JONESBORO- The Arkansas State men’s basketball team earned its second victory of the season with an 81-69 win over Central Baptist College Friday night.
The Red Wolves improved to 2-4 on the season with the win and promising freshman Norchad Omier led A-State with 16 points. Caleb Fields chipped in with 15 and Marquis Eaton was close behind with 14.
Omier registered a double double in just 22 minutes of total playing time. The freshman accounted for 10 rebounds to go with his 16 points. Omier had been in quarantine but A-State head coach Mike Balado said the freshman is getting in better shape now that he’s out of quarantine and he’s getting his wind back.
“His relentless fight for the ball (is something I’ve seen in his game),” Balado said. “The thing I’ve seen him grow most in is everytime we change stuff offensively or defensively he’s picking it up better and better. He’s just got to slow down a little bit.”
Friday night’s performance marked Omier’s third consecutive double double as the freshman from Nicaragua has had a great start to his college career.
“It’s really not the expectation (to get a double double every game),” Omier said as he let out a little laugh. “I just play hard, that’s what happened. I like to rebound, I like to score, it’s just that happened.”
Caleb Fields attacked the rim aggressively especially during the second half as he drew a couple of and-one opportunities early in the period.
“That’s just what they were giving me,” Fields said. “I’m always trying to be aggressive anyways, take what the defense gives me.”
The second half of the game stopped repeatedly and felt clunky because of multiple fouls called on both teams. CBC registered eight fouls by the 12:48 mark in the second half and finished the half with 13 fouls.
A-State also committed a few fouls in the half accounting for eight.
“No (it didn’t throw off our rhythm),” Balado said. “I mean we fouled. They should call them. We kept fouling. I told the officials if we foul, call it. We have to get better at that. I think we have to get better at guarding the ball. I think we have to get better at second and third rotations. I thought we were doing that well early, then in the last couple games it’s fallen off a little bit.”
The Red Wolves got to the free throw line 30 times but only made 19 of those attempts. CBC went 13-19 from the line.
“I wish we would still bring the turnovers down a little bit,” Balado said. “I think 13 is a bit too much. We want 11 for the game so two over. One was a shot clock violation so that should never happen. Rebounding wise we outrebounded them.The other thing we have to do is make free throws. We keep getting to the line, shooting 30 free throws. We have to make more than our opponents attempt. We were even tonight.”
The Red Wolves travel to Stephen F. Austin Dec. 16 and then come back home Dec. 20 to host Champion Christian. SFA marks the last D1 opponent A-State will play before starting conference play against Louisiana Monroe.
“We know Stephen F. Austin plays a very unorthodox style of basketball, the way they play defensively,” Balado said. “It’s a game we’re going to take extremely seriously. They beat us here last year. We have to get a road win. For us to be a good team, these young guys, all these new guys need to learn how to win on the road.”
Tip off from Nacogdoches is set for 6:30 p.m.
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