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Quick Start Leads Minnesota Past A-State

December 8, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (12/8/18) – Minnesota opened the game on a 21-2 run and the Arkansas State men’s basketball team was unable to recover in a 72-56 loss to the Golden Gophers Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena.

Ty Cockfield II had a game-high 20 points, his fifth-straight 20-point outing and seventh of the season. With five-straight 20-point outings, Cockfield is first A-State player to accomplish such a feat since J.J. Montgomery had seven-straight 20-point outings during the 2003-04 season. Tristin Walley joined Cockfield in double figures as he had 14 points to go along with six rebounds. Salif Boudie had seven rebounds to lead the Red Wolves on the glass. Daniel Oturu led Minnesota with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

“I thought in the first half, Minnesota did a really good job of getting to the offensive glass,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “They had 11 offensive rebounds and only missed 17 shots, so they got 11 of those 17 misses back which was huge issue for us. We knew going in that their height would be a problem for us, but the good thing is they had 15 for the game, just four in the second half. We outscored them by one in the second half and I liked our effort. Our defense took a step tonight, but our offense unfortunately didn’t with our field goal percentage. It’s tough with those big guys down there with trying to finish over that length. Defensively, I thought our team took a step in the right direction today.”

Minnesota (8-2) opened the game with a 21-2 run, hitting 8-of-13 (62 percent) from the field and A-State (3-6) struggled to recover. The Red Wolves cut the deficit down to 12, but a 10-2 run saw the Gophers extend the advantage to 20 points. A 3-pointer by Minneapolis native Grantham Gillard ended the run, but Minnesota owned a 17-point advantage, 41-24, at halftime.

The Golden Gophers opened the second half with a 7-3 start to build their largest lead of the night of 21 points, 48-27, but A-State refused to go away quietly. The Red Wolves held Minnesota without a field goal for a stretch of 4:43, but weren’t able to closer than 12 points despite the good defense. A-State trimmed the deficit to 12 four times in the second half, but the Golden Gophers kept A-State from getting any closer.

The Red Wolves struggled shooting the ball in the first half hitting just 9-of-34 (.265) from the field. A-State connected on 11-of-30 (.367) in the second period to finish the afternoon shooting 31 percent (20-64) overall. Cockfield and Walley accounted for six of the Red Wolves’ eight 3-point makes as A-State finished 8-of-20 (.400).

Minnesota cooled off after the hot start and finished the day shooting 44 percent (24-54) from the field. The Golden Gophers knocked down 8-of-17 (.471) beyond the arc and converted 16-of-24 (.667) at the charity stripe.

A-State was out-rebounded 30-16 in the first half, but Minnesota finished the day plus seven on the boards at 44-37. The Red Wolves committed just 12 turnovers, compared to 14 for Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers held an 11-8 advantage in points off those turnovers.

A-State returns to First National Bank Arena for a two-game homestand that begins Friday against Florida Atlantic. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  

For the latest on A-State men’s basketball, follow the Red Wolves on Twitter @AStateMB, at Facebook.com/AStateMB and on Instagram at ‘AStateMB’.  

Original article source: http://www.astateredwolves.com//ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=7200&ATCLID=211783269 | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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