Red Wolves lose overtime thriller

The Arkansas State men’s basketball team lost 90-87 in an overtime thriller to Louisiana in the Red Wolves’ final regular season game.

A-State ended Sun Belt Conference play 7-11 on the season and A-State’s overall record dropped to 13-18 on the year.

In his last game at First National Bank Arena, Ty Cockfield scored 35 points to cement his legacy as an all time great at A-State.

Marquis Eaton chipped in 15 points while Christian Willis scored 12 points. The Red Wolves impressively made 23-of-23 free throws on the night with Tristin Walley contributing six points from the line.

A-State shot 29.6 percent from behind the arc, which hurt the Red Wolves, as the visitors made 45.5 percent of their 3-point shots.

The Red Wolves had the ball in overtime, down 90-87, with 14 seconds left on the clock. A-State put the ball in the hands of Marquis Eaton to take the potential game-tying shot. The Helena native’s attempt was blocked by Jakeenan Gant. Gant turned the ball over and the Red Wolves had an inbounds play with .2 seconds left on the clock. The attempt to play the ball in was swatted away and Louisiana took home the hard fought victory.

Louisiana was ahead 70-58 at one point in the second half before A-State battled back. The Red Wolves brought the game within one point at 72-71 and within one point again at 82-81. A-State received the ball with 29.7 seconds left in the game, down 84-81, when Cockfield made his sixth 3-point basket of the night to send the game into overtime at 84-84.

Cockfield exploded out of the half time break making four 3-point baskets in the opening 10 minutes of the second period. The senior guard managed only four points in the first period, but scored 16 more in just the first 10 minutes of the second half. Despite this performance from the Georgia native, A-State’s defense could not stop the Rajin’ Cajun offense early on in the matchup.

A-State’s free throw shooting kept them in the game through half time. The Red Wolves shot 100 percent from the line going 14-for-14 in the first half.

Eaton led A-State at half with 11 points while Shaquillo Fritz chipped in seven points. Cockfield struggled from the field going 2-10 in the first period.

Grantham Gillard completed a 4-point play that brought the Red Wolves within three points at 29-26. A-State eventually took a 30-29 lead through two Gillard free throws. Louisiana regained the lead quickly and A-State dug themselves into a hole finishing the half on 2-minute-42-second scoring draught. The Rajin’ Cajuns took a 42-34 lead into the break.

The Red Wolves got off to a slow start only making 2-out-of-10 shots from the field. Behind 12-6, A-State clawed their way back to a 13-12 lead from an Eaton 3-point shot.

Despite the slow start to the game, Fritz got the FNBA crowd on their feet after finishing off an alley-oop dunk to bring the game within three points at 7-4.

The Red Wolves will play in an away, on-campus, SBC tournament game. The bracket and opponent will be released later. The game will be played on March 12.

Categories: Sports


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