JONESBORO, Ark. (1/4/19) – Arkansas State had four players score in double figures and took the game’s final shot, but couldn’t complete a late comeback as it fell 70-67 to Texas State in a Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball contest Saturday at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves saw their overall record move to a 10-5 and now stand 2-2 in league play, while the Bobcats improved to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in Sun Belt action.
Sophomore guard Melo Eggleston scored a team-high 15 points to pace A-State, which also got 13 points from Caleb Fields, 12 from Canberk Kus and 10 from Marquis Eaton. Fields also added a season-high 10 rebounds to collect the first double-double of his young career.
Although the Red Wolves made a season-high 30 free throws, the Bobcats also made 29 and connected on 19 of their attempts from the field in comparison to A-State’s 17. Texas State also finished with 42.2 field goal percentage, while Arkansas State shot 35.4 percent from the field.
Texas State was able to build a 50-39 advantage, it’s largest of the day, with 12:21 remaining. Still trailing by double digits, 57-47, almost five minutes later, the Red Wolves put together a 10-3 run to pull within 60-57 at the 4:47 mark.
However, the Bobcats were able to push their lead back to seven points, 64-57, with 1:46 to play. Although the Red Wolves were never able to retake a lead in the second half, they pulled back within one point on two different occasions in the final 20 seconds.
A-State’s final opportunity came with four seconds left in the game and down by the final 70-67 score. Fields went to the free throw line, where he missed both of his two attempts, but Kus was able to collect an offensive rebound before the ball was knocked out of bounds with two seconds still left on the clock.
With possession still belonging to the Red Wolves, they were able to inbounds the ball to Jerry Johnson beyond the three point line. His deep three was off the mark, allowing Texas State to escape with the narrow win.
The first half featured eight ties and six lead changes before the Bobcats took a 41-34 advantage into the break. The last tie was 27-27 with 4:05 remaining in the half, but Texas State outscored A-State 14-7 over the next four minutes.
“Hats off to Texas State – they’re a good team, like I believe every team in the Sun Belt is,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “I thought my team gave excellent effort. I thought it was a good college basketball game. I thought we got down – they made some shots in the first half and we didn’t.
“This is the second game in a row we have had so many open layups and they just didn’t fall, but they made them and we didn’t and that’s why the score was what it was at halftime. In the second half, we buckled down defensively and held them to 26 percent shooting. We also forced 16 turnovers and got seven steals, so we did some good things, but they just weren’t enough to win the game. We just have to find ourselves and get back to the way we’ve been playing consistently for two halves.”
Both teams collected 34 rebounds and made three shots from beyond the arc, although Texas State slightly outscored A-State 22-20 in the paint. The Red Wolves finished with one fewer turnovers, but posted a lower free throw and shooting percentage.
Texas State had just two players score in double figures, but jal Pearson scored a game-high 23 points. Alonzo Sule added 11 points for the Bobcats.
Arkansas State returns to action Monday, Jan. 6, with a 7:00 p.m. home game against Georgia State.
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/1/4/mens-basketball-red-wolves-come-up-short-against-texas-state.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council