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    Second-Half Surge Propels A-State Past Southern Miss
    second-half-surge-propels-a-state-past-southern-miss

    January 31, 2024

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    JONESBORO, Ark. (1/31/24) – A 9-0 run sparked a second-half surge for the Arkansas State men’s basketball team, which pulled out a gutsy 78-71 win over Southern Miss Wednesday night inside First National Bank Arena.

    Caleb Fields led that charge, totaling a game-high 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting while handing out eight assists to help A-State (9-13, 5-5 SBC) return to the win column. The Red Wolves shot 46.8 percent as a team and out-rebounded the Golden Eagles (12-10, 6-4) 43-32.

    “I’m really thrilled with our effort tonight, and more importantly, closing out the basketball game,” A-State head coach Bryan Hodgson said. “I called a timeout with 2:43 to go, and they didn’t score after that. For us, that’s growth. We’ve been in this situation in the past, and it’s gone the other way. We did a great job executing down the stretch, taking care of the ball and securing much-needed rebounds. What I’m pleased with the most is the fact we had guys step up and help us gut this one out.”

    The Scarlet and Black trailed by a point at the half, thanks to a half-ending layup by Fields, who later provided the game’s final score with 21 seconds left. A-State limited Southern Miss to just 35.6 percent (21-59) shooting, including 32.0 percent in the second half, and held the visitors scoreless for the final 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

    Derrian Ford recorded his second consecutive double-double, scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds – eight of which came in the second half. Izaiyah Nelson earned the coveted Hard Hat Award for the night by tallying a line of 11 points, 12 rebounds (5 offensive) and three blocked shots in just 19 minutes.

    Southern Miss opened on a 7-0 run before Ford scored A-State’s first bucket from deep. The Red Wolves then used a 9-0 run to pull ahead 16-12, and then USM rallied to level the score at 20. Fields finished the half with 14 points, scoring late to cut the halftime margin down to 37-36.

    The sides exchanged leads 10 times in the first 20 minutes, while A-State held a 23-18 edge on the glass at intermission.

    A-State then answered the bell after the break, starting the half on a 13-2 run to take a lead it would not relinquish. The visitors pulled within one at the 11:11 mark on a pair of Brandon Hall free throws, but Fields sparked a 14-2 run that handed the Red Wolves their largest lead of the night, up 74-61 with 6:23 to go.

    Southern Miss, however, would not go away. Donovan Ivory, Victor Iwuakor and Austin Crowley, who all scored 17 points apiece, combined for 10 unanswered points to make it a one-possession game with 2:50 to play. Following an A-State timeout, USM would score no more, as Ford and Fields scored the final four points of the night.

    NEXT UP

    The Red Wolves continue their four-game home stand on Saturday afternoon, hosting ULM. Tip-off against the Warhawks inside First National Bank Arena is set for 2:30 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.

    SOCIAL MEDIA

    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.

    Read more:
    Second-Half Surge Propels A-State Past Southern Miss. 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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