NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Junior Demetrious Floyd tied his season-high with 20 points and the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team hit six free throws over the final 1:21 to outlast Texas State 66-60 on Wednesday night in the return of former head coach Danny Kaspar to William R. Johnson Coliseum.
With the win, the Lumberjacks (8-3) pick up their seventh consecutive victory, as head coach Brad Underwood picked up the 40th of his career as a head coach at the Division I level.
Floyd tied his season-high points total set against Northern Iowa (Nov. 18), hitting 7-of-12 shots from the floor and a season-high five 3-pointers in 26 minutes played off the bench. The native of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of two SFA players to score in double figures against the Bobcats (5-3). Senior Jacob Parker finished with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting and a 6-of-7 showing from the charity stripe.
Freshman Ty Charles finished one point shy of tying his season-high, netting nine points on a 2-of-2 showing from the floor with a made 3-pointer and four made free throws.
Junior Thomas Walkup finished with seven points, all coming in the second half, and a career-high five assists.
Despite committing one less turnover than TXST at 17-16, the 'Jacks made the most out of the ones they forced, holding a 27-15 advantage in points off turnovers.
SFA outscored the Bobcats 34-20 off the bench, holding a 7-0 mark in fast break points and a 9-8 edge in second chance opportunities.
Following a made jumper from TXST's Wes Davis, one of four Bobcats to score in double figures, the 'Jacks responded with a 9-0 run to take a 9-2 lead just over three minutes into the game. However, TXST limited SFA to just seven points over the next 12:29 to retake the advantage and go up 24-16. The eight-point advantage was the largest of the game for the Bobcats, who took a 30-27 lead into the break.
The 'Jacks quickly responded at the start of the second half, as Floyd hit his second 3-pointer of the game in the opening minute to tie it 30-all. After a 5-0 run by TXST over the next minute, SFA pulled even with the Bobcats two more times before making a run.
Tied 37-37 with 15:52 remaining, the 'Jacks scored 15 straight points on five 3-pointers over the next 5:48 to take a 52-37 advantage.
After two made free throws from junior Trey Pinkney, who finished with six points, put SFA up 62-51 with 1:21 to go, TXST hit three 3-pointers over its next three possessions to cut the lead to four with 20 seconds remaining. Parker then hit three free throws over the remaining time to arrive at the 66-60 final.
The 'Jacks will be back in action on Saturday, hosting Arkansas Tech in a 2 p.m. tip to close their five-game homestand.
Head Coach Brad Underwood
Underwood opening comments…
"Two really good basketball teams. That was a physical a game, especially in the first half, as we have been involved with. And give (Texas State) all of the credit for the first half, every ounce of credit goes to them. They did something we haven't seen all year and that was they took us out of our offense. They made it hard and we didn't respond. I tried to prepare them in practice, but give Texas State and that team all of the credit.
"We got off to a great start, made some substitutions and our pressure was bothering them. Then we went to the bench and our intensity level was not what it needed to be. (Texas State) got in a groove and got going and the ball started sticking with us. We couldn't get the ball off the top of the key offensively.
"It was a good college basketball game. Two teams that played hard. I made mention to (Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar) before the game, his team is much, much better team than what they were a year ago.
"Demetrious Floyd was obviously a huge difference in the second half. He is capable of that. I am extremely proud of his growth. The thing I am most proud of is not the fact that he made baskets, I am extremely proud of the fact that that young man is now guarding and impacted the ball game from a defensive standpoint.
"Overall, I think we grew as a team."
Underwood on preparing for Saturday against Arkansas Tech…
"It will be a huge, huge mental challenge. That's all I talked about postgame. Arkansas Tech is on the schedule for one reason. We have a team in our league who plays just like them, Incarnate Word. I said let's find a team that prepares us for that. They are athletic, play ball-screen, surround the 3-point line with shooters and they are going to play zone, pretty much like Incarnate Word."