EDINBURG, Texas – A slow start and a tough first half ultimately doomed SIUE men's basketball Saturday, as the Cougars fell on the road 77-66 to Texas-Pan American.
"We just didn't have everyone on the same page today," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "We can't spot teams the lead and think that we're going to come back on the road."
SIUE dropped to 1-3 with the loss. UTPA improved to 2-5 with the win.
SIUE shot just 34.6 (9-26) in the first 20 minutes and turned the ball over 10 times. The Broncs were 15 of 30 (50 percent) from the field in the first half and led 37-26 at halftime.
"We had quite a few inside touches and guys didn't finish around the basket," Forrester said. "Instead we turned the ball over 9 or 10 times in the first half."
The Cougars shooting improved significantly after halftime, but they were unable to get stops on defesne. The Cougars connected on 14 of 26 (53.8 percent) total attempts in the second half including knocking down six of 14 (54.5 percent) from three-point range.
UTPA nearly matched its first half output, hitting 13 of 27 shots (48.1 percent) in the second half. The Broncs shot 49.1 percent (18-57) for the game.
Kris Davis led all scorers with 24 points on 10-17 shooting. The 24 point- effort was one off his career high. The 10 made field goals established a new career high for the sophomore. After hitting only one of his first eight three-point attempts this season, Davis drained four of six Saturday.
"(Kris Davis) was our bright spot today," Forrester said. He played from the point, the two, the three and the four for us. He did a tremendous job and was the only bright spot of the game."
After leading the SIUE with 11 points and eight rebounds in the first half, Mark Yelovich left the game soon after the start of the second half with an apparent injury to his left ankle.
"It hurt a lot," Forrester said. "We've leaned on him for so long and our guys know that. Not having him and not having Jerome Jones, our leading scorer, doesn't help."
Jones was suspended for one game after receiving a flagrant-2 foul in the loss to SIU Carbondale. Forrester said not having those players shouldn't be looked at as an excuse.
"We just didn't show up today," He added. "Texas Pan American did a better job as far as playing hard. They executed better offensively and defensively than we did."
Aaron Urbanus paced the Broncs with 15 points. Rubern Cabrera scored 13 points and DeMarko Nash scored 10.
SIUE is off until next Saturday when it plays host Chicago State at Vadalabene Center.
"We have a week to get healthy, get everyone on the right page, and get better as a basketball team," Forrester said.