It was a tale of two halves at Strahan Coliseum Wednesday night as Stephen F. Austin used a pair of decisive runs to overtake the Texas State men’s basketball team and pull out a 77-70 victory.
The Lumberjacks had five players score in double figures as Eddie Williams led SFA with 20 points. Jereal Scott added 17 points and nine rebounds, Walt Harris netted 14 points, Orren Tims came off the bench to add 11 and Denzel Barnes scored 10.
Cameron Johnson led Texas State with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Uriel Segura netted 16 points and Emmanuel Bidias A’ Moute tallied 15 points off the bench.
Williams scored seven of his points in the first 4:35 of the game to give Stephen F. Austin a 9-5 lead. But, Texas State answered with an 8-0 run to take a 13-9 advantage.
Texas State held a 25-22 advantage with 4:17 left in the opening period before the Bobcats used an 8-1 run to extend their lead to 10 (33-23) with 1:12 left in the opening half.
But SFA regained the momentum heading into halftime when Barnes scored five straight points with a pair of free throws and a 30-foot three-point shot to make the halftime score 33-28.
Then, after trailing 37-30 with 18:52 left to play in the game, the Lumberjacks used an 8-0 run to regain a one-point advantage. The two teams exchanged leads for time before Williams scored a lay-up off a steal to give SFA a 44-41 lead.
The Lumberjacks never trailed again as Barnes nailed another three-pointer and Williams and Tims made back-to-back lay-ups to give SFA a 51-43 lead with 13:24 left in the game.
Segura nailed a three-point shot for Texas State to pull the Bobcats back to within 53-51, Williams answered with another three-pointer of his own.
Bidias A’ Moute made a pair of free throws and a dunk shot before Johnson scored two more points to pull the Bobcats to within 58-57 with 7:23 left to play.
The two teams battled back and forth during the next three minutes before Tims scored four more points on a lay-up and a free throw to make the score 67-62. Scott added two more free throws to extend the lead to seven.
Scott made one of his two free throws a minute later as SFA held a 72-64 lead with 1:09 left in the game. The Bobcats closed to within five at 75-70 when Johnson added a lay-up off an offensive rebound, but Harris closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left to make the final score 77-70.
Stephen F. Austin improves to 19-7 overall and 9-4 in Southland Conference play with the win, while Texas State falls to 12-15 overall and 6-7 in league games.
Texas State travels to Northwestern State on Saturday in a game that tips off at 2:00 p.m., while Stephen F. Austin returns home to play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
— TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTER