JONESBORO, Ark. (1/11/18) – Deven Simms scored a game-high 23 points, but the Arkansas State men’s basketball dropped a tightly-contested game to Texas State 73-67 Thursday night at First National Bank Arena.
Simms reached 20-plus points for the eighth time this season with his game-high 23 points and he also lead A-State (6-12, 1-4) with seven rebounds. Grantham Gillard added 15 points and six rebounds while Rashad Lindsey had a team high four assists. Tre Nottingham led Texas State (11-7, 4-1) with 17 points while Nijal Pearson had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Red Wolves shot 47 percent from the floor, but struggled beyond the arc, hitting 6-of-23 (26 percent). The Bobcats knocked down 51 percent from the field and 40 percent (8-20) from 3-point range. A-State had a 34-27 advantage on the glass and outscored the Bobcats 36-34 in the paint. Texas State took advantage of 13 A-State turnovers, outscoring the Red Wolves 18-7 in points off turnovers.
How It Happened (First Half):
The two teams traded buckets over the first four plus minutes, but Texas State took a six point lead, 15-9, by way of holding A-State scoreless for nearly four minutes. Simms knocked in a 3-pointer to end the drought and after a Texas State bucket, the Red Wolves went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 18. A-State was unable to regain the lead, but Texas State never led by more than five the remainder of the half.
Texas State opened the game 5-of-7 (71 percent) from the field, hitting 2-of-3 (67 percent) from 3-point range. The Bobcats cooled off from there finishing the first half shooting 46 percent (13-28) overall and 44 percent (4-9) beyond the arc. The Red Wolves shot 41 percent (13-32) overall, but struggled to 22 percent (2-9) from long range.
The Red Wolves held an 18-15 advantage on the glass, including 9-6 on the offensive end. A-State held a narrow 20-18 edge in paint points and had four blocked shots.
How It Happened (Second Half):
A 9-2 run saw the Red Wolves take their first lead since the opening bucket at 44-42 with 13:42 to play. Texas State answered with a 14-4 run to take its largest lead to that point at 56-48 with 8:09 to play. Gillard nailed a 3-pointer to end the run, but the Bobcats went on an 8-2 spurt to build a 64-52 lead with 5:17 to play.
The Red Wolves clawed back to within three, 70-67, with 46 seconds to play, but the Bobcats converted a layup with the shot clock expiring to lead 72-67 with 17 seconds left. A-State misfired on the next possession and was forced to foul. Texas State split the free throws, but A-State did not score in the final 10 seconds to set the final score.
Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field in the second half, with A-State hitting 54 percent (14-26) while the Bobcats knocked in 56 percent (14-25). The Red Wolves couldn’t get over 30 percent from 3-point range, shooting 4-of-14 (29 percent) while the Bobcats were 36 percent (4-11).
- The Red Wolves finished with four blocks, most since having nine against Henderson State. A-State had four blocks in the first half, more than in 12 of the 17 previous games.
- Deven Simms logged his second-straight 20-point outing and eighth of the season. He now has 11 career outings with 20 or more points.
- Grantham Gillard reached double figures sixth time this season.
- Texas State has won the last four games in the series against A-State, holding the Red Wolves to 68 or fewer points in all four games.
Quoting Coach Balado:
“I thought we had a good game, but they just hit some shots. They don’t make many 3-pointers, but they hit two big ones to put them up 10, which was a huge swing in the game. Defensively, we were supposed to switch on that last possession and Marquis didn’t switch on the guy rolling and they got an open layup, which is unacceptable, but I’ve already talked to him about it. I don’t think our guards played great tonight and when you go 3-for-15 between both of your starting guards, it is hard to win a game. I thought Simms played well and Bruce came in and gave us some energy. Salif played his butt off, but other than that, everyone else was just mediocre. We have to get back to work tomorrow and I told them in the locker room, that there is no quit in this team and we just have to continue to try and get better.”
A-State closes the brief homestand with Saturday’s contest against UT Arlington. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at First National Bank Arena.