JONESBORO, Ark. (12/19/22) – A strong second half on both ends of the floor Monday night propelled the Arkansas State men’s basketball team to a 72-65 victory over Alabama State inside First National Bank Arena.
A-State (7-5) shot 53.8 percent on 14-of-26 from the field in the final 20 minutes, while limiting the Hornets (1-10) to just 29.2 percent on 7-of-24. The Red Wolves forced 19 turnovers, with a dozen coming in the second half.
The Scarlet and Black out-rebounded Alabama State by 10, 37-27, and dished out 16 assists to 24 made field goals on the night. Overall A-State connected on 24 of 54 shots (44.4 percent), including 7 of 19 from 3-point range (36.8 percent), going 5-for-11 from the perimeter in the second half.
Caleb Fields scored a game-high 22 points to lead three double-figure scorers. The junior guard shot 6-for-16 from the floor, but converted 10 of 12 free-throw attempts. Avery Felts added 15 points on 4-of-8 from deep, including a dozen points in the second half. Omar El-Sheikh registered 11 points with eight rebounds, while Izaiyah Nelson grabbed a game-high 10 boards.
Alabama State’s leading scorers came off the bench, led by Alex Anderson’s 14 points and seven rebounds – both team highs. Roland McCoy added 13 points in 19 minutes played, while TJ Madlock scored nine points with seven assists.
The visitors started strong in the first half leading by as much as eight before Markise Davis tied it at 27 with a trey with 2:50 left in the half. Alabama State closed with back-to-back scores in the final minute to lead 31-27 at intermission.
That lead survived less than four minutes into the second half, when Felts and Fields spearheaded a 10-0 A-State run. A pair of Felts treys ended the stretch and put the Scarlet and Black ahead for good, leading 42-36 with 14:23 to go. After Alabama State cut it to four, another 10-0 run led by rookies Nelson and Terrance Ford Jr. gave the Red Wolves their largest lead of the night, up 52-38 at the 11:48 mark.
Eight of the Hornets’ next 10 points came at the foul line, as they trimmed the deficit to eight. After Fields converted 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, McCoy hit a pair of threes to make it a two-score affair, pulling Alabama State within five with a minute left. A-State then took advantage of free-throw opportunities down the stretch, creating distance and putting the contest out of reach.
A-State concludes non-conference play Thursday, hosting former Sun Belt foe and in-state rival Little Rock. Tip-off in the matinee against the Trojans is set for 2 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.
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Strong Second Half Propels Red Wolves Past Hornets. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council