LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (2/2/19) – Ty Cockfield II poured in 28 points as the Arkansas State men’s basketball team held on for a thrilling 84-83 victory over Little Rock Saturday evening at the Jack Stephens Center.
Cockfield led four Red Wolves in double-figures on the night. Tristin Walley narrowly missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Grantham Gillard finished with 21 points and seven boards. Marquis Eaton also finished in double-digits with 14 points.
“Obviously any time you play a rivalry game, records are thrown out the window,” said A-State head coach Mike Balado. “Even though Little Rock didn’t play well for about 25 minutes of the game, I knew they would come back and that’s what they did. Our late game execution was bad and it has to get better. We squeaked out a win tonight. Building a 22 point lead, we did everything we want to do to play Arkansas State basketball, but that last five minutes was not. I’ll be honest with you, we got lucky tonight. I’m happy for the win, but not satisfied with the way we performed, but any road win in this league you’re happy with.”
Little Rock got off to a quick start building a 14-point advantage, 26-12, with 10:00 to play in the half. The Red Wolves found a groove and closed the half on a 21-5 run to lead 42-40 at the break. Cockfield scored 18 points in the first half while Eaton and Gillard each added 11.
The halftime break didn’t cool off the Red Wolves as A-State raced to a 14-2 start to lead by 14, 54-42, with 15:32 to play. A-State’s led grew to 70-48 with 8:41 to play, but the Trojans didn’t go away quietly. The Trojans used a 21-7 run to get within eight, 77-69, with 2:26 to play.
A-State led 82-73 with 54 seconds to play, but the Trojans went on a 10-0 run to lead 83-82 with 12 seconds remaining. Gillard was fouled with 6.2 on the clock and knocked in two free throws to put A-State up by one. The Trojans raced the length of the floor and Jaizec Lottie got up a shot before the buzzer sounded, but the attempt was wide of the goal as the Red Wolves were able to hold on for the victory.
The Red Wolves finished the night shooting 51 percent (29-57) from the field and 50 percent (10-20) from 3-point range. A-State was 62 percent (16-26) at the charity stripe while the Trojans converted 67 percent (10-15). Little Rock shot 46 percent (32-69) from the field and 41 percent (9-22) beyond the arc. A-State finished with a 40-35 edge on the glass, but were outscored in the paint 38-30 and 22-15 on second chance points.
Arkansas State heads to South Alabama for a 7:00 p.m. matchup against the Jaguars on Thursday 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’