JONESBORO, Ark. (2/22/18) – The Arkansas State men’s basketball team got a career-high 35 points from junior guard Ty Cockfield and rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to take a late lead, but couldn’t complete the comeback as it fell 88-81 Saturday night against Coastal Carolina in its 2017-18 home finale at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves saw their overall record move to 10-19, and they now stand 5-11 in Sun Belt Conference action. The Chanticleers won their third consecutive game as they improved to 14-16 overall and 8-9 against league opponents.
Cockfield came off the bench to score his 35 points, which tied the 25th most in school history for a single game. He made 12-of-22 field goals, including a career-best six three pointers, and hit five of his six free throw attempts to post the highest points total by an A-State player since Tevoris Thompson scored 41 against Lyon College in 2002.
Junior forward Tristin Walley was the only other Arkansas State player to score in double figures, finishing the night with 12 points to go along with six rebounds that tied the second most on the team behind only Cockfield’s career-tying seven boards.
Coastal Carolina had five players score in double figures, led by Tyrell Gumbs-Frater’s career-high 24 points. Like Cockfield, Gumbs-Frater entered the game off the bench on a night that saw both teams’ reserves combine to score 111 of the contest’s 169 points.
The Red Wolves took 20 more field goal attempts than Coastal Carolina, but finished the night with a .356 shooting percentage in comparison to the Chanticleers’ 54.7 mark. Coastal Carolina also held a 45-35 rebounding advantage, although A-State committed just eight turnovers to the Chanticleers 17. The Red Wolves were able to score 22 points off the turnovers.
How It Happened (First Half):
Gumbs-Frater was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including five three pointers, to pace a Coastal Carolina offense that made 72 percent of its shots as it built a 46-35 halftime advantage.
Arkansas State took its first lead three minutes into the contest and wouldn’t trail until a pair of Gumbs-Frater free throws with 8:54 remaining in the half gave Coastal Carolina a 26-25 advantage. The free throws were part of a 10-0 run that eventually pushed their lead to 30-25.
Still leading 36-32 with 2:47 left, Coastal Carolina closed the half with a 10-3 run to take an 11 point lead into the break.
How It Happened (Second Half):
Coastal Carolina held its largest lead of the game, 13 points, three different times in the second half. The Chanticleers were up 57-44 with 14:47 to play when the Red Wolves started to chip away, eventually pulling to within 61-58 with 11:27 remaining.
However, the Chanticleers were able to build their advantage back to nine points, 77-68, by the 5:11 mark. That is when Walley took over for the Red Wolves, scoring the games next nine points on three old-fashioned three-point plays. Cockfield completed an 11-0 run with a layup that gave the lead back to A-State, 79-77, with 2:19 remaining.
The Chanticleers responded with another three by Gumbs-Frater, his only points of the second half, on their next possession to retake the lead at 80-79. A-State scored its final points on a pair of free throws by senior guard Rashad Lindsey, which also gave the Red Wolves their last lead at 81-80 with 1:57 to go in the contest.
A jumper by Artur Labinowicz on Coastal Carolina’s next trip down the floor put the score back in the Chanticleers’ favor and started an 8-0 run to end the game.
- Junior guard Ty Cockfield came off the bench to score a career-high 35 points, which tied the 25th most in school history for a single game . . . He made 12-of-22 field goals, including a career-best six three pointers, and hit five of his six free throw attempts to post the highest points total by an A-State player since Tevoris Thompson scored 41 against Lyon College in 2002 . . . He scored at least 30 points in a game for the second time of his career, also recording 31 against Troy earlier this year on Feb. 8 . . . Cockfield also recorded seven rebounds to tie his career high.
- Junior forward Tristin Walley scored 12 points, marking the seventh time this season he has reached double figures. He also recorded six rebounds, which tied senior forward Tamas Bruce for the second most among the Red Wolves tonight.
- A-State attempted 73 field goals, its 2nd most this season behind only its 77 at Troy on Feb. 8.
- The Red Wolves made at least 10 three-point field goals in a game for the 10th time this year.
- Arkansas State’s 51 bench points were its second most this season behind only its 53 scored against Culver-Stockton on Dec. 22.
- A-State has now had a player score at least 20 points in a game in 20 of 29 contests this season.
- The Red Wolves committed 10 or fewer turnovers (8 tonight) in six of their last eight games.
Quoting Coach Balado:
“The seniors wanted to win this game so bad tonight and our guys wanted to win for our seniors tonight. That was a very good basketball game despite the late start. Coastal Carolina played well and our hats off is to them after the way they shot the ball in the first half. We obviously picked up our defense in the second half, which is the way we should’ve played the whole game. You can’t take a half off against a team like Coastal Carolina because you’re always going to be fighting back.”
“I’m really proud of our guys for their effort. It was exceptional. (Coastal Carolina coach) Cliff Ellis told me after the game that he hadn’t seen an Arkansas State team play as hard as that. Tonight was not the outcome we wanted tonight, but we will get back to work on Monday as we continue to prepare for the tournament.”
Arkansas State will wrap up its regular season next week with a pair of road games against Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe. The Red Wolves will face the Ragin’ Cajuns Thursday, March 1, at 7:15 p.m. before catching the Warhawks Saturday, March 3, at 2:00 p.m.