JONESBORO, Ark. (12/14/22) – A sharp-shooting second half led the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to a 68-61 victory over Southeast Missouri Wednesday night inside First National Bank Arena.
A-State (6-5) battled back from a 29-percent showing in the first half to erupt for 44 second-half points on 54.5 percent en route to outscoring the Redhawks (5-6) 33-20 over the final 14-plus minutes. The Scarlet and Black shot 39.6 percent for the night on 21-of-53 while going 23-for-35 at the free-throw line.
Three players scored in double figures for the Red Wolves, led by Caleb Fields’ 14 points. Fields also added six rebounds and six assists while swiping two of A-State’s 10 steals, part of 16 takeaways by the A-State defense. Avery Felts added 13 points, all coming in the second half on four field goals – three from long range.
Arkansas State outscored SEMO 34-8 in the paint and won the rebounding battle 41-32. Izaiyah Nelson scored 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds, with Omar El-Sheikh grabbing a team-high 14 boards to go along with nine points.
The Red Wolves held SEMO to 38.3 percent shooting on 18-of-47, including just 9-of-25 (36.0 percent) in the second half. Adam Larson led all players with 19 points and Phillip Russell added 13. Chris Harris scored 10 points to round out double-figure scorers while Kobe Clark recorded a game-high 16 rebounds and eight points.
Baskets were hard to come by early, with both teams going on lengthy scoring droughts. SEMO led by as much as eight after a Larson trey made it 24-16 with 3:13 remaining in the first half, but the Red Wolves pulled within two with six unanswered. The Redhawks held off the late run to lead 26-24 at the break.
Southeast Missouri opened the second half on a 13-4 run to take its largest lead of the night, up 11 at 39-28 at the 16:41 mark. A-State then answered with a 13-2 stretch to tie it on a layup by Fields. The visitors reclaimed a brief advantage, but a corner three by Felts capped an 8-0 run with 6:50 left to expand the Red Wolves’ lead to 53-46.
The Redhawks battled back to make it 56-53 on a Harris trey, but A-State continued to match them score-for-score to hold on in the second half.
Arkansas State continues its three-game home stand Monday, hosting Alabama State in the penultimate non-conference game. Tip-off against the Hornets is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+. The contest can also be heard on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network, including flagship station 107.9 KFIN in the Northeast Arkansas area.
Second-Half Surge Moves A-State Past SEMO. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council