On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Texas State men’s basketball team hosted their Sun Belt quarterfinal game against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The Bobcats showed up with the intent of winning and securing their ticket to the Sun Belt tournament in New Orleans and that is what they did. The Bobcats beat the Mountaineers 85-68 claiming their place in the semifinal game however as soon as they were packing their bags, the Sun Belt canceled the tournament as the threat of COVID-19 spread across the world. This game was an exciting end to the Bobcat’s season and memorable last time in Strahan arena for the seniors of the team and fan base.
Texas State junior Isiah Small runs down the court holding up three fingers in celebration of just scoring a three to increase their lead over Appalachian State during the Sun Belt quarterfinals game Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Strahan Arena. Small tied with Sun Belt player of the year Nijal Pearson in this game for points scored with 23 total. A “Gameday” banner flies outside Strahan Arena during the hours before the Sun Belt basketball quarterfinal game between the Texas State Bobcats and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 7 p.m.. After ending the season as the third seed in the conference, the Bobcats hosted the game with hopes of winning and continuing on to New Orleans. For the white-out promotion for the Sun Belt quarterfinal game, Texas State athletics set out 3,000 free white shirts with “Bobcat Madness” written across the front for the fans coming to the game. Athletics described the scene of the stadium with all the shirts laid out as if a “snowstorm” hit Strahan. Bobcat basketball fans sit outside Strahan Arena during the Texas State Athletics sponsored tailgate. Athletics offered free food, drinks and live music to the fans as they waited outside before the March 11 Sun Belt basketball game. The Bobcat student section in Strahan Arena fills with fans in white-out gear cheering the Bobcats on in the conference quarterfinal game against Appalachian State on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The total attendance for the game was 6,308 which is the third-highest attendance in Texas State history. Texas State junior forward Isiah Small reaches past Appalachian State senior forward Hunter Seacat to get the ball in the Bobcat’s possession to begin the game at Strahan Arena in San Marcos. The Bobcats previously beat and lost to the Mountaineers in the regular season and were ready for the tie-breaking game. Texas State junior Isiah Small dunks over Appalachian State defenders and hangs on the rim in celebration during the first half of the Sun Belt quarterfinals game at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats gained their lead early and went into halftime up 40-26 over the Mountaineers. Texas State sophomore point guard Mason Harrell passes the ball across the court to a Bobcat teammate to start the next offensive play against Appalachian State. As only a sophomore Harrell started 26 of 29 games this season and had a total of 259 points. Junior Isiah Small holds the ball out of bounds while looking for an open teammate to pass the ball into during the first half of the Sun Belt tournament game against Appalachian State on Wednesday, March 11. Texas State junior guard Marlin Davis dribbles the ball while charging to the Bobcat’s basket during the game against Appalachian State in the Sun Belt quarterfinals game. Davis and Mason Harrell led the offense for the Bobcats as they switched between playing point-guard throughout the 2019-20 season. The Texas State dance team, the Strutters, performs their pop routine for the crowd during halftime of the game basketball game on Wednesday, March 11. The Strutters have been at Texas State since 1960 and are always a performance the fans look forward to at sporting events.
Texas State men’s basketball head coach Danny Kaspar watches his team battle against Appalachian State in the Sun Belt quarterfinal game. Kaspar has been the head coach for the Bobcats for seven years. Texas State senior Nijal Pearson dribbles past Appalachian State freshman Kendall Lewis to get in scoring range. Pearson had multiple recognitions for the season including All-Time Scorer for the Bobcats and Sun Belt Player of the Year.
Texas State sophomore Mason Harrell jumps around the basket to shoot the ball past Appalachian State freshman Kendall Lewis and score for the Bobcats Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Harrell was an impactful starter for the majority of the Bobcat’s season and was a leading free-throw shooter for the team.
Texas States sophomore Alonzo Sule jumps to shoot the basketball over an Appalachian State defender during the second half of the game. Sule is a redshirt sophomore but has still been able to have an impact on the Bobcat’s team this season as he led the team in rebounding eight times and led the team in scoring twice. Texas State senior guard Nijal Pearson attempts to shoot a three-pointer over incoming Appalachian senior guard O’Showen Williams during the Sun Belt quarterfinals game Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Strahan Arena. In the second half of the Sun Belt quarterfinals game, senior Nijal Pearson prepares to shoot a free throw after being fouled by an Appalachian State player Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Strahan Arena. Pearson played for 36 of the 40 minutes of this game and scored a total of 23 points.
Texas State sophomore forward Alonzo Sule shoots the ball over Appalachian State senior defender Hunter Seacat in the Sun Belt quarterfinals game Wednesday, March 11, 2020. With seconds remaining in the Sun Belt quarterfinal game, the Bobcats lock in their win with a good free-throw by senior Eric Terry. Texas State senior Chandler Davis celebrates on the sidelines as the game comes to a close and as the Bobcats win 85-68.
After the Bobcats beat the Mountaineers 85-68, the team poses for a celebratory picture to commemorate them getting their ticket to the semifinal game in New Orleans. The Bobcats were set to play second seed South Alabama on March 14 until the Sun Belt canceled the tournament and all other spring sports due to COVID-19 precautions.