"It was a good game for our team. We showed some resiliency, toughness, competitiveness and it was a really good win against a well-coached team," A-State head coach John Brady said. "We need to do this again and I think in the second half we had some really good post feeds and Anthony Livingston had a really good night and Cameron Golden took some really good shots in the second half and got to the foul line more, which is something I have been stressing for our guards to do."
Sophomore forward Anthony Livingston scored 24 points and hauled in 15 rebounds, both game highs, to lead A-State (8-8, 3-4) to its second straight victory. Junior guard Cameron Golden added 22 points, including 13 in the second half and overtime periods combined, to help the Red Wolves collect their third home win of the season.
“I have been preaching to our team about being unselfish and playing inside-out and I think tonight was a statement for that,” Brady added. “We got the ball to Nom in ways that he can score and he finished some plays tonight, while Charles Waters hustle and lively legs were big for us and his free throws were outstanding. Then we were able to get some stops and get to the free throw line, particularly in overtime, and we were able to slow them down a little bit. It was a good win and a timely win and I was proud of the way the guys played. I thought we did play unselfish tonight and we shot almost 62 percent from the floor, went 4-for-8 from the three and shoot 71 percent from the foul line and that equals up into winning numbers. The job we did on their leading scorer was great and he never made big baskets so that was good for us to take away his game.”
Texas State (10-6, 4-3) scored the first bucket of the second half to take a 35-26 advantage, but the Red Wolves went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take their first lead since the game's opening minutes. The remainder of the second half featured 10 lead changes and six ties as neither team led by more than four points.
With the score tied 60-60 at the 3:03 mark, the final minutes of regulation were a back-and-forth battle. A-State went up two on a Golden layup, but the Bobcats answered with a three by Wes Davis on their next possession. Livingston followed with a three that put A-State back on top 65-63 with 1:05 left, and he then made 1-of-2 free throws with 21 seconds remaining to make the Red Wolves' lead three.
However, Davis made another three with nine seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 66-66. A-State had a couple of opportunities in the final seconds, but a missed layup and short put-back attempt fell off the mark as time expired.
A-State scored the first six overtime points on a pair of Golden free throws, a Livingston layup and two more free throws by junior forward Charles Waters. Texas State's Emani Gant had the answer as he hit a three on two of the Bobcats next three possessions to tie the game once again with two minutes left in overtime.
Livingston, who recorded his sixth double-double of the season, put the Red Wolves back on top for good when he made a layup with 36 seconds left. The shot gave A-State a 74-72 lead, and Texas State was able to make only 1-of-2 free throws its next trip down the floor. Golden grabbed the rebound, was fouled immediately and hit both his shots at the charity stripe to extend the Red Wolves lead to 76-73 with 19 seconds left.
“In the second half I made a point to be more aggressive, get to the rim and get a more high percentage,” Livingston said following the game. “The coaches drew up plays to get me good shots and it worked out well for us.”
The Bobcats missed a three-point attempt on their next possession and Waters sealed the victory with a pair of free throws that set the final score.
Joining Livingston and Golden with double figures was junior Nouhoum Bocoum with 14 points, which tied his career high. Sophomore guard P.J. Hardwick dished out a game-high seven assists and recorded three steals to tie junior guard Sean Gardner for the most on the team.
Falling behind 33-26 in the first half, Arkansas State dramatically improved its shooting percentage from .280 for the first 20 minutes to .615 for the second half. The Red Wolves also made 2-of-4 field goal attempts and 8-of-9 free throws in the overtime period.
A-State ended the game shooting 45 percent from the field and 74 percent at the charity stripe, while Texas State hit 34 percent of its field goals and 77 percent of its free throws. The Red Wolves outrebounded the Bobcats by two, 41-39, but made had two more turnovers and hit just 27 percent of its three-point attempts in comparison to Texas State's .364 percentage from beyond the arc.
The game was tied 15-15 after 11 minutes of action and the Red Wolves trailed just 29-26 with 1:54 left before the break, but the Bobcats went on a 4-0 burst to close the half with a seven-point lead.
Texas State was led by three players scoring in double figures, including Montalvo with a team-high 18 points. Cameron Naylor finished with 15 points and Gant added 11 for the Bobcats.