Emani Gant scored 19 points as eighth-seeded Texas State opened the Sun Belt tournament Thursday with a 68-62 upset of fifth-seeded UT Arlington.
The Bobcats (14-16) advancd to meet fourth-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette today.
“I’m disappointed for our four seniors especially,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “They’ve given a lot to the program. They’ve worked extremely hard. They’ve helped us win a lot of games. We’re going to miss these guys.”
Jamel Outler had 15 points and Anthony Walker and Lonnie McClanahan had 12 points and seven rebounds each for the Mavericks (16-15), who made 12 of 13 free throws in the second half but were just 3 of 16 on 3-pointers.
Texas State, which had never won a Sun Belt tournament game before, led 33-29 at the half and stretched that to 54-42 on a Montalvo jumper at 8:53. Then the Mavericks went on a 12-0 run to tie the game on a Kevin Hervey jumper with 5:28 to play. But after that they went 0-8 from the field and Nayor’s consecutive three-point plays and dunk secured the upset.