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Trojans fall behind second half Bobcat surge, 67-56

Little Rock falls to 7-6 on the year and 3-3 in Sun Belt play

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A late second half surge by Texas State slammed the door on a Little Rock comeback attempt as the Bobcats score the game's final seven points to hand the Trojans a 67-56 loss at the Jack Stephens Center. The loss drops Little Rock to 7-6 on the year and 3-3 in Sun Belt play.
 
"They flat out whipped our butts," said head coach Darrell Walker. "That was a team over on that sideline, and we were not. Give them all the credit for this weekend. We have some things we need to figure out and need to rediscover our edge."
 
Game Notes
 
• Despite shooting 57.9% from the floor in the first half, Little Rock ended the game shooting 47.5%, making 5-of-13 from beyond the arc (38.5%) and 13-of-17 from the line (76.5%).
 
• Ben Coupet Jr. paced the Trojans with 20 points, connecting on six of his 11 shots and four of his six three-pointers. He was also perfect at the line, going 4-for-4, with four rebounds.
 
• Ruot Monyyong continued his double-double streak, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds for his fifth-straight, his ninth of the season and the 25th of his career. Monyyong was 3-for-6 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the line with a block.
 
• Nikola Maric registered double figures for the 12th time this season, scoring 11 points with three rebounds.
 
• No other Trojans scored in double figures on the night as Marko Lukic scored six points off the bench while Marko Andric finished with five and CJ White added four points for Little Rock.
 
•Texas State held a 25-24 rebounding edge but dominated Little Rock in the paint, outscoring the Trojans 38-16.
 
First Half Notes
 
• The start of Saturdays game was vastly different from Friday as the Trojans and Bobcats exchanged baskets in the early going, combining for four ties and six lead changes through the opening 12:50 of regulation. Texas State led by three on three different occasions, but Little Rock was able to fight back each time.
 
• Tied 16-16 at the 12:20 mark, Texas State reeled off eight-straight points, building a 24-16 advantage at the midway point of the first half. With the score sitting at 27-19, Little Rock answered with seven-straight of its own, including five from Coupet, getting to within one at 27-26 at the 5:29 mark.
 
• Texas State responded with eight-straight points of its own, extending its lead to nine at 35-26 with 3:21 remaining in the opening half. The Trojans were able to shave three points off that deficit over the final three minutes, trailing 40-34 at the half.
 
• Both teams shot well from the floor as Little Rock hit 11 of its 19 shots (57.9%) while Texas State was 13-of-24 (54.2%). The Bobcats used 83.3% shooting from three (5-of-6) to help extend the lead. The Trojans connected on four of their eight from beyond the arc.
 
• Coupet was the offensive spark for the Trojans in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting, going 3-for-4 from three and 4-for-4 from the line. Monyyong was solid inside as well, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds.
 
Second Half Notes
 
• Little Rock cut the deficit to four with a nice inside play by Maric to start the half, but watched as Texas State then raced out to a game-high 11 point lead at 47-36 off a 7-0 run. The Bobcats would match that lead off a dunk from Asberry at 49-38 at the 15:29 mark.
 
• A three pointer from Coupet helped spark a 9-0 run for Little Rock that spanned a four minute span, cutting that 11 point lead to just two at 49-47. Lukic had a jumper and Maric added four points during the span as the Trojans forced three Bobcat turnovers.
 
• The Trojans continued to threaten but could never get over the hump to take the lead. Trailing by four at 60-56 following a pair of free throws by Lukic, Texas State reeled off seven-straight to push its lead to 11 in the final minute, sealing the Trojan's second-straight home loss.
 
• Little Rock was held without a field goal for the final 5:02 of the game, shooting just 38.1% (8-of-21) over the final 20 minutes. The Trojans made just one of five three point attempts in the second half but were able to knock down five of six free throws. Maric led the way with eight points for Little Rock, who was held to 22 total points.
 
Up Next
 
• Little Rock heads back on the road, getting set to make the return trip to Arlington, Texas to battle UT Arlington. The Trojans and Mavericks tip at 6 p.m. Friday from the College Park Center.