HONOLULU, Hi. – The finish to the Rainbow Classic wasn't what SIUE men's basketball envisioned. The Cougars fell 86-58 to Texas State in the tournament finale for both teams.
Both SIUE and Texas State are 2-1 for the season.
The Bobcats shot 64.5 percent (20-31) from the field in the first half and led wire-to-wire. Texas State was 35 for 61 (57.4 percent) from the floor for the game and outrebounded the Cougars 38-24.
"They came out and punched us in the mouth and we didn't respond," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "That's a great game for us. Obviously the outcome isn't what we wanted, but it will be a good learning experience for us."
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury's double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds led the Bobcats' attack. Nijal Pearson scored 22 points. Bobby Conley added 10 points.
Tre Harris scored a career-high 19 points to pace the Cougars. He was 6 for 14 from the field, including 3 for 5 from three-point range and 4 for 4 at the free throw line. Carlos Anderson and Christian Ellis each scored 10 point for SIUE.
"He did some good things on offense," Harris said.
The Cougars connected on just seven field goals in the first half (7 for 24). The shot just 35.4 percent (17-48) in the game.
"It's good for our guys to see that and feel it right now," Harris added. "The top teams in our league play that brand so we have to figure out how to compete in that game."
SIUE returns to open the home season Friday with a 7 p.m. game against SIU Carbondale.
"We have a big game on Friday. "It's the home opener with Carbondale coming into the Vadalabene Center and hopefully we'll have a tremendous crowd behind these guys."