STATESBORO, Ga. (3/2/19) – Georgia Southern shot 61 percent from the field to down the Arkansas State men’s basketball team 81-70 Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Ty Cockfield II had a team-high 17 points to lead A-State (12-17, 6-10) while Canberk Kus had a season high 15 points. Salif Boudie added 12 points and a team best seven rebounds. Tookie Brown led Georgia Southern (20-10, 12-5) with 17 points.
“After a slow start, we came back and tied it up before going down eight at halftime and it could have been a lot worse,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “Coming out in the second half, Georgia Southern started with a flurry and we didn’t respond the way we should have. They shot 69 percent in the second half and did a really good job offensively the whole game. When you have a point guard like Tookie Brown, it makes it easier. We didn’t start being efficient on offense until the end of the game. We had guys trying to go one-on-one and that’s something that we can’t do. We had 17 turnovers tonight and that is just not going to cut it.”
Georgia Southern opened the game on a 7-0 run and built a 17-6 lead with 12:51 to go in the first half. A-State rallied back to tie the score at 30 with 2:58 to go in the period, but the Eagles outscored 13-5 in the final three minutes to lead by eight at the break. Georgia Southern was 4-for-8 from 3-point range and knocked down 9-of-13 at the stripe while A-State was 1-of-10 beyond the arc and 6-of-7 at the free throw line.
A-State was unable to get closer than eight points in the second half and a 10-0 run by Georgia Southern saw the Eagles lead 68-50 with 7:33 to play. Georgia Southern hit 9-of-10 to open the period and finished the second half hitting 70 percent from the field.
Georgia Southern finished the game shooting 60.8 percent (31-51) from the field and 36.4 percent (4-11) from 3-point range. The Eagles hit 62.5 percent (15-24) at the stripe and outscored A-State 46-32 in the paint and 17-9 off turnovers. The Red Wolves shot 42.1 percent (24-57) overall while hitting just 5-of-20 (25 percent) beyond the arc. A-State hit 17-of-19 (89.5 percent) at the charity stripe and out-rebounded the Eagles 31-26.
The Red Wolves return to First National Bank Arena to host ULM and Louisiana next weekend to close out the regular season. A-State and ULM are set for a 7:00 p.m. contest on Thursday with the game airing on ESPN+.