West Texas A&M used 55 percent shooting and a 21-4 advantage in points off turnovers to defeat Wayne State 92-74 Friday afternoon at the Pak A Sak Thanksgiving Men’s Basketball Classic in Canyon, Texas.
Despite Wayne State shooting 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field in the first half, the Wildcats trailed 46-35 at intermission due to 13 first-half turnovers that resulted in 19 points for the Buffs.
Wayne State never led in the contest. The Wildcats were down 10-8 early in the game, but West Texas A&M used a 15-2 run over the next 5:45 to take a 25-10 advantage with 11:20 to play first half.
The Wildcats got within six at 30-24 following a Ben Hoskins 3-pointer with 6:59 remaining in the half, but the host Buffs pushed the lead up to 13 several times before finishing with a 46-35 halftime lead.
Wayne State stayed within reach of the Buffs for the first part of the second half until West Texas A&M put the game out of reach making 8-of-9 field goals late in the half to push the lead over 20 points.
The Wildcats cut the lead to single digits on a couple of occasions. An Austin Esters layup got Wayne State within nine at 55-46 at the 15:45 mark. Wayne State was still within 10 at 66-56 thanks to a Jordan Cornelius 3-pointer with 9:58 remaining, but the Buffs made eight of their next nine shots to increase their lead to 21 points to finish off the win.
Matt Thomas led Wayne State with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 at the stripe. Kendall Jacks added 14 points and a team-best five rebounds. Vance Janssen, Thomas and Cornelius each had three assists for the Wildcats while Jacks posted two blocked shots.
Wayne State (1-3) will play another game Saturday afternoon at the Pak A Sak Thanksgiving Classic, facing Eastern New Mexico in a 12 p.m. contest.