Texas State (4-5) at Texas (5-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frank Erwin Center (16,734) -- Austin, Texas. Television: Longhorn Network. Home Record: Texas State 3-3, Texas 4-0. Away Record: Texas State 0-0, Texas 0-0. Neutral Record: Texas State 1-2, Texas 1-4. Conference Record: Texas State 0-0, Texas 0-0. Series Record: Texas leads, 41-5.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Longhorns will attempt to stay perfect in Austin this season, as they play host to the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday night.
After starting the season by winning its first two games, Texas State went into a slide where it lost five of its next six. The Bobcats closed out a three-game homestand last Saturday by snapping a two-game slide by defeating Texas-Pan American, 73-58.
Despite the Longhorns' prowess in their building, they have been terribly inconsistent through nine game en route to a 5-4 record. Although they haven't played a true road game yet, they have lost four of five on neutral courts, with their only win coming against Mississippi State (69-55) in the seventh- place game of the Maui Invitational. Texas most recently played UCLA in Houston last Saturday before a sparse crown, falling to the Bruins in a 65-63 final.
Texas has dominated the all-time series with Texas State, winning 41 of the previous 46 meetings. The Longhorns made easy work of the Bobcats last December at home, winning 86-52. It was their 23rd straight win in the series.
Putting up points has not been much of an issue for Texas State, as it averages just under 75 ppg, and it put together one of its best shooting performances of the year against UTPA, making 48.3 percent of its field goal attempts in the 15-point win. Matt Staff scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked a pair of shots for TSU, while Vonn Jones added 10 points and eight assists. Joel Wright tallied 12 points and nine rebounds, but he turned the ball over seven times. Reid Koenen came off the bench and netted 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. The Bobcats aren't very efficient when it comes to knocking down their shots (.420), but Staff (16.2 ppg) and Wright (15.2 ppg) are off to impressive starts. The duo is also a big factor on the boards, each grabbing at least 6.0 rpg. Jones (8.7 ppg) has handed out 4.1 apg and drains nearly half of his 3-point attempts (15-of-33).
Texas led its matchup with UCLA by eight points with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but it managed to score just two more points down the stretch as the Bruins pulled off the come-from-behind victory. The Longhorns were plagued by poor shooting, as they made only 37.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a paltry 4-of-20 from long range. Cameron Ridley logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, missing just one of his six shots. Javan Felix scored 13 points and Sheldon McClellan had 12 points, but the two combined to go just 9-of-28 from the field. UT's .409 field goal percentage has spoiled its solid defensive effort (.331, 57.7 ppg). McClellan leads the team with 15.9 ppg, and Julien Lewis is the only other player to average double figures with 11.0 ppg. Felix (7.4 ppg) contributes across the board with 4.6 rpg, 5.7 apg and 1.3 spg.
It's been a shaky start for the Longhorns, but they feel quite comfortable playing in Austin, and against an unimpressive Texas State squad, they shouldn't have a problem moving to 5-0 on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 77, Texas State 59
12/15 10:35:41 ET