LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (A-State) – For the first time in four game, the Arkansas State University men's basketball team came out on the short end as the Red Wolves fell to archrival UALR, 74-67, this Saturday (March 1) night in Sun Belt Conference (SBC) action at UALR's Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.
The Red Wolves' three-game winning streak was snapped as UALR connected on 56 percent of its shots in the second half and scored seven straight points within a two-minute span late in the game to hand A-State the setback in its regular-season road finale. With the loss, A-State falls to 17-10 overall and 9-6 in the conference while UALR improves its record to 14-15 overall and 9-9 in the SBC.
"We didn't play very well in the second half," said A-State head coach John Brady. "They (UALR) were tougher than we were down the stretch and we couldn't hit a shot when we needed to. This was the first time on the road that we didn't really shoot the ball well.
"We have to get better and have three big conference games at home this upcoming week. We need to bounce back from this and get ready for them," added Brady.
Sophomore guard Cameron Golden paced A-State with 15 points off the bench. Senior guard Brandon Reed netted 13 points and senior forward Kendrick Washington added 11 points. Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke tallied nine points and senior guard Ed Townsel had eight points.
UALR placed four players in double figures led by James White's game-high 20 points. Ben Dillard and Mareik Isom chipped in with 11 points apiece to go along with DeVonte White's 10 points.
Arkansas State led 32-28 at the half after trailing almost the all of the opening 14 minutes. The Red Wolves would put up eight straight points to erase a four-point deficit and take a seven-point advantage, 29-22, with 4:17 left in the first half after Cameron Golden buried a jumper. A three-point play by junior guard Rakeem Dickerson with 2:11 to go gave A-State an eight-point cushion, but the Trojans cut the Red Wolves' lead in half with four unanswered points to close out the half.
For almost the first seven minutes of the second half, A-State would have the upper hand and led 37-34 with 14:14 to go in the game. But, UALR gradually cut away at A-State's lead and pulled into a 37-all tie at the 13:34 juncture. The lead would exchange hands several times until just over five minutes remained when UALR went on top for good as James White's basket gave the Trojans a 57-56 advantage. A-State managed to trim its deficit down to one possession at 63-61 on a layup by Kendrick Washington with three minutes left only to have UALR score the next seven to increase its margin by nine points (70-61) with 1:20 to go in the contest.
A-State connected on 40.8 percent (20-49) of its shots from the field in the game and was seven-of-24 in three-pointers (29.2%) and 20-for-25 at the free throw stripe (80%). UALR would go 26-of-56 from the floor (46.4%) and was at 90.5 percent efficiency (19-21) in free throws. The Trojans made three-of-12 triples for 25 percent.
The Red Wolves were outrebounded 35-27 as Kirk Van Slyke and Ed Townsel pulled down a team-leading six caroms. James White led all rebounders by hauling in eight boards.
A-State will return home for its final three regular season Sun Belt Conference games, starting Tuesday, March 4, as conference leader Georgia State pays a visit to the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark. Opening tipoff for the matchup is set for 7:05 p.m. (CT) and the game can be heard live on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network via flagship KFIN 107.9-FM as Matt Stolz calls the action.