The Texas State men’s basketball team began the first half on a 17-3 run.
Coach Danny Kaspar believes opening the game with energy and momentum was the key to the 70-60 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
The Bobcats never allowed the Red Wolves to take command of the game. Texas State reached the 70 point threshold in regulation for the first time since Jan. 15 against South Alabama.
“We’ve got to come out strong each half,” Kaspar said. “It puts a mental block on the other team and really lifts your kids up, particularly at home when the crowd is getting into it. And I think our guys did a good job today of hitting their shots and running out to leads early in the first half and second half.”
Wes Davis, senior guard, played his final game as a Bobcat in front of the Strahan Coliseum home crowd.
Davis crowded the Arkansas State passing lanes and had four steals in the first half . Davis finished the game with 11 points, going five of nine from the field, four steals, four assists and two rebounds.
“We had a lot of energy, we all had each others back,” Davis said. “We were playing really good defense at first. We came back out the second half pretty strong, I don’t think all year we came out both halves strong.”
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, sophomore forward, led the team with 19 points, two assists, two rebounds and one steal. The Texas State bench added 25 points to the final score.
The Red Wolves continued to attack the Bobcats by changing to a zone defense that caused chaos for a short time. Davis was the key to successfully breaking the Red Wolves press. Davis would flash the middle of the press, using his quickness to his advantage.
“There’s no better way to go out in my last home game,” Davis said. “I’ve had my fair share of wins and losses here but its good to go out like this. There was just a lot of energy in the building the fans were really live this game, so it was just a great atmosphere.”
Texas State improves to the seventh seed in the Sun Belt Conference after the win against Arkansas State.
As a team, the Bobcats shot at 48 percent from the field and held the Red Wolves to 37.3 percent from the field. Anthony Livingston, Red Wolves sophomore forward, was responsible for 20 of the teams 60 points.
“We beat a team that was hot today,” Kaspar said. “They beat UT-Arlington and UL-Monroe back to back before coming in here so I’m very pleased to get the win. (I’m) Very proud of our players and I think we are putting ourselves in a pretty good position.”
Follow Sabrina Flores on Twitter @SabrinaFloresTX.