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Red Wolves Win Thriller Over Georgia State

January 6, 2020

JONESBORO, Ark. (1/6/19) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team had five players score in double figures, and senior guard Jerry Johnson completed a four-point play with 30 seconds remaining to help the Red Wolves rally from a 14-point second-half deficit to defeat Georgia State 90-87 in Sun Belt action Monday night at First National Bank Arena.

A-State (11-5, 3-2) was led by J.J. Matthews with a team-high 18 points, while Melo Eggleston collected his first double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds – both season highs.

Johnson, Caleb Fields and Marquis Eaton all added 11 points each for Arkansas State, which limited Georgia State (10-6, 3-2) to a 41.4 second-half field goal percentage after the Panthers had shot 60.6 percent in the opening half to take a 52-41 lead at the break.

The Red Wolves also increased their shooting percentage from 33.3 percent in the first half to 64.0 in the second, while finishing the game 34-of-42 at the free throw line as well.  While A-State ended the outing with a .481 mark from the field in comparison to the Georgia State’s .516, it committed just nine turnovers and had five players post a double-digits point total for just the second time this season.

The Panthers quickly extended their lead to 55-41 early in the second half and still held a 10-point lead, 65-55, with 15:14 remaining.  The Red Wolves responded with a 13-3 run over the next five minutes to force the game’s sixth tie.

Georgia State wouldn’t give up the lead, however, and built the margin back to 80-72 with 5:45 to go before Arkansas State mounted its final comeback.  Pulling back within 84-82 with 1:19 left on the clock, Johnson was fouled on a three-point bucket and knocked down the free throw to give the Red Wolves their first lead since a little over midway in the first half.

A-State got a stop on Georgia State’s next trip down the floor when Eggleston corralled a missed shot and drew a foul, sending him to the line where he made a pair of free throws with just 10 ticks left on the clock to put the Red Wolves up 88-84.

The Panthers made a three with two seconds left to pull back within one point of A-State, but Fields found Eggleston on a deep inbounds pass that the sophomore guard dunked as time expired to give A-State the three-point win.

“I am so proud of this team and their resilience and fight,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado.  “In the second half we clamped down defensively and shot the ball much better ourselves.  I think our 16 assists to nine turnovers, being patient offensively and guys just being confident when the game was on the line were keys to winning the game.”

A-State was able to take an eight-point lead, its largest of the night, twice in the first half.  The Red Wolves led 26-18 before the Panthers went on a 13-2 run to take a three-point lead with 7:52 left before halftime.  While the score was tied 35-35 late in the first half, Georgia State closed with a 17-6 run.

The Panthers were led by four players scoring in double figures, including Damon Wilson with a game-high 19 points.  Both teams collected 32 rebounds and finished with 16 assists each.

Arkansas State returns to action Thursday, Jan. 9, with a 7:00 p.m. game at South Alabama.

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Original article source: | 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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