(Courtesy of Texas State Athletics) Bowling Green, Ky. – In a game that was within two possessions the final 25 minutes, the Texas State men's basketball team came up just short, dropping a nailbiter, 68-64 to Western Kentucky, Saturday night at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. Down 65-62, the Bobcats inbounded with 20 seconds to go. Texas State ran a back screen on the left sideline for Reid Koenen who popped out and shot a three which would have tied the game, but the shot was just short. Western Kentucky grabbed the rebound and hit free throws to seal the game. The game had 22 lead changes in total, as the two teams were within four points of each other the final 18:42. The Bobcats went on a 4-0 run with 10:53 to go, taking a 51-47 lead following Corey Stern's made basket. Stern finished the night with six points, three rebounds and two blocks. A few minutes later, Naiel Smith, who made his third start of the season, drove the left side of the floor for a 56-52 Bobcat advantage with 7:53 to go. It marked the largest lead for the team the rest of the night. Texas State used a 16-4 run in the first half to take a 28-21 lead, breaking a back-and-forth game which saw 10 lead changes in the first 10 minutes of play. During the run, Wes Davis and Koenen each hit buckets to pace the Bobcats with eight points apiece in the first half. Davis' three-pointer came a few feet behind the three-point line and hit the center of the glass and banked in. Koenen followed it up with a fall away basket. It was Joel Wright's layup that capped the run and put the team up 28-21. Texas State took a 30-27 lead into halftime, marking the fourth straight game the Bobcats have led at the break. Wright finished the game as the Bobcats' leading scorer, with 18 points and three assists. He was 8-of-9 from the free throw line, part of a 15-of-18 effort by Texas State overall. Texas State will return home on Thursday, Feb. 6, to take on ULM. The Bobcats beat the Warhawks 61-36 earlier this season in Monroe. The game will be broadcast on KNVA and can be heard on KTSW 89.9 FM and www.txstatebobcats.com.
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