SAN MARCOS, TX (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team trailed by 12 at halftime and got within one, but Texas State responded with a 10-0 run to defeat the Red Wolves 78-68 Saturday.
Sean Gardner scored a season-high 26 points on 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) shooting to lead the Red Wolves (9-10, 5-3 SBC) offensively. Devin Carter, coming off a career high 34 points Thursday at UT Arlington, added 19 points and Anthony Livingston chipped in with 11. Cameron Naylor led the Bobcats (9-7, 3-4 SBC) with 20 points and Ethan Montalvo had 15 on 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from 3-point range.
“That was our fourth game in eight days and we were a little winded and tired,” said A-State head coach John Brady. “We gave them second chances and they hit some uncharacteristic three’s. We played hard, but we missed seven or eight shots around the rim. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just what it boils down too. We’ve got to come back and get healthy.”
A slow start hampered the Red Wolves once again, opening the game 2-for-12 facing a 14-4 deficit in the first eight minutes of the game. A-State shot 58 percent (8-for-14) over the remainder of the first half, but trailed 38-26 at halftime.
Out of the break, A-State began to chip away at the lead, dwindling the deficit to two, 45-43, with 13:55 remaining. Gardner scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, hitting two three’s in the half to spark a potential rally.
The Red Wolves couldn’t seize the lead and the Bobcats used second-chance opportunities to expand their lead back to seven, 54-47. Leading 51-47, Ojai Black missed the second of a two-shot foul, but Kendell Ramlal grabbed the offensive rebound, one of two on the possession. The Bobcats ended up with a three-pointer, one of five in the period, by Kavin Gilder-Tilbury to take the 54-47 lead.
A-State didn’t go away though, with Carter scoring five points on two free throws and a trey to get the Red Wolves back within two, 54-52, with 9:36 left. Texas State hit two free throws on the other end and Gardner followed with a trey to make it 56-55 Bobcats with 8:59 remaining.
Over the next 1:33, the Bobcats used a 10-0 run and A-State couldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the night. The Red Wolves committed a turnover, missed two layups and the front end of a one-and-one during the 10-0 run by the hosts.
Texas State finished the game 9-for-15 (60 percent) from 3-point range on the game, but 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) in the second half. The Bobcats had a 38-28 edge on the glass, including eight offensive rebounds for eight second-chance points in the second half.
Despite the slow start offensively, A-State finished 43.1 percent (22-for-51) from the field, but the Bobcats shot 45.5 percent (25-for-55) to drop the Red Wolves to 0-7 on the year when opponents shoot a higher field-goal percentage. Aided by Gardner going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, the Red Wolves finished a season-high 46.7 percent (7-for-15) from 3-point range.
The Red Wolves return to the Convocation Center to open a four-game homestand against Georgia State on Thursday at 7:30 pm.