JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team ran its home record to 7-0 Thursday night with a 74-65 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at the Convocation Center in Sun Belt Conference action.
A-State, which snapped a two-game skid, improved to 8-10 overall and 3-2 in Sun Belt play, while UL Lafayette dropped to 3-13 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
Martavius Adams recorded 17 points and seven rebounds, both game highs, to lead the Red Wolves' attack. Joining the junior forward in double figures for ASU were senior guard Donald Boone with 16 points and sophomore forward Brandon Peterson with 11.
Arkansas State, which raced out to a 12-2 lead over the game's first five minutes, never trailed and held at least a two-possession lead for the entire contest. The Red Wolves were able to build a 30-15 advantage with 8:27 remaining in the first half before settling for a 43-34 lead at the break.
The Ragin' Cajuns hung around throughout the entire second half, never letting ASU extend its lead to more than 11 points. Ahead 68-57 with 6:04 remaining, the Red Wolves gave up a 7-0 run that allowed ULL to pull within 68-64 with 2:11 left in the game.
However, the Ragin' Cajuns couldn't get any closer as ASU was able to stop ULL's surge with a pair of free throws by senior guard Rashad Allison that started an 8-1 run by the Red Wolves to close the game.
"The thing you are trying to do when the game starts is win it, and we won the game. Now the process of how we won it wasn't as well played sometimes as I would have liked, but I thought our players tried to play hard and tried to do some things right," said ASU head coach John Brady. "I thought we defended pretty well the whole game. Our team tried to play hard and tried to compete, which is the important thing. I thought we battled as a team and everyone that had the opportunity to play battled.
"This was a good win for us," continued Brady. "I think we are going to have to play better Saturday (against Middle Tennessee) than we did tonight. We are going to have to play better defensively and rebound better. We continue to shoot better and take care of the ball better at home. Hopefully we will continue to shoot well at home this Saturday."
While A-State gave up 10 more rebounds, 40-30, to ULL, the Red Wolves posted a .537 shooting percentage to the Ragin' Cajuns .414. ASU also connected on 6-of-16 three-point attempts, while holding ULL to 3-of-14 from beyond the arc.
Led by sophomore guard Trey Finn, the Red Wolves also posted 15 assists to the Ragin' Cajuns nine while also turning the ball over two fewer times.
Louisiana-Lafayette was led by J.J. Thomas with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for the Ragin' Cajuns were Javan Mitchell with a career-high 12 points and Bryant Mbamalu with 11.
ASU continues its three-game home stand with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Middle Tennessee on Saturday.