JONESBORO, Ark. (1/13/24) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team could not close the gap on a double-digit halftime deficit on Saturday afternoon, as it dropped an 84-77 decision to Louisiana inside First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves (7-10, 3-2 SBC) out-rebounded the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-8, 2-3) 32-24, but turned the ball over 16 times resulting in 18 points off turnovers.
A-State shot 48.0 percent (24-50) from the floor and was a season-best 89.3 percent (25-28) at the foul line, but went just 4-for-22 from 3-point range. Caleb Fields led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Izaiyah Nelson matched his career high with 17 points on 7-of-10 from the field to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. Taryn Todd played 24 minutes in reserve, scoring 12 points.
Hosana Kitenge was one of two Cajuns to score 20-plus, notching 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while Kobe Julien added 20. Themus Fulks scored 16 points and Michael Thomas contributed 10. As a squad, Louisiana shot at a 54.1-percent mark (33-61) and did not surrender the lead.
Fields scored 15 of his points in the first half, as both teams shot over 50 percent. The visitors took an early 6-0 lead after back-to-back treys from Julien and Joe Charles before a Todd triple later tied it at 14 with 13:23 left in the half. Louisiana worked its lead back out to two possessions, but Fields scored on a layup to cut it to two, but Thomas drained a halfcourt three at the buzzer to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 42-37 halftime lead.
After Julien opened the second half with a score, the Red Wolves scored six unanswered to pull within one on a 3-point play by Nelson. Then, Louisiana pushed its lead out to as much as 15 with under seven minutes to play. The Red Wolves went on a 9-3 run to pull within six with 32 seconds left, but the Cajuns answered to maintain their advantage down the stretch.
Arkansas State now turns its attention to a four-game road swing, beginning Wednesday at Southern Miss. Tip-off against the Golden Eagles inside Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Miss., 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.
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.
Red Wolves Fall to Cajuns, 84-77. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council