JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – The Arkansas State men's basketball team rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Lamar 78-75 in non-conference action Monday night at the Convocation Center.
The Red Wolves won their third consecutive game to improve to 10-10 on the season with an unblemished 9-0 record at home. Lamar, which had won three of its last four outings entering the game, dropped to 8-9 on the year.
Brandon Peterson posted his first double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Martavius Adams and Trey Finn both scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Red Wolves' attack.
"I was extremely proud of our team for the way it came back and played the second half particularly from a defensive stand point," said ASU head coach John Brady. "For whatever reason we didn't start the game as well as we all would have liked. But the second half, they responded well. From a 47 point half to a 28 point half was rather good and that's why we won the game. We showed some fight and some resiliency."
Lamar hit 9-of-15 three-point attempts in the first half and shot 56 percent from the field to grab a 47-36 lead at the break, but A-State limited the Cardinals to just one three pointer and a .370 shooting percentage during its second-half rally.
The Red Wolves also improved their field goal percentage from .351 in the first half to .520 in the second. Finn led the Red Wolves' comeback, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half that included a go-ahead three with 1:50 left in the game.
Mike James scored 16 points to energize Lamar in the first half, but ASU held the Cardinals' leading scorer to just eight points over the final 20 minutes. ASU also held the nation's second leading scoring offense to just 28 points in the second half.
ASU opened the second half with a 9-0 run to cut its deficit to just two points, but Lamar maintained a slim advantage until starting a run of its own with 11:07 remaining in the game. Leading 56-52, Lamar went on an 11-3 run to return its lead back to double figures at 67-55 by the 7:05 mark.
However, ASU once again responded with a 17-2 run, capped by Finn's three pointer, over the next six minutes to take a 72-69 lead. Lamar was able trim ASU's lead back to only one point three times over the final 1:50, but ASU responded each time with a crucial bucket or successful trip to the charity stripe. Finn hit a running jumper in the lane and ASU closed out its scoring by going 4-of-4 at the free throw line to hold off the Cardinals.
While the Cardinals shot 47 percent to the Red Wolves' 41 and pulled down five more rebounds than ASU, the Red Wolves scored 32 points off 21 Lamar turnovers and hit nine more free throws. ASU finished the night 20-0f-28 at the free throw line, while Lamar was 11-of-20.
Lamar was led by four players scoring in double figures, including James with a game-high 24 points. Brandon Davis added 15 points, Anthony Miles 11 and Tremell Adams 10 for the Cardinals.
ASU now returns to Sun Belt Conference play, next hitting the road for an 8:05 p.m. (CT) game at West Division-leading Denver this Thursday.