbilt University (1-0) for the first time on Sunday. 

The Bobcats fell short after blowing a 37-32 halftime lead. The ‘Cats were on fire in the first, knocking down 50% of their three-point tries. They were able to keep the pace slow preventing the Tigers from finding their rhythm.

However, LSU seemed to turn on the heat in the second half, outscoring the Bobcats 22-52. LSU’s pressure forced Texas State to spend nearly every second trying to find an open look, resulting in multiple shot clock violations.

The shots didn’t continue to fall for the ‘Cats either, as they shot 32% from the floor and 0% from three in the second. Senior forward Isiah Small finished the game as the Bobcat’s leading scorer and nearly collected a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

Vanderbilt won its season opener 91-72 against Alabama State on Wednesday. The Commodores were victorious despite their poor shooting, hitting only 45% from the floor and 28% from distance. However, four Vanderbilt players reached double digits with junior guard Jordan Wright leading the way with 16. Junior guard Scotty Pippen Jr., SEC preseason player of the year, chipped in with 15 points and got handsy on his way to four steals.

The Bobcats hope to have a better go at protecting the basket after giving up a whopping 34 points in the paint to LSU. They’ll also look to keep the pace slow as that was their recipe for their first-half success.

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m on Nov. 14 at the Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville. The game will air on ESPN+ and SEC Network+.

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