JONESBORO, Ark. (2/3/24) – Three players provided a key spark off the bench, while Caleb Fields recorded 22 points and a career-high 13 assists to lead the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to a 95-80 victory against ULM Saturday afternoon inside First National Bank Arena.
A-State (10-13, 6-5 SBC) started hot with a 72-percent first-half field-goal percentage and stayed hot to finish with a 60-percent clip to upend the Warhawks (7-14, 3-8) in the second meeting between the two squads in a week. The Red Wolves, which never trailed in the contest, also hit 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range to go along with an 82.1-percent mark (23-28) at the free-throw line. A-State’s 60-percent mark was the best against a conference foe since 2013.
Zane Butler (career-high 16 points), Julian Lual (T-career-high 14) and Taryn Todd (11) combined for 41 points in reserve, and hit 10-of-11 from 3-point range. Lual was a perfect 4-for-4 from the perimeter, while Butler (3-3) and Taryn (3-4) hit three apiece.
Fields’ game-high point output came on 7-of-13 shooting and 7-of-9 at the foul line, while his 13 helpers are the most by a Red Wolf since 2016 (Donte Thomas, 13 on Dec. 16 at Central Arkansas). Izaiyah Nelson joined Fields with his second consecutive double-dip, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds while matching his career high with four blocked shots.
A-State started hot and stayed hot in the first half, as Fields set the tone with five of the game’s first seven points to help the Red Wolves to a 7-0 lead. After ULM rallied to make it a one-point affair, the Scarlet and Black caught fire from the perimeter to stretch its lead out to double digits.
Lual drained back-to-back treys to force one of three Warhawk timeouts called in the first 20 minutes. He had 14 points to be one of three Red Wolves score in double figures in the half, including Fields (13) and Butler (11). A-State led 57-37 at the break after hitting at a 72-percent mark from the field and 75 percent from beyond the arc.
The Red Wolves expanded their lead out to as much as 26 after Derrian Ford capped a 9-0 run with a pair of free throws at the 16:22 mark. ULM pulled as close as 13 in the final 20 minutes, but A-State went on a 13-2 run over a span of just under three minutes to widen the gap back out to 24. The Warhawks managed to pull back within 13, but would not score for the final 2 minutes, 41 seconds as Ford closed the day’s scoring with a layup with 90 seconds to play.
The Red Wolves continue their four-game home stand Wednesday night, hosting James Madison. Tip-off against the Dukes inside First National Bank Arena is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN Plus while the radio broadcast can be heard across the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network as well as the A-State Athletics mobile app.
Fans can purchase two upper-level tickets for Wednesday’s contest against JMU for just $7 but visiting AStateRedWolves.com/tickets.
For the latest on the A-State men’s basketball program, follow @AStateMB on Twitter/X and @astatemb on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/AStateMB.
Hot-Shooting Red Wolves Oust Warhawks, 95-80. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council