MOBILE, Ala. (2/7/19) – An 11-point halftime deficit proved to be too much for Arkansas State men’s basketball in a 70-62 loss at South Alabama Thursday night.
“We got down again and I keep telling my team that I don’t understand how we get in these lulls,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “Even though we hit 11 3-pointers, I didn’t think we did a good job from two’s and getting good shots. I was proud of how we cut the deficit to one, but we just couldn’t capitalize. We had some costly turnovers, and even though we only had 12, the costly ones were when we couldn’t afford to have them happen. We’ll get back and watch film and move on to Saturday.”
Tristin Walley recorded his second career double-double with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead A-State (10-13, 4-6). Despite battling the flu, Ty Cockfield II also recorded 16 points. Marquis Eaton rounded out three Red Wolves in double figures with 10 points. Herb McGee had a game-high 24 points to led South Alabama (12-11, 5-5).
The Red Wolves hit six of their first 13 shot attempts (46 percent) and took an early 18-11 lead, but South Alabama hit 8-of-11 (73 percent) to close the half and lead by 11. The hot shooting by the Jaguars saw the hosts outscore A-State 24-6 in the final 12 minutes of the half, including a 16-3 spurt over the last 4:14.
A-State trailed by as many as 14 in the second half before cutting the deficit to one, 60-59, with 4:23 to play. The Red Wolves went the next 3:07 without a bucket and the Jaguars stretched their advantage back to seven before a free throw by Walley ended the drought. A-State was unable to gather momentum as South Alabama knocked down free throws to set the final score of 70-62.
South Alabama hit 49 percent (23-47) from the field, including 6-of-15 (40 percent) from 3-point range while holding the Red Wolves to 35 percent (19-54) overall and 11-of-24 (46 percent) beyond the arc. A-State hit 13-of-16 (81 percent) at the charity stripe while the Jaguars converted 75 percent (18-24). The Red Wolves won the board battle 33-31, but 13 offensive rebounds resulted in only two second chance points.
Arkansas State completes the three game road trip with Saturday’s game at Troy. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. from Trojan Arena with the game available 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’.