TROY, Ala. — Troy held off a late second half rally by the Arkansas State to hand the Red Wolves an 84-79 loss Saturday afternoon at Trojan Arena.
Ty Cockfield II had a game-high 27 points to lead A-State (10-14, 4-7) and JJ Matthews tied his career high with 15 points while Canberk Kus added 11 points. Troy (11-12, 4-7) was led by 20 points from Javan Johnson.
A-State got out to a 7-3 lead, but did not grab a lead after that point. The Trojans took as much as a six-point lead in the half, but A-State was able to get to the lockeroom trailing by two, 36-34. The first half featured six ties and three lead changes, but A-State struggled to 33 percent (11-33) from the field while the Trojans hit 33 percent (5-15) from 3-point range.
After scoring the first bucket of the second half to tie the game, A-State quickly faced its largest deficit of the afternoon at 15 points, 64-49, with less than 10 minutes to play. The Red Wolves got the deficit down to five on three different occasions, but the Trojans answered each time with 3-pointers on their ensuing possessions. The Red Wolves didn’t go away quietly as a turnover in the backcourt saw the Red Wolves trail 75-72 with 2:13 to play. Troy buried free throws down the stretch and took the victory.
The Red Wolves struggled to 37 percent (23-62) for the afternoon and hit just 5-of-20 (25 percent) beyond the arc. A-State had 40 free throw attempts but made just 70 percent (28-40). The Trojans shot 68 percent (15-22) in the second half and finished 55 percent (29-53) for the game. Troy buried 12-of-26 (46 percent) from 3-point range and 14-of-18 (78 percent) at the charity stripe. A-State held a 39-31 advantage on the glass, including a 17-4 edge in offensive rebounds.
Arkansas State plays five of the final seven league games on the home floor beginning with Thursday’s 7:00 p.m. contest against Texas State on ESPN+. For the latest on A-State men’s basketball, follow the Red Wolves on Twitter @AStateMB, at Facebook.com/AStateMB and on Instagram at ‘AStateMB’.