JONESBORO- The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks shot 68% from the field through the opening 12 minutes of the game and never looked back in the Red Wolves’ 66-52 loss Wednesday night.
The Warhawks (8-18 overall, 4-13 SBC) are last in the conference and a solemn spoken A-State head coach Mike Balado commented on the loss.
“Very disappointing loss for our program,” Balado said. “Probably the most disappointing in my career. Including as an assistant. We’re going to try and figure out what the problem is. Continue to work, obviously not giving up. We’re trying to figure out who the right guys are to play, what the right rotation is and the guys who really want to win. I’m looking at the locker room and who’s completely dejected.”
The Red Wolves are on a six game losing streak and after going behind today it did not look like the team had the spirit to come back.
“I think today it was the first time I thought that they felt like they had no fight in them,” Balado said. “I think it’s the first time I’ve seen as a team they looked up at the scoreboard every time the other team scored it was like the end of the world. I haven’t seen that look in their eye in when they’re down eight, nine, 10, 11 points to fight back in awhile. I don’t know where that’s gone.”
Arkansas State (15-13 overall, 7-10 SBC) shot 37% from the field the entire game and only Marquis Eaton scored in double digits for the Red Wolves with 17 points.
“Marquis continues to play very, very consistent,” Balado said. “Especially with his shooting. You know the issue is other guys are up and down. I didn’t think Caleb (Fields) played great tonight. He only had two turnovers and six assists. So, he can play better. But there’s other guys on this team that need to step up and do some different things. Whatever they’re doing is not working.”
The Red Wolves turned the ball over 16 times which was well over their 12.8 per game average.
Freshman Antwon Jackson scored nine points on the night and played a physical game down low for the Red Wolves.
“I thought Antwon Jackson has been excellent over the last (games) even through the losing streak,” Balado said. “He’s really emerged as a kid that’s improved”
At the start of the second half, Eaton clawed the game within 10 when the junior knocked down a 3-pointer then scored a long range jumper. At 43-33 scoreline it looked like A-State might have a chance.
However, a 12-0 run by ULM that started at the 14:47 mark in the second half and continued until the 12:35 mark was the dagger to the Red wolves. After that point on A-State could never really gain any momentum.
The Warhawks flew out to an early lead in the game. ULM opened the game 6-7 from the field and 5-5 from 3-point land. Tyree White scored the first eight points of the game as ULM jumped to an 8-0 lead. By the first media timeout, the visitors were already ahead 17-4.
The Red Wolves host in-state foe Little Rock Saturday.
“We need to go back and watch the film (from that earlier matchup with Little Rock),” Balado said. “And obviously concentrate on things we didn’t do well that game. I can remember turning the ball over early in that game. We have to take care of the ball. It was a close game, they played extremely hard. At that point it was a two game losing streak going into it and now you’re at six. What’s your mentality going to be moving forward? That’s the question. I know what mine is. Mine is I’m going to go back and watch film until 4 in the morning and not sleep and love this program.”
Tip off is set for 4 p.m.
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