A trip to Colorado is in store for the Texas State men's basketball team (4-3), as it will take part in the Denver Classic for the first time in school history.
First up for the Bobcats is the University of Denver (1-4) Dec. 19.
The game will be the fourth matchup between the teams and the first since 2013. The Bobcats will look to even the all-time record against Denver, which currently holds a 2-1 advantage in the series.
Texas State will look to put together back-to-back wins, something it has not done since the first two games of the season.
Going into the showdown against the Pioneers, the 'Cats have hit a rough patch throughout their last five games. The team is 2-3 since Nov. 30 with an average margin of defeat of 13.6 points but will look to build some long-term momentum in the Denver Classic as Sun Belt Conference play begins Jan. 1.
In Texas State's last game, it defeated the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders 51-46. In the win, junior guard Mason Harrell and junior guard Caleb Asberry led the way in scoring for the Bobcats, combining for 28 of Texas State’s 51 points. Despite the win, Texas State's three-point shooting slump continued as the team went 2-13 from distance.
Harrell leads the Bobcats in points per game at 14 and is tied for the team lead in assists at 3.2 per game with his backcourt counterpart, graduate guard Marlin Davis. Harrell, who shoots a team-high 40% from three, has the ability to lead his team on offense by stretching the floor and creating opportunities.
Denver is coming off its fourth loss of the season, losing 83-75 to the University of Northern Colorado.
In the loss, junior guard Jase Townsend dropped 33 points while shooting 61.1% (11-18, 2-5 three-pointers).
Denver is primarily led by its front court duo of sophomore forward Robert Jones and freshman forward Sam Hines Jr. The duo combines for well over 20 points per game, as well as averaging close to 10 rebounds per game each.
Jones and Hines Jr. will serve as a test for Texas State. Both players can wreak havoc in the paint against a Bobcat team that lacks length and rim protection down low.
As Texas State's primary defensive big men, junior forward Alonzo Sule and senior forward Isiah Small will have their work cut out for them to stop Denver’s consistent output from the frontcourt.
Tip-off is 2 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the Hamilton Gymnasium. The game will be available via the TuneIn app.