Bobcats maul Bears in Conway 85-61

The Bears basketball team’s losing streak continues with the defeat at home against the Texas State Bobcats 85-61 on Feb. 9.
In the first half, the game was close. At the beginning, there was a period of lead changing going back and forth. After the first Bears’ timeout, the Bobcats started to pull further ahead with three consecutive three-pointers.
“We felt this was a team that we had a great opportunity to play with,” coach Corliss Williamson said. “To come out and play the way we did was very disappointing and very disheartening, but we have to continue to play on.”
Senior guard Imad Qahwash led the Bears with 19 points and 10 rebounds, followed by senior forward Tarde Sheppard with 12 points and eight rebounds. As a team, they made 13 out of 30 free throws, 22 turnovers and four out of 20 three-pointers. The Bears were out-rebounded by the Bobcats defensively 32-27. Offensively, the Bears made 16 rebounds.
“We came in the gym yesterday. The guys all shot free throws, we shot them earlier today … you know, I’m just lost at words on the free throws. We’re trying every trick in the world. We use big balls we used to shoot with and we can’t knock them down. It’s a concentration thing or something,” Williamson said. “Our shot selection I don’t believe was good at all. We shot 20 percent from the three-point line. It’s like we didn’t learn.”
After the first half, the Bears picked up their game by scoring more points, but it wasn’t enough to outscore the Bobcats. The Bobcats took advantage of the Bears defense and took their time making three-pointers. They outscored the Bears in three-pointers, making 10 out of 24.
“Look at 29 points off of turnovers, we leave 17 points on the board from free throws. If you cut some of those down and make some free throws, who knows, you may have an opportunity to win a game and we haven’t figured that out,” Williamson said. “I wish I can come in here in some make up and look like another player and play a few positions.”
Williamson said he was dissappointed in the Bears’ efforts and for letting down the fans who braved the weather to attend the game.
“I got on to our big guys at half time. I challenged them, it’s like you can’t let your guards out rebound you and you’re big, you got to take some pride into that,” Williamson said. “We had 16 offensive rebounds and that’s because we did not shoot the ball well. As coaches we always try to find something positive to take from the game. In this one, for me, there’s really nothing to take away that’s positive because I felt we had a great crowd out here seeing as though the weather is bad, came out and support us. I don’t believe we came out with the effort that we should have to encourage them to come out some more.”
Qahwash said that despite the tough loss, the Bears will practice hard to prepare for the upcoming games.
“We just got to keep working hard and practice. It was a tough loss, but they’re a good team. We just have to keep practicing hard and concentrate on things we need to improve on. In this game you can’t lay down or it’ll get ugly,” Qahwash said. “I’m just trying to encourage my teammates to keep playing hard and hopefully good things will happen. We just want to keep improving on that, in particular free throws.”

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