CLEVELAND, Ohio (11/29/17) – Arkansas State had the ball with five seconds left trailing 73-72, but came up short in a 75-72 loss at Cleveland State Wednesday night.

The Red Wolves (2-5) trailed by nine, 60-51, with under 12 minutes to play, but rallied back to take a 62-60 lead with 8:25 remaining. Cleveland State (2-4) used a 10-0 run to regain a lead and held off the A-State rally.

Making his second career start, Deven Simms led A-State with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Tristin Walley had a season best 13 points along to go with seven boards, two blocks and a steal. Ty Cockfield had 12 points off the bench and Rashad Lindsey also had double figures with his 11 points. Kenny Carpenter had 17 points to lead four players that had double figures for the Vikings.

Both teams shot 48 percent (29-60) from the floor on the night. The Red Wolves shot a season high 50 percent (10-20) beyond the arc, but hit just 40 percent (4-10) at the charity stripe. Cleveland State struggled from 3-point range shooting 31 percent (5-16), but hit 10-of-13 (77 percent) free throws in the second half to finish at 75 percent (12-16) on the night.

A-State held a 37-30 edge on the glass, including a 13-9 advantage on the offensive end. The Red Wolves had a season-high 15 assists, but Cleveland State turned 18 A-State turnovers into 22 points.

How It Happened (First Half):

Cleveland State opened the game hitting 9-of-10 from the floor, but the Vikings finished the half 6-of-21 (29 percent) from the floor. A-State started off 5-for-13 (39 percent), but a 9-for-12 stretch midway through the half helped the Red Wolves get back in the game.

After falling behind 4-0, A-State used an 8-2 run to hold an 8-6 lead. A 3-pointer by Walley gave A-State its largest lead of the first half at 11-8 just before the first media timeout. Cleveland State held the Red Wolves scoreless for nearly three minutes and took a seven-point advantage, 19-12, with 12:31 left in the half.

Tristin Walley made two 3-pointers in the first half and led A-State with eight points in the half. Rashad Lindsey and Deven Simms each added seven points as the Red Wolves saw eight different players score in the first 20 minutes.

A-State finished 52 percent (14-27) from the field in the first half while the Vikings were 15-for-31 (48 percent). Both teams struggled from 3-point range, with A-State hitting 4-of-11 (36 percent) and Cleveland State making 2-of-10 (20 percent).

How It Happened (Second Half):

The two teams battled back and forth the first six minutes of the half, before the sides traded runs. With the score tied at 51 and 14:16 to play, Cleveland State went on a 9-0 spurt that saw the Vikings build their largest lead of the night at 60-51 with 11:56 left.

A-State responded with an 11-0 run to gain a 62-60 lead, the first for the Red Wolves on the road in the second half this season. The lead was short lived as the Vikings answered with a 10-0 run and led 70-62 with 5:49 remaining. Ty Cockfield drained a 3-pointer to spark the Red Wolves 7-0 response as Cleveland State lead was 70-69 with 3:36 to play.

A dunk increased the Cleveland State to three with 3:14 to play and neither team found the score column until a free throw by the Vikings with 1:29 to play. In that span, A-State was 0-for-4 from the field with a turnover. After Cleveland State split the pair of free throws, Simms knocked down a corner 3-pointer to make it 73-72 with 1:10 left.

The Red Wolves got a stop on the defensive end, but a layup wouldn’t go on the offensive end giving the Vikings the ball with five seconds left. On the inbounds play, the Vikings threw the ball out of bounds and A-State had the opportunity to take the lead with an out of bounds play under its own bucket. On the inbounds, Simms was whistled for stepping out of bounds forcing A-State to foul with two seconds remaining. The Vikings sank two free throws to set the final score and A-State was unable to get a shot off before the final horn.

A-State shot 46 percent (15-33), including 6-of-9 (67 percent) from 3-point range. The Vikings hit 50 percent (3-6) from long range and finished 48 percent (14-29) in the half. Cleveland State forced nine A-State turnovers in the second half and scored 13 points off the miscues.

Notables:

  • A-State and Cleveland State met for the backend of a home-and-home series with the home team taking both meetings.
  • Deven Simms made his second career start and set a season high with four assists.
  • Tristin Walley had a season high 13 points and has now scored double figures in three-straight games.
  • A-State had a season high 15 assists, but committed 15-plus turnovers for the sixth time in seven games.

Quoting Coach Casey Stanley:

“Honestly, I think there are a lot of positives to take from this game. We responded to their runs with runs of our own. We had our highest assist game of the season with 15, but it comes down to execution down the stretch. We have to make plays when the game is on the line, such as making free throws and things like that.”

“Along with taking better care of the ball, we’ve got to do a better job of getting stops down the stretch. Cleveland State shot 48 percent against us. We did a good job with the loose ball battle early on, but it seemed like all the loose balls they needed at the end, they got. We had the ball underneath with a chance to take the lead with five seconds to go, but we squandered that away with a turnover.”

“To be honest, we aren’t pressing the panic button yet. We’ve had a tough stretch to start the season with five of the first seven games on the road. Winning on the road is never easy and this is something we can build on. We can look at the film on this one and continue to work toward our ultimate goal.”

Up Next:

A-State returns to First National Bank Arena to host UT Martin in the back end of a doubleheader. The A-State women’s team takes on UTEP at 5:00 p.m. with the men’s game to follow 30 minutes later.