JONESBORO, Ark. (2/14/19) – Arkansas State senior guard Ty Cockfield II scored a career-high 39 points and went over 1,000 for his career, but Texas State countered with three players scoring at least 17 to hand the Red Wolves an 84-74 setback in Sun Belt Conference action Thursday night at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves saw their overall record move to 10-15, and they now stand 4-8 in league play. Texas State (20-5) won its 20th game of the season and remained atop the Sun Belt standings with a 9-3 conference record.
Cockfield’s 39 points tied the 11th most in school history, were the most by an A-State player since 2002 and were just four shy of the arena record. He became the 28th player in A-State history to post 1,000 points in a career, but just the fifth to do so in two seasons.
Arkansas State actually posted a higher shooting percentage at .431 to .400, but Texas State made 28-of-35 free throws (.800) in comparison to the Red Wolves 19-of-25 mark from the charity stripe. The Bobcats also scored 26 second-chance points and turned the ball over just six times.
The Red Wolves led for almost the entire first half, building its largest advantage of the night at 25-9 just nine minutes into the game. However, with A-State still ahead 38-27 with 3:20 left in the first half, Texas State put together a 13-2 run to tie the game 40-40 at the break.
The game remained tied five minutes into the second half at 46-46 before Shelby Adams hit a three that would give Texas State a lead it would hold the remainder of the outing. The shot began a 13-3 run for the Bobcats that put them up 59-49 at the 8:50 mark.
A-State responded with a 12-2 run over the next four minutes that pulled it back within three, but it couldn’t get any closer. Texas State had a five-point possession at that point, which included a made three and pair of free throws from a foul called away from the shot. The combination gave the Bobcats an eight-point lead A-State was unable to overcome.
“First, I want to commend Texas State – they are an excellent basketball team, and Coach (Danny) Kaspar is doing an unbelievable job,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “They picked up their defensive pressure in the second half. I thought we started the game off great and did a good job against (guard Tre’Larenz) Nottingham, but their big guys hurt us and that wasn’t something we were expecting. They’re good players though, so hats off to them.
“I was proud of our guys’ effort, and I thought they came out and played hard all game. Ty Cockfield’s performance was one of the best I’ve ever seen against a very good defensive team. It was a special night for him, but we couldn’t come out with the win and now we have to move on, get back to practice and get ready for UTA.”
Texas State was led by Nijal Pearson with a team-high 21 points, while Alonzo Sule scored 18 and Jaylen Shead added 17.
The Red Wolves remain home for their next game, hosting UT Arlington Saturday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. at First National Bank Arena. 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’.