He did not start but it cannot be denied that when Ty Charles was subbed into the game, it was a welcome sight for the over 4,000 SFA fans I attendance Tuesday night.
Charles has been limited since last March when the team played Idaho in the opening round of the CIT. He had yet to see any playing time in the first five games of the season. Yesterday, head coach Kyle Keller told the media that he expected Charles back this week but could not guarantee if it would be for tonight's game against North Dakota State.
The game against North Dakota State was billed as a matchup between mid-major powers from the north and south. Both teams have found success and have been considered sleepers in the NCAA tournament.
The early minutes of the game belonged to guard Kevon Harris. Harris would score 7 points in the game. All 7 came before"Make no mistake, this was a gritty, slimy, hard-fought win tonight," SFA head coach Kyle Keller exhaled following the conclusion of the tilt. "In order to win, we knew we had to take them out of their set plays. North Dakota State is so polished on offense, they would absolutely pick us apart if we let them run their sets. Fortunately, we came out and played the best 40 minutes of defense during my time here so far."e any of his teammates contributed to the scoring effort.
After Harris got the team up 7-5, the Bison would answer back and tie it up. Charles would then get a giant cheer from the crowd as he enteredd the game for the first time this season. After a TV timeout. Charles would make a jumper for his first points of the season.
after the game got tied at 16 with 7:38 to go in the half, the Lumberjacks would start to extend their lead and get it to 27-17. Jared Samuelson would immediately hit a three pointer and the Bison would make a comeback. SFA was up at the half 28-24.
What hurt the Bison in the first half was turnovers. The Bison entere the game averaging just over 11 turnovers per game. In the first half, SFA forced 19 turnovers.
The second half would continue to be a race to the finish with the game continuing to be close.North Dakota would take a brief lead with 17:28 to go in the game. Shannon Bouges would get the game to an eight point lead with 8:30 to go in the game. Paul Miller would hit a three to make it 52-50 in favor of SFA. Ivan Cannete would be fouled with 3 seconds to go but he would hit two free throws to seal the win. Bogues would lead the team with 15 points. Gilmore lead the starters with 10 points. SFA shot 32.7 % from the field. SFA won the three point battle hitting 18 to the Bison's 6.
SFA walked away with a 54-50 win. The team improved to 6-1 on the year. The team is 5-0 at home. SFA will host Louisiana Monroe on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.