ASHEVILLE, N.C. (11/25/18) – Gardner-Webb cut the Red Wolves lead to one, 67-66, with 1:39 to play, but senior guard Ty Cockfield II scored all 10 points in a 10-0 run as the Arkansas State men’s basketball team closed out a 77-69 victory Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Battle in the Blue Ridge.

Cockfield paced A-State with 23 points, his fourth outing with 20 or more points this season, and a career high nine rebounds. Salif Boudie had a career high 21 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Canberk Kus also finished in double figures with his 13 points to help the A-State bench outscore Gardner-Webb 43-17. Marquis Eaton finished with six points, a career high seven rebounds and five assists, one shy of his career best six assists. David Efianayi led Gardner-Webb with a game high 24 points.

“There was no quit in Gardner-Webb and they are a good team,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “I was very proud of my team today in how we played defense. Gardner-Webb shot 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. We knew we had to come out and play defense and we switched some things up. Our zone looked great today with the way guys were flying around.”

“I’ve got to tip my hat today to Salif Boudie. What a great game he played today. He hasn’t played much, if any, but he’s been practicing well. I’ve got confidence in all my guys, and Salif basically won the game for us tonight.”

A-State finished 51 percent (25-49) from the floor, hitting 6-of-16 (.375) from 3-point range. The Red Wolves held Gardner-Webb to 21-of-53 (.396) overall and 7-of-20 (.350) beyond the arc. With 41 combined fouls, both teams took advantage of trips to the charity stripe. The Red Wolves were 21-of-25 (.840) while the Bulldogs hit 20-of-25 (.800). A-State controlled the glass by way of a 36-23 advantage.

Carrying an 11-point halftime advantage, A-State was able to maintain at least a five point lead until the final 2:37 of the contest. Trailing 67-60, Gardner-Webb used a 6-0 run to pull within one, 67-66, with 1:39 to play. Cockfield sank 6-of-7 free throws and converted two driving layups over the next 1:30. Gardner-Webb hit a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining, but A-State got the win, 77-69.  

The bench scoring propelled A-State to a 40-29 halftime advantage. The Red Wolves led 14-12 and Boudie and Kus paired up for a 6-0 run to see A-State lead 20-12 with 10 minutes left in the period. After taking the eight point advantage, the Bulldogs did not get closer than four points the remainder of the half. Boudie and Kus combined for 20 of the Red Wolves 40 points in the first 20 minutes, including 12 of the final 15.

A-State visits Lehigh on Saturday with tipoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (CT). The Red Wolves then play four of their final six non-conference games on the home court with a December 4 matchup against Evansville at First National Bank Arena.

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