SAN MARCOS, Texas. (2/13/17) – Texas State held the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to 37 percent from the field and defeated the Red Wolves 62-58 Monday night at Strahan Coliseum.
With the loss, A-State drops to 18-8 overall and 9-4 in league play while Texas State improved to 15-9 overall and 8-4 in Sun Belt action.
Donte Thomas was the only player in double figures for A-State with 14 points. Deven Simms just missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Jahmiah Simmons also had nine points while snagging eight rebounds before fouling out in 13 minutes of action. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury had a game-high 21 points to lead the Bobcats.
A-State opened the game 0-for-8 from the field and finished 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) from the field and just 3-for-12 (25 percent) beyond the arc. The Bobcats shot 40 percent (21-52) from the field and were 2-for-8 (25 percent) from 3-point range.
The Red Wolves won the battle on the glass, edging the Bobcats 39-38. Texas State was 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) at the charity stripe compared to 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) for the Red Wolves.
How It Happened (First Half):
A-State opened the game 0-for-8 from the field and committed three turnovers before finding the score column. The Red Wolves used defense to keep the came close, trailing 7-0 before Thomas scored the first points with an offensive rebound and putback.
Due to foul trouble, Nelson Nweke played an important 10 minutes in the first half, scoring four-straight points to get A-State back in the game. After shrugging off the 0-for-8 start, A-State closed the half hitting 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from the field.
The Red Wolves built a five point lead, 19-14, with 6:27 left in the half, but Texas State responded and led 25-24 in the final minute of the half. Rashad Lindsey buried a 3-pointer from the corner with 16 seconds left to send A-State to the break with a 27-25 lead.
How It Happed (Second Half):
The second half featured five ties as the two teams matched each other shot for shot. A-State led by as many as four in the second half, but a nearly six minute scoring drought proved to be the difference.
A-State held a 45-41 lead with 11 minutes to play, but the Bobcats went on an 11-2 run to lead 52-47 with 5:18 remaining. The Red wolves eventually tied the score at 53 on a Simmons layup, but he fouled out on the other end putting the Bobcats at the charity stripe.
Texas State hit both free throws to lead 55-53 with 2:36 to play, but A-State missed the front end of a one-and-one giving the ball back to the Bobcats. After a taking a timeout with 1:43 to play and four seconds on the shot clock, Gilder-Tilbury banked in a three-pointer and Texas State once again had a five-point lead, 58-53.
A pair of free throws by Donte Thomas trimmed the deficit to 61-58 with 20 seconds left and Thomas forced a turnover on the ensuing possession giving A-State a chance to tie. Rashad Lindsey had a clean look at the potential game-tying 3-pointer, but the shot rimmed out and the Bobcats hit 1-of-2 at the free throw line before running out the clock.
With three assists in the game, Donte Thomas reached 300 for his career. He is the ninth player in program history with 300 or more assists.
Deven Simms tied his career high with 10 rebounds and narrowly missed on his second career double-double, finishing with nine points and those 10 boards.
Quoting Coach McCasland:
“We had a good look at the end. Rashad has made that shot in practice and he probably could’ve pulled it out and maybe gotten something a little better with 10 or 12 seconds left on the clock, but in that situation you try to do your best to get a good one. Down three in that moment is where you try and create some space and Rashad has made that shot several times in practice when we go through end of game situations so I felt comfortable with it.
You lose this game and that’s on me because I’ve got to do a better job of making sure guys are fresh and solid. It looked like we had our moments where we didn’t get stops and we weren’t tough enough around the rim defensively on some of the penetration that they had. They really got us off the bounce and we had four or five possessions where we just didn’t guard the way we needed to which led to and one’s and easier baskets at the rim. You know you are going to be in a grind when you play this game.
The Red Wolves return to the Convocation Center for a three-game home stand that begins Friday night against Little Rock. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.